Do you suffer from shiny-gold syndrome?

Do you ever suffer from “shiny-gold syndrome?” You see a new diet plan that promises fantastic results and immediately begin. In a few weeks (or a few days), someone else tells you about the greatest diet plan that worked for them and you promptly switch to their diet. A week later, nothing happens, so you switch to another diet that you read about in a magazine.

Do you ever get closer to your goals? I highly doubt it.

(Of course, this is based on the idea that you have a goal to work towards, which most people never actually take the time to set. If you are ready to truly transform your life, start here to begin goal-setting.)

But you cannot accurately judge a diet, a workout, an idea, a class, or anything in life that you want to accomplish when you refuse to dig in and go deeper. You see, our country is built on surface-y things… that if you have the right car, house, and Facebook friends then you’ll be blissfully happy and content. If you’ve ever had those things, you know that isn’t true. Possessions and popularity do not bring happiness. In fact, lots of wealthy and popular people are depressed, use substances and commit suicide.

I suffer from “shiny-gold syndrome.”

I have a handful of business ideas that I want to explore… right now. So I float from idea to idea to idea thinking this new thing will be IT.

You know what I learned? That I am motivated to explore something new when what I am working on right now gets tough. As long as I can depend on my own abilities to provide information or perform a task and not have to learn anything (a.k.a. not have to work), then all is well.

If, however, I have to dig in and do some real work, then I am easily distracted by the next big thing.

This is a powerful lesson because it can make the difference between living on the surface and finding real meaning in your life.

Consider any new thing you start as a new relationship with the usual stages. At first, you are infatuated by the new thing. It’s exciting and thrilling. There may be some difficulties but you are pumped and push through them.

Then a problem arises that makes the relationship difficult.

Depending on your values, interest and commitment to the relationship, here is the fork in the road.

Here is where most people decide they want out. So they either break it off and return to their usual life OR find a replacement before ending the relationship.

Maybe the decision was right and maybe not, but the fact remains that you never know what it could have, would have, should have been unless you had worked to resolve the problem and find a solution.

I have spent the last two weeks completely consumed with grant-writing. At first, I tried to work on two things at once, but since the deadline quickly approached, I put everything aside and worked on the grant (the relationship). Everything was going great. The proposal was developing nicely and then…

A problem arose. Although the deadline for the grant is this Friday, I set a personal goal to finish by last Friday because I left Monday at noon to bring a group of teens to Tennessee Teen Institute.

After 12+ hour days of writing, developing community partnerships, getting letters of support, prices, etc., I finished on Friday and submitted my proposal to my Director for approval. What I didn’t expect was the major revision he wanted that deleted the bulk of my proposal, like removing a key character in book-to-movie.

I was frustrated because I knew I had to leave Monday and the amount of work this revision required seemed overwhelming. This would be the problem in the above-mentioned scenario.

But I didn’t quit just because a problem arose and look for the next “shiny-gold” thing.

Instead, I found a solution and worked through the problem. After resting Friday night and going to the zoo on Saturday, I spent Saturday night and Sunday afternoon/evening revising and re-writing.

It was hard. It was not fun and I do not enjoy giving up two weeks and weekends of my summer, unpaid, for a piece of paper that may or may not get funded.

I literally got the grant approved to send Monday at 11:15 and mailed it on our way out of town. It is finished and complete and awesome. Instead of blowing off the grant because a problem arose and my time ran out, I dug in, found a solution, and worked through it. I’m stronger because of it and the grant may be better.

That’s what happens when you dig in and work through conflict in a relationship. The relationship has weathered the storm and grows stronger. The infatuation may leave, but in its place grows something more solid than fleeting lusts.

It’s also what happens when you dig in with your relationship with your thing – diet, exercise, communication with your spouse, etc. Only by going deeper can you truly see what this relationship would have, could have, should have been, what results you are truly meant to have.

So I want to encourage you to stick with one thing long enough to see the transformation. If it’s Paleo, keep working Paleo and find solutions when conflicts arise. if it’s exercise, schedule the time to make it happen.

Challenge yourself to live a meaningful life through depth and purpose.

Thoughts? Comment below.






  • Susie Belisle

    Reply Reply June 21, 2011

    Great advice! Thanks for the insight.

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply June 22, 2011

      Thanks Susie! Hope y’all are doing your workouts! 😉

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