The End-of-the-Rainbow Syndrome

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I was running with a friend the other day and we were talking about the places where we have lived and then other places where we would never want to live. A part of the discussion of course revolved around where we currently live and just how we would have a hard time living anywhere else. I commented that as soon as I started coming to Aspen that I just couldn’t see myself living anywhere else except for maybe Mexico someday.

My friend agreed and used a term that I have never heard before. He called it the “End-of-the-Rainbow Syndrome.”  I can see on one hand the blessed gift it is to find oneself at the end-of-the-rainbow, I can also see how it could potentially turn into a dangerous trap. It raised the question, “once you arrive, then what’s next?” Another question… is the end-of-the-rainbow syndrome a situation that could stunt all personal growth and development, efforts in achieving life goals, and ultimately lead to a dissatisfying life?

Success itself can be a trap for some people.  As Tony Robbins said, “when people succeed they begin to party.”  Along with the partying they may also begin to coast. They pedaled up the hill, and are enjoying the exhilarating ride down the other side. Without attention and awareness they will soon find themselves at the bottom of a another climb without any momentum or thought on how to get past the next rise.

People who are successful are goal setters. They set goals that are well into the future such as graduating from school, starting a business, or make a certain amount of income. But what typically happens once they reach those goals? I would bet there are not too many medical school graduates who upon graduation say “that was fun… now to get a job McDonald’s.” They don’t stop there but follow through and fulfill the original purpose of chasing the goal in the first place. After that… more goals are set, and visions for their life are expanded upon.

They may have found the end of one rainbow, but those who are successful in life are also talented enough to find the end of another rainbow to chase; another pot of gold.

If and when you find the end-of-the-rainbow, congratulations! You worked and you worked hard. You worked harder, maybe failed some and then learned to work smarter. Take the break, enjoy the accomplishment but don’t get stuck. Find the next rainbow!

Don’t get caught by the End-of-the-Rainbow Syndrome.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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