Motivation for progress comes from an end goal. The common belief, and misconception in my opinion, is that happiness and fulfillment will be achieved with the completion of that end goal. In reality, once you reach your end goal, what are you going to do? Set a higher goal.
Say you’re a new runner with a goal of completing a 5K. Once you finish your first 5K, you’ll feel accomplished because you reached your end goal. Will you continue to run 5Ks for the rest of your life feeling content? Of course not! You’ll try to shave seconds off your time and improve your placing in the next race. You train for hours and weeks and months and years for a fleeting feeling of satisfaction. Where is the happiness and fulfillment in that?
Long term happiness exists in the acknowledgement of your progress. You’ll never be completely satisfied with where you are, and you shouldn’t be! Raising the bar allows us to continue growing, but don’t get lost in the hamster wheel of the constant grind. Remembering where you started and how far you’ve come brings lasting satisfaction. Celebrate your progress!