After reading a fantastic blog post from Pointless Overthinking (you can read it first here) it got me thinking about what truly is the reason we become dissatisfied, and how am I supposed to control it. Here’s a few points on why you should be grateful for dissatisfaction and to prevent it from negatively impacting your life, as so many people unfortunately let it.
The Need For Dissatisfaction
Embedded in the lifelong venture of self-improvement is dissatisfaction. Many people turn to self-improvement with intention to remove the feeling of dissatisfaction. Perhaps to the unaware person, every man or woman of success lives a life devoid of dissatisfaction but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, dissatisfaction is what leads all of them to become successful. Here’s an exercise you can do to see the need for dissatisfaction in your life.
Think of one thing in the last 12 months you did that you’re proud of. Be it a new skill, job promotion, fitness level or an improvement you made to your house. Whatever accomplishment it was, you’re more than likely proud of it because it brought your life to a greater standard. Okay so you have that accomplishment in mind, now think of why you initially decided to work towards that accomplishment? The answer I think most of you will agree with is that we weren’t satisfied with our competency in the first place. We believed that we should be earning more, or we should be 10kg lighter or that our bedroom would look better if painted a different colour. The dissatisfaction was actually one of the push factors that got you off your ass and put to work.
Of course there are other factors that play a role in achieving your goals (that rhymed) but you can’t deny that without dissatisfaction you may have settled for the lower standard you were living up to beforehand. When it comes to the self-made millionaires and billionaires of our time, we can accredit a large portion of their wealth to not settling for the life they were living in the past. The burning emotion of discontentment drove them to where they are today.
The Dark Side of Dissatisfaction
This powerful state of mind, and all like it, does not come only with an upside. Dissatisfaction earns its power from it’s ability to have such great impact on us, positively and negatively. We can so easily allow dissatisfaction to destroy our lives.
Use dissatisfaction as a tool for your success, but do not let it control and be the only motivator in your life. I’m sure there’s some of you reading this that have got caught up in a spiral of dissatisfaction, whether you were aware of it or not. The desired combination is to feel happy once dissatisfaction has helped you cross the finish line. But many of us, myself included, have been victim to forgetting that last part—Neglecting the feeling of happiness once all the hard work is done.
Finding the Balance
Happiness is a difficult topic to write about. It is a feeling we all strive for but rarely find ourselves saying aloud that we genuinely are happy. I’ve heard it time and time again, if 9 people tell you you’re amazing but 1 person thinks you’re terrible, you’ll find all of your attention going to the negative opinion. It’s in our genes to solve problems. This is something we cannot change as it has been evolving like this for thousands of years. But one thing you can do is to be aware when you do this.
Notice your achievements and notice your failures. When you succeed at work, home or anywhere, I’d like you to take a few minutes and visualise all of the work you put in to make this success. Visualise the person you were before compared to who you are now after the task has been complete. Acknowledge your failures and use them as the seed for your next task.
Dissatisfaction is a must for someone who wants to be successful, but contentment is needed to enjoy the ride!