Goldilocks Desire

This past internship hunt I didn’t get what I wanted.

I wanted to work at a big name company that compensated well with work life balance. Intrinsically, internships aren’t that important for me, but extrinsically, I want to impress others with my credentials. I’d sometimes look at my LinkedIn profile and I’d visualize how sweet it’d look with that big name company on it.

This extrinsic pressure reached an all time high for me last internship hunt. Before, internships came to me effortlessly but this time around that wasn’t the case. A big part of it is due to the declining economy and the global pandemic. But even in the interviews I got, I came off as desperate and I found the whole process to be emotionally draining.

What I learned is that there’s a goldilocks principle to desire: you need to want it, but not too much.

If you lack the desire you’ll simply lose motivation.

But if you have too much desire you become your own obstacle. You become filled with negative emotions like stress, anxiety, and fear. These emotions not only become emotionally draining but they also inhibit your performance when given the opportunities as well. Rather, we are at our best when we perform like we have nothing to lose.

I find that this goldilocks principle of desire is a universal one if you want anything. Whether it be an internship, that cute girl/boy, or getting accepted into that exclusive fellowship.


[1] Even though I didn’t get what I did end up landing an awesome opportunity to work at a edtech startup with a serial founder in a position I want to be in. What I’m lacking in big name reputation and compensation I’m making up for in experience.

November 8, 2020

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