The shiny object syndrome

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1 year ago

The grass is always greener

Many people relate to this scenario:

When we were kids, we were really happy when someone gifted us a new toy, with a deep sense of joy that could last for days or weeks. However, soon that feeling began to wear off as what once was novel now was too familiar, running out of Ideas to play with It.

Then, we saw our friends and cousins playing with their toys, which woke a deep sense of envy in us, making us want what they had.

This keeps repeating when we are adults when we decide to practice something new, be It a skill, a hobby, or anything that requires effort, getting us excited about It to later leave it forgotten and seek something new.

What causes this is the "Shiny Object Syndrome", a phenomenon that I will talk about in this article so you can recognize when It is present in your life and what you can do to combat It. Let's begin:


What is the Shiny Object Syndrome?

The shiny object syndrome or SOS is the ongoing belief that there's always something new worth pursuing, usually interfering with what was planned previously by the individual.

This results in people leaving good practices which were on the right path to success and mastery for other disciplines, a process that will repeat Itself constantly, leaving a Jack of All Trades with just a semblance of competence.

What separates someone who knows that what he is practicing is not good enough and looks for something better from someone who simply changes projects because of SOS is the amount of time dedicated to the original task and the recurring pattern that occurs.

For example, the situation of an accounting student who changed careers to business management because It suits him better is way different from that of someone who is constantly changing between professions, the latter being a case of SOS.


What can I do about It?

When faced with the idea of wanting to leave a previous goal you should verify If you are suffering from the Shiny Object Syndrome or If It is what your heart wants. Once you do this, you have to keep into account the following strategies:

Hold on

The problem with SOS is that whenever a new idea pops up in our head, we set to execute It, either because It is easier to do than what we are already performing or because of a trend. In this case, you should hold on for more time and see If those Ideas were just that or a change of mind.

Have defined goals

The best thing you can do to prevent the Shiny Object Syndrome from knocking at your door is to clearly define your objectives when practicing a particular activity, giving you things to strive for that will keep you focused on your end goal and distractions out of the way.


I hope this article could have been of benefit to you, providing you with why the Shiny Object Syndrome is what might be keeping you from your goals and how to overcome It, all so you can get the mastery you need to be successful in life. Thank you for your support and good luck!

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