The Paradox of Change: why rushing to get there slows us down

The desire to change is natural – we grow up, mature, our circumstances change, we learn stuff and want to apply it to our lives, so we can live better and be happier. We make huge efforts to transform into better versions of ourselves. We envision how much better we’d feel if we accomplished certain results – if we had more money, if our bodies looked better, if we got that dream job.

We condition our happiness on external factors and obsess over them. We convince ourselves that unless we get there, wherever our personal definition of “there” is, we could never be truly happy.

We convince ourselves that this is the way motivation works – we have a goal that we want to reach, hence we need to have that goal in mind at all times, you know, to keep our eyes on the prize.

Gradually, without even realizing, we start spending so much time obsessing over that goal that we don’t spend enough time, energy and psychological fuel actually doing what we need to do in order to change what we want, in order to reach that dream goal, in order to get that prize.

We want those few pounds off as soon as possible so we get hooked on that miracle diet that promises speedy and almost magical results. We get tempted by promotional pitches and marketing copies that guarantee us we’d lose certain weight in a few days or weeks. We become super disciplined, completely deprive ourselves of everything we ever enjoyed eating, and rigorously follow some holy diet or regime as if we were following the Ten Commandments.

We become proud of our suffering because we believe the prize is totally worth it! We are conditioned to believe that sincere efforts and diligence are rewarded. Yet we don’t even consider the possibility that sometimes efforts could never get us where we so want to go in the first place just because they are not right for us! Regardless how diligent, persistent and devoted we are.

We need to take a step back and realize that conditional happiness is a dangerous place. It convinces us that there are only a fixed number of circumstances that could allow us to be happy. That is a recipe for disaster.
Unexpected and out-of-our-control events happen and the best and healthiest habit we can cultivate is to gradually learn how to synthesize happiness in every situation and in all circumstances.

By not obsessing over the end goal or some conditional state of happiness, we can actually focus on getting there. Paradoxically, even though it may take us longer to arrive, that approach is much more likely to not only help us get there but also to help us stay there and might even make the journey much more pleasurable and desirable than our initial idea of how the end goal would make us feel.

Sofia Yotova

Inspiration.Passion.Humility.

I am the CEO & Founder of Foodie Boulevard – a disruptive organization that explores the role of food beyond the plate as foundational long-term strategy for personalized healthcare and wellness.

Our mission is to develop solutions that help our audience use food as an interactive educational tool, a powerful epigenetic factor, and a healing mechanism for people struggling with eating disorders.

I am a published author, blogger, lecturer, and workshop organizer. I am a certified Eating Psychology Coach by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in Colorado and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Ambassador.