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What If Achieving Your Goals Doesn’t Make You Happy?

Posted Jul 01 2012 11:57am

Our lives are filled with setting goals.  Get good grades in high school so you can attend a good college.  Attend a good college so you can get a good job.  Save enough money for a down payment so you can purchase a house. But what happens when you achieve your goals and the emotional fulfillment isn’t quite what you expected?  What if the success is too much to handle?

Take David Smith.  Some of you may know him from the TLC show, “ The 650 Pound Virgin. ”  (Why is TLC obsessed with people who are too big, too small, or bake cupcakes?) David was 650 pounds, and lost 400 through diet and exercise:

When you’re fit, you can lean up against walls, but you don’t have to.

Unfortunately, David’s extreme physical transformation didn’t help his fragile emotional state, built over years of being, in his words, “a monster.” His success was short lived.  Just 2 years later, he has  regained nearly all of his weight :

650 Pound Virgin Weight Regain
David Smith Currently Weighs Over 500 Pounds

In an interview he did with MSNBC, David explains why he went back to food:  “I saw somebody that didn’t know who they were.  All my life I was this monster in my head, and all of a sudden to be this good-looking blew my mind away, I didn’t know how to deal with it… A lot of people were counting on me to be inspiring and I didn’t want to let anybody down but I just felt so bad and I didn’t know how to cope.”

Too often we think about what would make us happy.  How many times have we thought “I would be so happy if I could lose some weight, if I had a bigger house, if I earned more money, if I had plastic surgery….”  That phrase in itself enables us to ignore the emotional issues behind those hopes and dreams.  Ignoring what’s inside won’t make it go away.

David Smith is planning on losing the weight all over again, but this time he says it’s for good. Let’s hope he’s working on the inside as well as the outside.

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