Why do we feel a sense emptiness?

What causes a sense of emptiness and desolation, sometimes even after success? How can we deal with it?

When you finally achieve a long-desired goal, how should you be feeling? Euphoric, excited, energized, full of plans – right? This is what you wanted, planned and worked hard for... Life from here on should be satisfying and happy.

And yet so many feel this gaping hole right after the achievement of a goal – a void that belies the sense of success. It is almost as if the striving and yearning was far more exciting than the prize that is in your hands now. Young men and women who have been lucky enough to achieve their hearts’ desires and get coveted jobs or academic assignments are suddenly at a loss, feeling this deep sense of emptiness. They talk about it and the pain of that emptiness pushes many into depression and a state of hopelessness.

What went wrong? The pursuit of the goal sometimes becomes so important that it becomes one’s life – and without the task that has been completed now, one feels a deep emptiness. These people have focused so hard on that one effort that they forgot to enjoy life in all its nuances. Not just goals; there are also those who after a day of hard work, instead of feeling relaxed and victorious, experience a sense of desolation and emptiness.

The leads people to depression. But where does it come from? I think it is a result of being disconnected from one’s soul and the purpose and meaning of life. Instead of exploring our own selves and living life to its full potential, we choose to focus our strengths and attention on worldly achievements that give us a false sense of self-worth.

Doing better than others becomes more important than doing the best that our potential allows. If we don’t do well in our chosen pursuit, it leads to disillusionment and depression anyway. So what good is it to us if even success does not bring happiness and satisfaction?

How then can we fight back that sense of emptiness and suffocating nothingness? One way is by gaining a good sense of self. Know yourself. Understand what gives you happiness and fulfillment and stay engaged in these areas. Who am I? What gives me fulfillment? The answers to these questions will give you a true sense of the purpose of your life. Stay true to your principles and sense of integrity. Learn to love yourself and keep evolving. Read. Watch movies. Appreciate art. Be inspired by greater and more creative minds than yours.

A sense of emptiness is also often the result of an emotional disconnect. Some allow the ups and downs of relationships to make them desolate and helpless, while others suppress their own emotions so much that they stop feeling anything deeply enough, thus leading to unhappiness and hopelessness. Allow yourself to feel deeply and express emotions freely.

It is also very important to stay engaged with others. Make friends. Stay connected. Create healthy relationships where you encourage each other’s growth and give each other space. Relationships are very important to sustain us and help us feel alive and relevant. As Carl Sagan said, “You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”

Creating and owning a passion is very important to one’s personal evolution and fulfillment. A life without passion or dreams is a dull and monotonous indeed. What is your personal passion? If you don’t know it yet, look for it. What sets you afire, keeps you happily engaged? Seek it and adopt it; you will never feel empty again.

Do not pursue any one thing to the exclusion of all else, even your very sense of self. Reward yourself along the way by indulging your dreams, your passions, your relationships. Having something interesting and rewarding to look forward to can help you get through present hardships and loneliness, pep up your life and fill up any sense of emptiness or isolation.

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