You are familiar with goals: get a promotion, lose some weight, move to a new apartment, run a marathon. Everyone-- regardless of gender, age or nationality-- has goals and these serve to focus our effort and attention.What you might be less familiar with is how these goals work. Progress toward your goals is charted via your emotions. Frustration and doubt are signals that you aren't making the progress you hoped for while joy is an affective green light telling you to continue on.
But this is only true of brief instances of joy and not necessarily true of deeper and more fulfilling positive emotions.
The problem, where goals and achievement are concerned, lies in fantasies. You have undoubtedly had fantasies about being interviewed on the radio, accepting an Oscar award, or some other stellar achievement. Research shows that when fantasies are too emotionally rewarding they actually undermine motivation. Because you have-- in essence-- already received the emotional reward for a job well done you are less likely to expend further effort.
The trick, where your success is concerned, is to enjoy the moment without trying to enjoy the ultimate outcome before it is achieved. Expect success, but don't dwell on it as if it has already happened.
Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener [quoted from]
I can personally attest to this because i was a victim myself.
I get so happy dreaming the dream life as if i already have it.
And i was so lazy to actually start doing something, at the same time just enjoy the feeling that i already achieve it.
Its a balance i would say.