Satisfaction - a timeless thing, transient and forever unattainable?
What is satisfaction really; can you ever achieve true satisfaction? - How do we define the term? A sense or feeling of achievement in planning, producing and completing a chosen activity? That sounds about right. And what is it about satisfaction that makes satisfaction worth attaining?
From my life I remember a time of true satisfaction; being in Ikea, heavily pregnant and with a hyper 10-month-old in my trolley, when I received the phone call from my supervisor in Copenhagen with whom I had completed my Thesis for my MA -informing me that I had got a double 1st. I remember this moment like a lightning an incredible bolt of bliss and PRESENCE, a total sense of joy and exuberance.
So, satisfaction is a gateway to presence yet an always shifting beast. It gives us access to being here now, which is all we can ever really want because it is all we ever really have. And if we miss it - were we ever really here?
Where can you find satisfaction in life?
In life we will all feel an incompletion when you are always so busy with the daily routine you have no time to achieve your goals despite this I have found ways where I achieve true satisfaction in my life and my many jobs. For example when I come off stage and I know my soul has been rinsed and I have told a story and effected people. It is the sweetness when I kiss my children's cheeks as they fall asleep murmuring "love you mum". It is the feeling that I have been useful in the world that I matter, that my existence counts.
In my life there are many means of satisfaction; when I completed the 4th edit of my children's novel I felt a deep sense of satisfaction - I wrote the majority of it in two months and then could not complete it for 7 years. Writing the ending was like pulling teeth - totally different from the stream of consciousness experience wherein most of it was written. When I had done it I felt quiet elation.
As though I had re-conquered myself and expanded the possibilities of what I thought I was capable of. Extremely empowering. When I coach a client or my students I usually experience a deep connected sense of satisfaction - especially when new learning’s have been mastered and I watch my clients skip off with new sense of grounding and confidence.
The sentence that comes into my head is I did it and it mattered.
Then there is the gremlin on my shoulder that wants you to not choose happiness that always asks for more and that you can never be truly satisfied. You must find new endeavours to achieve satisfaction. The gremlin shouts in my head. So off I rush to invent another project to plan and produce - and hopefully yet again glide into the creamy cool presence of satisfaction. And for a little while postpones the small uncertainty and that question - am I enough?
I have realised over the years that the floor is never clean for long, the books remain unread and some unwritten, the shopping, cooking, cleaning, exercising, loving, dog walking is endless. You must find this balance a release. For me I became a coach and I put myself on a perception overhaul boot camp.
The How of Happiness
I have found myself on the path to Wellbeing - and delved into a life-long study in the HOW of happiness. After years of research and putting my learning’s into practice I now know that happiness is not the destination, it is the journey. That nothing will ever feel like it is enough unless we decide that it is.
That satisfaction will only be a fleeting glimpse of joy, if at all, if we project product and perfection as our values. That we can and must aim for the presence experienced in process - in trusting that where we are right now is good enough and it is not completion which is the answer but being where we are in all our imperfect incompletion with purpose.
Living with purpose is making the JOURNEY the satisfaction, not the outcome. Every day I practice my mantras, which are "I am enough, I do enough and I have enough". I practice transcendental meditation, which de-stresses me and puts me firmly in the present and throughout the day I do little mindfulness reminders of being where I am. I have practised like this for some years and now the results are significant.
Almost every day in all my activities I do experience a sense of satisfaction and a feeling that I am a meaningful part of a meaningful process. That my life has purpose. If something is left unfinished I forgive myself, feel grateful for what is achieved and commit to completing other tasks when the time is more suitable. You should live the journey, give yourself purpose and you will get a glimpse of true satisfaction.
Take action and find true satisfaction
Naturally, I am great believer in taking action. In challenging oneself to new exciting ventures and applying oneself diligently. What I am advocating is that we first of all take time to acknowledge and celebrate our successes and that we broaden our definition of what success is so that we can allow more satisfaction and presence into our lives.
We all find satisfaction in different means for me watching the face of my children when they come in tired from school and throw their cycling helmets on the floor - then make their way to the Kitchen and pick up my hard work in baking and state "Oooh - thanks Mum!" Yep. I have achieved true satisfaction. You must find what most satisfies you and brings you purpose.
Choose happiness - choose satisfaction!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!