Are You Ready to Start Over? Let’s Bust the Top 3 Myths You’ll Face

Craig Stanland
5 min readApr 6, 2022

Are you stuck on the golden treadmill?

The golden treadmill is a figurative device I conceptualized and coined to capture the essence of doing work that doesn’t provide you with a sense of joy, meaning, purpose and fulfillment.

You step on the golden treadmill for two reasons:

1. You’re chasing the joy, meaning, purpose, and fulfillment you desire through the superficial — materialism, money, status, and prestige.

2. When you run towards something, you’re also running away from something.

You’re running from your calling.

Your calling is the song that sings within your soul.

It’s what you know you’re meant to do, but you’re terrified to pursue.

Writing, painting, sculpting, entrepreneurship, teaching, being of service, etc.

Chasing materialism, money, status, and prestige will never provide the meaning you desire.

It will only succeed in cultivating a success-sized hole in the middle of your life.

It’s very easy at this point to fall into the trap of numbing yourself in Netflix, porn, affairs, addictions — anything to give just a twinge of excitement and meaning in your life.

The endless pursuit of the superficial is settling for breadcrumbs.

Much like a standard treadmill, you’ll work hard and get nowhere.

The reasons the golden treadmill will never get you anywhere are simple:

  • No matter how fast you run, you’ll never outrun yourself.
  • Nothing external will ever fill you from the inside. Never.

However, it doesn’t feel that way when you’re on the golden treadmill.

Achieving all those things feels fantastic in the moment, right? If only for a second, you fill that void, but you filled it.

But what happens when the moment passes? Quick highs fade quickly, and before you know it, you’re turning the speed and incline up.

Escaping. Escaping. Escaping.

Craig Stanland

I write about my journey from corporate success to federal prison and finding joy, mission, meaning, and fulfillment beyond professional and financial success.