I’ve never been in a boxing match. I haven’t experienced the butterflies before hand-to-hand combat.
I have however felt the anxiety associated with giving a big presentation or talk in front of hundreds of people.
I can attest that it does get easier. Every presentation. Every match. Each and every experience builds resilience. We normalize. Similar to hedonic adaption, the experiences lose their edge.
Don’t positive experiences work the same way? When you’ve eaten at the best restaurant, do you think it will have the same novelty the next time you dine? When you’ve had ringside seats, do you think you’ll have the same level of excitement at the next match?
Invariably all material experiences will lose their shine over time. Extrapolated to infinity, every experience will feel like every other. Been there, done that.
So the question becomes, how do we live a more fulfilled life? A life that’s not driven by greater and greater stimulation.
I believe it lies in the quality of our connections. The depth of our relationships. The satisfaction of living beyond ourselves. Transcending the futile rat race of amassing more and more stuff.
Today’s individualistic and self-actualization-addicted society deemphasizes non-material pursuits, but we can each start to become more aware of what fuels our motivation and maybe make a change that will better serve us going forward.
Because we know how the story ends if we choose more of the same.
And when in doubt… Pause. Breathe, And Quiet the Noise.