In 2017, I completed my Masters in Dental Implantology. I worked a lot of long hours and late nights for three years in addition to working full time and welcoming our first child into the world. I was ecstatic when I’d finished. I had the satisfaction of knowing I’d completed a high level postgraduate qualification coupled with a monumental liberation of my time. I was free, free to do anything I wanted with all this extra time I had.
Then something odd happened. I slipped into a funk. After the initial high, a short-lived, dopamine-fuelled, knees up, I felt really low, lost and lacking purpose.
I was introduced to the term “quester” by Chris Barrow a couple of years ago, a label given to people who constantly need to be on the next adventure, the next quest. They excel in the thrill of the chase, with big hairy audacious goal to strive for.
Questers always get caught out however when they reach their destination. As soon as the quest is finished, and that dopamine hit fades away, they slump. They drop into a deep lull until they reach for the only antidote they know, finding their next quest and the cycle begins again.
You can choose to do something about this, or not.
Some of the highest achievers have this quester mentality, but what happens when you run out of quests, or lose your ability to complete them?
The most important thing is to realise that you are one. I recognised it in myself the moment Chris said it, also identifying himself as one.
I had the same feeling again this week following my talk at the Royal College of Physicians for the ADI Members National Forum on Saturday. That said, I’m certainly not short of quests in my life right now but after all the buzz and excitement over the weekend, I certainly experienced that lull on Monday morning.
Seth Godin might tell me to focus on the process not the outcome.
Jim Collins may suggest I find another big hairy audacious goal.
I think I might just savour the moment for one more day, have some fun with my kids, then get back to work.