Hooked on Intermittent Reward

One day the world blows hot, giving you everything you want: successful projects, appreciation, love.

One day the world blows cold, giving you nothing.

This keeps us hooked to a cycle of disappointment. We blame ourselves. We try harder.

In reality, we’re hooked on intermittent reward because it’s probably how we were treated by one of our parents when we were young. One day they were present and showed us a lot of attention, one day they were distracted and absent.

We grow up thinking that if we work as hard as possible, maybe we can change the situation. Eventually we realize that no matter how hard we work, how much we suffer… we simply don’t have that power.

We end up concluding that maybe we don’t deserve any more than occasional happiness. But it never feels right. We do deserve more, don’t we?

Luckily, we don’t have to change the whole world. We only have to change the only thing we actually can change: our attitude towards the world.

We have to go back to that time in our childhood when everything was wonderful… and spit out the thought we acquired, somewhere along the way, that we were “not getting enough” and that this was “someone else’s fault.”

It’s just a thought!

Let your parents, let your spouse, let the world blow hot and cold… that’s the nature of things. It’s not your fault that the world is the way it is….

No, your only fault was that you thought that the ups and downs were your fault. You were young, you were trying to figure it all out. You thought taking the blame would somehow alleviate the situation. You thought it would help, but it didn’t, did it? You weren’t able to change your parents. You weren’t able to make everybody happy. It was just a simple miscalculation on your part, a childish conclusion.

Turn back the clock, friends. Forgive your younger self for having made this universal, understandable error. Remember how you used to be? Let this blameless and innocent self back in. Remember how beautiful you were, how alive!

You’re playing on the swings again, people are upset, but you’re loving life, living only in the present. The world still blows hot and cold – only now, deep down, after years of dreaming – you have realized something very, very important:

It’s not your fault… and it never was.

And suddenly you’re back, back in the love that doesn’t blow hot and cold. The love that was missing.

Your love.

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