Finding Satisfaction in the World Today

Article By Dee DeWitt


We have so much to be grateful for … and most of us are.  But what do we do when we work hard to achieve something, and yet we still feel less than satisfied? 

 

Part of the challenge is asking ourselves “do you have enough.”  Part of it has to do with learning to filter everything that the media bombards us with every day … trying to convince us we will never be happy unless…

 

But today’s basic question is “When we have enough, our needs are met, and perhaps even our goals and dreams are being achieved – and yet we still feel empty and unsatisfied – how can we find the excitement”?  In other words, how to we rekindle the magic of our dreams and find satisfaction?

 

Motivation is tough to find in a situation like this.  The reality is that there is no one answer or panacea for this question.  However, here are a few places to start.  Some of these may sound cliché, but they actually do work for many people:

 

Small changes first.  Try to make small, positive changes instead of laying out large goals that take a long time to achieve.  It probably does not appear this way, but making small changes – eating better, working out a little more, starting small constructive habits, for example – are a great way to start feeling some satisfaction.  The challenge is always creating the motivation to get started.  However, if you start with small goals, you don’t need an enormous amount of motivation.  Just start.  Soon you will find that just the act of getting started and doing something will give you some momentum, and soon you’ll be in a upward positive spiral of changes … one building on the other.

 

Stop negative thinking.  Negative thoughts are the curse of trying to live a satisfied life.  You can’t have a lot of negative thoughts and hope to enjoy life.  So … do you want to think negative or do you want to love life and find things to get excited about?  It is a choice.  It also takes awareness.  Be aware of your thoughts and when you catch yourself thinking negative, stop the thought and replace it with a positive thought.  It does works.

 

Focus on the miracles.  It’s the reverse of stopping negative thoughts.  It matters because everything around you has a positive, magical side if you will take the time to look for it … and take the time to realize that you are blessed.  My mother passed away almost four years ago.  I miss her dearly and grieved for a long time.  But the miracle is that her legacy lives on and my brother and sister are closer today that we would have been.

 

Be grateful for loved ones.  We can be hardest on the ones we love.  We know each other so well (spots and all) that it’s easy to unload on each other.  It’s especially easy if we are unhappy, frustrated, worried, afraid … However, I know that when I am around my family I love life so much more.  I’m just happier and more contented.  It doesn’t matter what we are doing, it’s just being around each other and feeling free to be yourself.  Take the time to appreciate your loved ones, and if you haven’t spent time with them lately, try to do so.

 

Try something you love.   I played guitar growing up and was pretty good.  But after college when I went into the job market I left the guitar behind … even though it was one of the few pastimes in my life I truly enjoyed.  Fast forward twenty-five years later … and I decided out of the blue to start playing the guitar again.  I was afraid I would have forgotten everything, that I wouldn’t be any good.  But I loved it, I missed it, and I started back.  It led me to playing guitar in my church praise band beg9inning last year, and it has been a blessing I cannot begin to describe.  It was worth pursuing just for the feeling it gave me to practice at home, and the praise band was an added blessing.  Whatever your passion, pursue it.  If you don’t know what that passion is, try exploring new things.  It could take awhile, but it’s worth the effort.

 

Surround yourself with excited, satisfied people.  I have worked with competent people before, but looking back on it, seldom with people who were truly excited about their work and satisfied with their lives.  More often, they were cynical or negative in some way.  I know these people had an effect on my attitude.   At the same time, when I have worked with people who are excited about what they do, I also get excited.  So try to seek out people who get excited about what they do … people who are satisfied with their life.

 

Take time to renew yourself.  Sometimes you can’t get excited about anything and just feel washed out.  This is a good time to take a break if possible.  Try to get out of your usual setting and routine.  You don’t have to travel on vacation or spend money … just get out into nature, reflect on life, realize how wonderful it is, have fun, relax, do nothing.  When you’re done, chances are you will feel much better about everything, and look at things with a fresh perspective.

 

Help others.  I am not sure I fall into a category of one who helps others as much as I could or should.  But I do enjoy helping others when I can.  I enjoy it immensely.  When I can, I feel thankful for having the ability and the means to help … and it reminds that – even though we are all facing tough times financially – I am blessed to have more than others.  If nothing else, try to find ways to help your loved ones. You’ll feel much better about yourself and your life.

 

“Because gratification of a desire leads to the temporary stilling of the mind and the experience of the peaceful, joyful Self, it’s no wonder that we get hooked on thinking that happiness comes from the satisfaction of desires.  This is the meaning of the old adage, ‘Joy is not in things, it is in us.’ “
-Joan Borysenko

 

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Posted on 6 May, 2009 in Balance, Career, Gratitude, Happiness, Motivation
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