Many of us have set out our plans for 2017–you know the typical New Year’s resolution. However, many of us have also found ourselves in the mindset of “what to do next.” If your 2016 was pretty successful filled with good decision making, wise spending habits, and major task completions, then a part of you may feel very proud and accomplished. However, now that you have made it over to 2017 you’re thinking, “Now what?” Do you find yourself experiencing feelings of emptiness? Not really sure on what to do next. Well, don’t worry these feeling are totally normal.
According to experts these feeling of emptiness can be contributed to Post Accomplishment Depression or what some like to refer to it as “The Summit Syndrome.” These studies have been found in various publications such as Forbes Magazine and Psychology. Today so what is the Summit Syndrome you may ask? The summit syndrome is when a person experiences a high level of mastery, goal or award accomplishments in is his or her life, only to find themselves slightly depressed. This syndrome is all too common among highly successful and ambitious individuals.
In life sometimes we can spend so much time striving to reach our goals that when we finally reach them, our emotions are not sure where to go. Nevertheless, I encourage you to look at your bought of sadness in another way. Could it be that the depression you are facing is not a result of emptiness or aloofness, but more so a deeper yearning for another level of fulfillment?
Just like everything in life, fulfillment comes and starts at many different levels. We may feel fulfilled in one area of our lives and empty in another or more fulfilled in one area of lives and less fulfilled in another. Nevertheless, just like the structure of any house, every foundation needs to be built upon. I believe we never max out on our fulfillment or purposes in life we simply build upon them.
So you’re going through a little depression. That’s fine, but don’t stay there. Take this time to debrief your experiences and take it all in. Most of the time when we have worked toward a goal that has taken us months, even years to complete we don’t take the time to evaluate the process it took to get there. Nevertheless, now that it’s over go back over the journey: Assess, Account, and acknowledge your accomplishments and move forward.
You know when you hear those stories of people who become super adventurous later on in life. They wait until they’re well in their 80’s to start climbing Mount Everest and scuba diving in Bali. You think, “Why would they spend so much time and effort doing these outrageous things when they have lived a full life?” Well, I believe they do it because their purpose is continual. Your spontaneity comes from the willingness to build upon your life experiences and fulfillment.
There is so much on this big green earth to see. Not even the best explorers in the world have seen all there is to see. This year make it your priority to discover your next level of fulfillment and purpose. Don’t give into the Summit Syndrome but take advantage of it and recreate it all over again.
That’s right I said it! There’s nothing wrong with starting all over again. Don’t get overwhelmed by the process of it all, there are 12 months in a year, use 2017 to explore everything you want to do and even the thing you thought you couldn’t do. You may be surprised on how much you have accomplished yet again. Our lives don’t have to be put on hold because we’ve hit a milestone in our lives. The purpose of life is to keep on going.
We’re still in the first few weeks of January, take advantage of this time to journal, self-reflect and see what it is that you really want to do next. Then get a plan, work it, and achieve it. There is nothing stopping you. So cheers to 2017 a year of new beginnings and a fresh start. The world is at your fingertips. It’s waiting for you to grab hold of it and just go!
Words by Rasheera Dopson.