For many of us, life never seems to go our way.
Our job is too stressful, we are either over or under qualified for it, our boss never leaves us alone, or coworkers are annoying and our clients are too demanding.
Our relationships don’t go the way we want, we are rarely appreciated for who we are, what we do, or the hard work we put in. And we never get enough of anything, we don’t get enough good food or sleep, we don’t make enough money and we spend too much, and our belongings are too few and too cheap to be truly satisfying to us.
Do you feel like I’m describing you and your life? What if I were to tell you that this is a mindset shared by people up and down the country, men and women, young and old, even shared by the wealthy and by celebrities?
It may be hard to believe that someone with a net worth of over a million, bringing in a six or seven figure income, could feel they aren’t appreciated and don’t have enough, but they do, and just as often as anyone else.
So what gives? Why is it that there are so many people, coming from radically different backgrounds, all with the same complaints? And if everyone feels like this, what can you do to stop feeling this way? Money, status, love, or possessions will not make you feel any better, after all.
Enter the rickshaw driver. Somewhere out there in Asia is a rickshaw driver right now. He is probably in his late thirties or early forties. He lives in a little sheet metal and plastic shack with his wife and four children.
Water comes in every time it rains, and they all eat, sleep, and generally live in the center of this one bedroom shelter. Every morning he eats a bowl of plain rice for breakfast, then runs around pulling his rickshaw all day, just to put rice on the table for dinner for his family.
His feet are sore and he is tired every day. His life sounds miserable. I’m sure very few of us would trade places with him. But, believe it or not, he is happy.
How can this be? How can an incredibly poor, ill man with mouths to feed be happier than us, or than a single, childless, wealthy celebrity? What does he have that we are all lacking?
He has positivity.
You see, you can’t ever truly be satisfied with your life. Not if you want to make progress. You need to look at what you’ve got and not think it’s enough, crave more, crave better.
You can only get fit if you are unsatisfied being unfit. You can only get wealthy if you are unsatisfied with your income. And dissatisfaction is good in that sense. The more dissatisfied we are, the more progress we will make.
But when we link satisfaction to happiness, we sentence ourselves to a lifetime of being unhappy.
We allow ourselves to feel miserable and we linger on our sufferings and failures, in the hope that when we are finally satisfied we will be able to love and respect ourselves.
But we will never be satisfied, so, under this system, we will never be happy.
Instead, what we must do is we must disconnect our happiness from satisfaction and connect it to 1) self-worth, 2) gratitude for what we already have, and 3) the process (of building a better life, becoming a better person every day, and gaining control over our destiny)
For example, we can love ourselves and be proud of all our bodies do for us at the same time as we are dissatisfied with our appearance.
A person who is too satisfied would say “I love myself as I am”, a person who links satisfaction to happiness would say “I hate myself”, but a healthy, positive person would say “I love myself and I love my body, but that is why I want to get fitter and look after myself”.
This change in mentality will really turn the world on its head for you. When you accept you can be dissatisfied and positive at once, you will discover that you are respecting and loving yourself more, and you will be much happier as a result.