Are you satisfied?
Are you content with where you are, with what you have, with who you are?
These are tough questions, tough to answer honestly anyway. We tend to live our lives unsatisfied, always yearning and wanting that next ‘thing’ (job, relationship, house etc.) that we mistakenly believe will fix us.
And yet there is a paradox here. It’s really hard, almost impossible, to create that better life from a place of being dissatisfied. Certainly dissatisfaction can ignite your desire for change; it can even spur you on to start to take action. But, and it’s a big but, in order to create a better life, to move through all life’s moments effortlessly, it helps if you are satisfied with what you have, where you are, who you are, and to use that place as the springboard to betterment.
Let me illustrate this.
There are two guys named John. Both are single. Both want a partner. One is dissatisfied with being alone, and longs to be in a relationship. He is miserable. He believes that life sucks. If only he could meet someone then everything would be OK. You get the picture. The other would like to be in relationship, but is satisfied with his life, as it is, and enjoys the time he has being alone. He is happy and confident. He believes that the Universe is always conspiring in his favour, and that if it is meant to be then the right person will come into his life at the right time. He is grateful for what he has. He believes that everything is, and will be, OK.
Both want a partner, but each is dealing with that want in a different way. One is focussing on the positives of his current situation, the other the negatives. If a prospective partner came along and met these two Johns, which do you think they would be most attracted to; the dissatisfied, miserable, desperate guy or the happy, content, confident one?
Life is like this across the board. The more we accept, and find gratitude, in the moment; the more we are able to create a better life. Happiness breeds happiness, misery breeds misery. It’s that simple.
Wants versus needs
We need certain things in order to be able to live – food, shelter, water, air to breathe etc. As human beings we also need each other – human contact, love, hope, compassion etc. Our needs though are always met. The Universe always provides. Think back, has there ever been a moment in your life when you have not had what you needed?
Wants are different to needs. Wants are our desires; superfluous to what we need, yet they drive us relentlessly. Much of the angst on this planet comes from people’s wants (that are not being met).
Wants aren’t bad. The desire for a better life is a noble one. The problem is that often we focus on the want, and dismiss what we actually have. We overlook all the blessings that are around us to focus on the thing that we don’t have. This turns into dissatisfaction, which creates feelings of anger and misery, and leads to a false belief that if only we had that next ‘thing’ that everything would suddenly be OK.
Truth is, if we could only see how much we do have, we would be satisfied. This satisfaction would lead to gratitude, which would lead to happiness. And from that place we are in a much better position for creating what we desire in our lives.
How to find satisfaction
So how can you find satisfaction with your life the way it is right now? Difficult I hear you say when you hate your job, have no money, don’t like where you live etc. That’s true. I know because there are things in my life currently that I am very dissatisfied with; being in debt and my job being the main two. However, all is not lost.
It is possible to find satisfaction in life.
One simple word: GRATITUDE
I know it sounds trite but gratitude is the key to all of this. It really is.
Being grateful for what you do have brings you to a place of acceptance, to a place of happiness.
From that place all things are possible.
I am dissatisfied with my job. I hate it. I hate the fact that I am tied to it until I have paid off my debts. And yet I am grateful.
I fought for many years with the “I must learn to ‘like’ my job” gremlin. I’m over that now though. I accept that I do not enjoy it, that it’s not what I want to do long-term, and that I am tied to it until my debts are paid. This was a revelation to me; that I could accept that I hated my job.
I am however grateful to have it and that is all down to perception.
I have two choices: 1) focus on all the negative aspects of the job, or 2) focus on all the positives.
If I focus on the negatives then I become miserable and desperate. I lose hope. I see no future.
If I focus on the positives however then – BAM! – the world changes.
How do I find the positives? Simple, I write a gratitude list.
Here’s my gratitude list, for the job that I hate:
I am grateful for my job because:
- it is allowing me to pay off my debts, so that I may become debt free
- I am pretty much left to my own devices, and am able to manage my time accordingly
- I work with some wonderful people
- I am learning business lessons that will stand me in good stead for any future business I engage in
- I receive a generous leave entitlement
- I work in a beautiful building
- it is relatively secure, given the current economic climate
- I can leave at any time I wish
- it is not permanent, I do not have to work there forever
This is just an example. You can write a gratitude list for just about anything. What a gratitude list does is focus attention on the ‘good’ stuff. From that place we can become grateful for what we do have, rather than what we do not. That leads to satisfaction, which leads to happiness.
From that place of happiness I am in a much better position to start looking at what I might want to do next, to build a business, or look for another career.
It’s as simple as this: I can either come home every night moaning about how awful the job is; or I can come home every night accepting where I am, satisfied and happy, and work on my escape plan.
Which do you think is going to produce the best results?
Gratitude is all about perception. There are many ways to look at any situation. Often we focus on what we don’t have, or what we don’t like. Whereas if we focus on what we do have, what we do like, how lucky we are; then everything changes.
What is, is. Fact. What will be is up to you.
Will you create your future from a place of dissatisfaction or from a place of gratitude, where satisfaction is guaranteed?
The choice is yours.