I want you to be dissatisfied, dissatisfied with your work, your play, your free time, your relationships, your goals, your hopes and your dreams. In short, I want you to be dissatisfied with your entire life as you are currently living it.
Before you ask, “What’s wrong with you”, hear me out. I think the word dissatisfaction has gotten too much bad press. Are you completely, supremely satisfied with every aspect of your life? Are there things you would change?
If the answer is no it means you are quite pleased with the status quo. You are satisfied with everything. You are in attitudinal equilibrium with everything and everyone around you. You are beyond even a petty annoyance. Your life is complete. You are content. You are serene. There is no desire to improve anything, nor is there any hope to improve anything.
This is complacency and it sounds like death by boredom to me. If I am not growing, stretching, it means I am stagnant. I would rather assume room temperature than reach a state where I no longer want to advance in this life, to learn a new skill, take on a new role, innovate or create something new.
If there are things you would change about yourself or your life then by definition you are dissatisfied with them. I think dissatisfaction is the greatest motivation for change, perhaps the only one.
Without dissatisfaction there would be no great artists, musicians, engineers, writers, businesses, CEO’s or entrepreneurs, only poor to mediocre ones. Do you think Henry Ford, Ernest Hemmingway, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Yo-Yo Ma were, or are, ever satisfied?
Here are 7 truth’s about dissatisfaction, Gaither’s Axioms of Dissatisfaction, if you will.
- Supreme dissatisfaction is the only path to excellence. It is an absolute requirement. If you are completely satisfied with the way things are you have become part of the status quo.
- The status quo will lead to obsolescence, always. Dissatisfaction will hasten the arrival of the obsolete. To become obsolete just stay the same. The world will pass you by without noticing.
- All progress is the product of change carried out by people who are dissatisfied. Leaders are never satisfied. That is why they are leaders. The satisfied follow them.
- The degree of your dissatisfaction = the degree to which you will change. The more unsatisfied you become with a task, a product, a relationship, a cause or a career the more energy you will pump into changing things for the better and the more dramatic the results will be.
- A willingness to change, although required, is not a motivation for A mere willingness to change is a reflection of insufficient or acceptable dissatisfaction. You must become dissatisfied enough to compel yourself to change some things, if you want some things to change.
- Dissatisfaction without action is resignation. Chronic complainers who boldly state what is wrong and what should be done but do nothing have resigned. They have ceded their power to someone or something else.
- You can be at once both happy and dissatisfied. Supreme happiness comes from continually pushing on your limitations and tearing them down. You do this because you are dissatisfied. Happiness is in the pursuit of dissatisfaction.
Life is short. Begin to actively and aggressively chase your dreams. Shun the status quo. Tear loose the bonds of self-limiting behavior. Throw down the barriers you’ve placed on your own path. My last hope for you, dear reader, is a day of complete and utter happiness in the pursuit of dissatisfaction.