Certified High-Performance coach, speaker, author, husband, adventurer, former commando-paratrooper, and tsunami survivor.

The Pitfall of High Achievers: How to Find Fulfillment in Achieving Your Goals


High achievers are constantly focused on the next step. They set the bar high and demonstrate commitment, determination, and perseverance in pursuing their objectives. So far, so good! You must be a bit obsessed with reaching your crazy ambitious goals. But how to maintain fulfillment and not lose sight of what matters?

High achievers push through challenges, adapt, adjust, and never give up. They exhibit courage and discipline, and they don’t accept failure. They keep learning and striving to get what they want. Does that sound like you? Congrats!

However, there is a critical mistake that many high achievers make: they often forget to celebrate their successes. The moment they reach a goal, they are already looking for the next one because they know that they can do better and be better, so they keep going in the hope of finding true intrinsic satisfaction and fulfillment.

Sometimes, despite all of their achievements, they feel empty and confused. They don’t know what’s wrong or what’s missing. So They set new goals, raise the bar even higher, and keep going until they are exhausted. 

Does that also sound like you? Let’s do something about it!

This article addresses one of the key topics featured in the no-bullshit guide to creating success and fulfillment in life and business, where you’ll uncover the 3-part formula to design and live a more rewarding life. It may sound too good to be true, but it’s a system that actually works. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend that you do so now to gain a better understanding of what it takes to reach excellence. Additionally, you can read the 4 steps to reach excellence and learn a methodology you can apply to any subject to speed up your progress.

The Pitfall of High Achievers: How to Find Fulfillment in Achieving Your Goals

How to find fulfillment while achieving your goals?

There is nothing wrong with chasing the horizon and being committed to achieving more. But you can’t keep doing that for years and still expect to perform at your best. Especially if you can’t find fulfillment while doing it. Furthermore, in the process, you may lose sight of what truly matters and prioritize the wrong things, sacrificing your health, relationships, hobbies, and other areas of your life.

Some people spend their whole life chasing the horizon, only to realize that it will never come. They fall into the illusion that it’s all about the goal itself.

Here is the truth: the goal itself is not enough.

If you keep setting goal after goal, never really finding fulfillment when you reach them, it might be because you are after the wrong things.

If you dream of standing on the top of Mount Everest but don’t like mountaineering, you will have a very hard time going through the intense preparation and the challenging ascent. Actually, you will most likely give up. If you think about it, the preparation and the accent are 99% of the trip because you’ll only stand on the top for a few minutes. Does that make sense if you absolutely don’t like mountaineering? No. In fact, if you don’t like mountaineering, you will probably never set the goal of submitting Everest anyway.

But in our professional life, we tend to do that; we set goals for which we don’t enjoy the creation process, but we do it anyway in the hope that the accomplishment will be fulfilling enough. Unfortunately, this is an illusion.

Fulfillment will not come only from the achievement but from the process of getting there. If you don’t enjoy the process, you are pursuing the wrong goal—both the journey and the destination matter.

The Pitfall of High Achievers: When is Success a Success

When is success a success?

I like setting impossible goals and pushing my limits; I love challenges. Do I have something to prove? Not especially; it fulfills me and makes me proud of myself; that’s good enough for a reason. But often, I am too focused on the goal and forget the rest.

Setting goals is important because only if you know where you are heading can you keep moving in the right direction and stay intentional daily. But if you think it is about the goal itself, you forget to acknowledge where you started, the challenges you’ve overcome, and to celebrate the successes along the way. 

By definition, success is the accomplishment of something. But does it really mean something if you have no fulfillment from it?

For success to be more fulfilling, you must enjoy the creation process as much as achieving your objective. Ok, not everything is always great when working on making your goals a reality (sometimes I don’t want to go to the gym, get on another networking call, or record that video), but if you don’t enjoy the process at all, maybe it is time to consider adapting what you are after.

Do not mix up a lack of self-discipline and “not enjoying the process”; those are not the same. Read this article if self-discipline is your issue.

Four tips to not lose track of what matters and find fulfillment:

  1. Set meaningful goals: is this goal you are pursuing yours or someone else’s? Why is it important to you? 

  1. Stay true to your values: is this goal align with your values and priorities?

  1. Maintain self-care: are you taking care of your health (nutrition, movement, sleep, well-being)? What are you doing to recharge and relax?

  1. Stay connected: are you making time for the people who are important to you?

You don't celebrate enough!

There is one more critical aspect in finding fulfillment in the pursuit of your goals: celebrating! Everybody likes to celebrate, right? Well, you’ll be surprised to see people’s reactions if you ask how they celebrated their success! All of my clients say the same: “hmm… what do you mean “celebrate?” 

It’s important to celebrate your successes, big and small. Not only when the goal is completed but also along the way. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and progress, increasing your motivation and strengthening your commitment. When we are too obsessed with the objective, we forget to enjoy the process; that is the pitfall of high achievers.

Slow down.

Turn back and remember where you are coming from.

Look at what you’ve accomplished. Isn’t that amazing? Look at what dedication and perseverance can make happen! Look at what you made happen!

And if you absolutely don’t feel anything, it is time to choose a better goal! (Or admit that you are a robot…)

To take back the example of climbing a mountain, the best part is looking for a mountain, the preparation before, the excitement of getting there, the visualization of the climb, and all the steps leading you to the summit. When you are standing tall on the top, it’s done. You have unforgettable memories and the pride of accomplishment. But everything already belongs to the past, so if you didn’t enjoy the climb, you’d ask yourself, what’s next? Feeling empty and disappointed. But if you enjoyed the process since the day it started, you will be loaded with fulfillment.

The Pitfall of High Achievers: The Importance of Celebrating Success

The importance of celebrating successes and finding fulfillment

Remember that it is not about the goal itself but about you getting there. It is about the process of creation. Fulfillment matters as much as success; actually, it matters most! Have you ever seen a parent push their child to succeed at something, only for the child to feel empty and unfulfilled once they achieve it? Even though they may put on a smile for their parent’s sake, the child’s eyes betray how he really feels inside: empty.

Good news: Nobody forces you to do anything when you grow up. So, own your responsibility in making yourself happy, and choose goals that will bring true fulfillment. Then when you are on your way to achieving those goals, don’t forget to:

Celebrate what you did yesterday!

Celebrate what you’ve done today!

Celebrate what you will do tomorrow!

Remember where you are coming from, honor the struggles and celebrate the successes. 


PS: before leaving this page, answer the following question: What are your strategies for celebrating success and finding fulfillment in achieving your goals?

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Download Chapter 1 of my new book: "The Illusion of Time"

After nearly dying in a tsunami, I dove deep into personal growth, trying to find answers to my questions. I promised myself to live every single day to the fullest and inspire others to do the same. But for that, I had to get better at life. In my book “The Illusion of Time,” I put together 11 lessons to not suck at life and make the most out of it.

Download Chapter 1 of my new book: "The Illusion of Time"

After nearly dying in a tsunami, I dove deep into personal growth, trying to find answers to my questions. I promised myself to live every single day to the fullest and inspire others to do the same. But for that, I had to get better at life. In my book “The Illusion of Time,” I put together 11 lessons to not suck at life and make the most out of it.

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