The Paradise Springboard Approach Rather Than The Paradise Syndrome Approach

Many people work towards achieving their version of paradise. They may aim to achieve a specific goal, become financially independent or win their equivalent of a gold medal. Different people then react in different ways.

Some people achieve their version of paradise and use it as a springboard. They aim to do things that give them positive energy, follow their principles and translate these into doing projects.

Some people achieve their version of paradise but feel empty or do not know what to do next. They experience what has been called paradise syndrome. Here is one explanation of this feeling.

It is sometimes experienced by ambitious people who worked to achieve their version of success but, after a short burst of fulfilment, do not feel satisfied. It is often applied to individuals who achieve great wealth and success who feel they no longer have anything left to accomplish.

Some people who experience feeling this may feel disappointed and even ashamed of themselves. They feel grateful and much luckier than most people in the world. But they are not sure of what to do next.

This sounds like a ridiculous situation but it sometimes arises when people experience post-purpose syndrome. They may previously have followed a certain schedule when aiming to sell their business, win an Olympic title or reach another target.

They may reach their goal but, after a short while, feel empty. They may need to find new aims to work towards. There are several things a person can do to take this step. These include focusing on the following themes.

Positive Energy

This is a tried and trusted approach. It involves a person doing things that give them positive energy. They may choose to do these things in their personal or professional life.

Why take this approach? Energy is life. Doing these things can help a person: a) to feel alive; b) to be fully absorbed in the activities; c) to generate creative ideas that can lead to new possibilities.

One person I mentored took this approach after selling their business. They were fascinated by how Artificial Intelligence could help companies. This led to them attending many seminars and courses on the subject.

The journey involved many highways and byways but eventually they were inspired by the germ or an idea. This led to them creating a new successful business.

The aim of a person doing things that give them positive energy is simply to feel alive. This is the real purpose. Though sometimes it can take them to places where serendipity leads to new possibilities.


This approach involves a person aiming to find and follow some of their principles. Imagine a person has decided to take this approach. They can begin by brainstorming ideas under the following heading.

My Principles

The principles I want to follow
in my life are that I want:

* To …

* To …

* To …

Many people describe similar themes. They may aim to do things such as encourage their loved ones, help other people, do satisfying work, make a positive contribution and fulfil their potential.

Imagine a person has brainstormed their list. If appropriate, they can then summarise these in three main principles they want to follow in their life. These can provide a compass they can focus on following every day.

What to do next? One approach is to focus on one of their principles. It is then to ask:

“How can I follow this principle? How can I translate it into action? When do I want to make this happen?”

Different people pursue this approach in different ways. Here are some of the steps that different individuals took to follow some of their chosen principles.

They helped children with dyslexia to build on their strengths … They organised Park Runs that encouraged people to take care of their health and also meet other people … They raised money for Water Aid and other charities.

They helped to build pioneering business by working as a mentor … They used their expertise to provide marketing services to social enterprises … They created an App that enabled people to organise their various treatments for cancer.

This approach encourages people to follow their principles. People who take this step often feel more real and true to themselves. They also find it rewarding to translate their ideals into action.


This step involves a person doing things that give them positive energy or following their principles. They then translate these into doing specific projects.

One singer-songwriter told me how they had taken this approach. Here is a summary of how they explained what happened.

“From the age of seventeen I devoted myself to writing songs. For several years I had little money and lived with friends. Then came a big break.

“A famous pop star recorded one of my songs and had a huge hit. Suddenly my work was in demand and led to other artists getting hits with my songs.

“At that point I decided to record my own songs. These proved popular and led to long tours around the world. Suddenly I had lots of money and my diary was full.

“I had achieved my dream but it had a downside. It left little space to do what I love – writing songs and doing creative work in the studio. Wanting to get off the touring circuit, I made a decision.

“This led to setting up a specific project to help alleviate hunger. I continued to do what I do best – writing hit songs – but dedicated a percentage of the earnings to feeding people in my home town.

“This is deeply satisfying. I enjoy creating the songs and also get a kick from helping the people in my home town. It is something I intend to continue doing for the foreseeable future.”

Different people behave in different ways when they achieve their version of paradise. One approach is to use it as a springboard. It is to do things that give them positive energy, follow their principles or do specific projects.

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to follow elements of this approach? How can you do this in your own way? What may happen as a result of taking these steps?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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