During my school exams, I distinctly remember, as I neared the completion of my paper, I would start speeding up. Not necessarily because I was short on time. I just wanted to get it over with. I just wanted to get to the end. And the pattern continued. On and on. To my college, work and to my relationships. I just wanted to get things over with. There was a certain sense of high that I used to get at the exact moment of completion of a given thing. And here’s the thing. That sensation would go away the moment I completed or achieved whatever I had set out to complete/achieve. And immediately the moment after, I would decide the next thing I wanted to complete. I have been running from one goal to another. Just as society expects one to run from one milestone to another, leading up to one’s retirement and the settlement of one’s kids and grandkids. Only after that are we allowed to relax and take it easy. Recently, I did my first 10-day Vipassana course. Although I was aware of this tendency of being obsessed with completing things, this became extremely prominent during the course. In such a setting where you’re not allowed to speak to anyone, don’t have anything to distract you and are spending the whole day just with yourself, practicing a technique meant to break the barrier between your conscious and unconscious mind, the little acts that often go unnoticed in a regular day now feature very prominently. I kept noticing the amount of times I would rush into wearing my slippers, or just slam every door causing a loud, irritating noise, or wash my dishes in a hurry leading to a larger diameter left wet than was meant to be. I would gulp my food in an instant and would often feel good that I now have more time to rest before the next meditation session began. Even during our meditation practice, the first 3 days are simply dedicated to training the mind to remain at one point instead of jumping all over the place (which, by the way, you can experience instantly if you close your eyes and try to focus on your breath continuously for just 1 minute). Even after meditating for close to 10 hours every day for several days, my habit patterns hadn’t changed. Until I got to learn that the object that we chase is immaterial. What really makes us keep craving for something new, something more, is the sensation of craving itself. It the feeling that we get while we are chasing something, anything, and the moment we’ve achieved it.