Skip to content

UXL Blog

Creating Successful Leaders

Tag Archives: secret to satisfaction in life

From a young age, we’re conditioned to always strive for more. We try to earn top grades in school or become the best athlete. We try to become first chair in the band or the lead singer in the school musical.

And that inclination doesn’t leave us as adults. At work, we try to earn accolades, climb the ladder, or gain recognition from our peers. In our personal lives, we think we’ll be happier if we buy a bigger house, purchase a certain car, join a certain club, or modify our appearances to look a certain way.

Where does it end? When do you actually achieve satisfaction?

Arthur Brooks, author of From Strength to Strength, asked the Dalai Lama this very question. To me, the answer was enlightening. The Dalai Lama said that to find “stable happiness,” we need to “stop striving to have what we want and start wanting what we have.”

If we’re constantly striving for more, we forget to be grateful for what is right in front of us—what we already have. Yes, ambition and motivation are important, but there’s a limit. If you’re always wanting more, more, more, you will forget to pause and enjoy life.

Today, I fear we’re all moving at a pace that is unsustainable and, frankly, unhealthy. What if we were to slow down? What if we were to pause each and every day to think about what we have instead of dwelling on what we lack? How might your worldview change? How might your sense of self-worth and happiness change?

Let’s start small. This week, I challenge you to set aside 5 minutes every day to journal about your gratitude. Jot down whatever comes to mind.

Consider these questions:

  • What are you grateful for right now?
  • What gives you a spark of joy?
  • What do you have that you often take for granted?
  • Who has helped you along the way?
  • What small act of kindness or helpfulness aided you today?

Focusing on what you have (whether tangible items, reliable people, or kind gestures/actions of others) is an important step toward becoming a generally satisfied person. Of course, you’ll probably have moments when you’ll want more of something or desire some kind of change in your life, but let those moments spur productive motivation instead of greed. As long as you keep gratitude at your center, you’ll empower yourself to become more content and satisfied with life. And isn’t that the ultimate dream?

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

Tags: , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: