The Happiness Track
Stop Chasing the Future

1. Opening: Mindful Moment

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2. Inspiration

Anticipatory joy provides us with determination, excitement, and grit needed to work hard for a promotion or new business deal, to complete marathons or graduate school degrees, or to gain fluency in a foreign language. We enjoy chasing our dreams and value things more if we work hard to get them.

However, there are major problems with constantly trying to get things done and focusing on the next thing: doing so ironically prevents you from being successful as you want to be, and wreaks havoc on body and mind. Many studies show that the workaholic or “successaholic” chase can be detrimental on a number of levels, such as health (burnout, emotional exhaustion), productivity (increased job stress) and relationships (reduced family functioning).

Do you have a tendency to lean into this direction? How does this manifest itself in your day-to-day?

3. Reflection or Challenge

Multitasking, instead of helping us accomplish more things faster, actually keeps us from doing anything well. One study found that the more people engaged in media multitasking (from word processing to text messaging and email), the higher the anxiety and depression levels tended to be.

Compare that to the experience of flow, when you are completely immersed in an activity. What is one task you can focus on giving your undivided attention? Could it be a relationship at home? A work project?

In the next 24 hours, give one task or project your undivided attention, and take note of what happens. Check in with a buddy afterwards and talk about how it felt different.

4. Closing: Appreciation

Close the meeting with an Appreciation Circle. Give each person a chance to say something they appreciate about the person to their left.