What gives you satisfaction?

12 August 2022
What gives you satisfaction

What gives you satisfaction?


One of my favourite quotes is:

"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's a day you've had everything to do and you've done it."

Source: Quoted in "As I Said to Denis: The Margaret Thatcher Book of Quotations"

There is something that rings true in this quote. 

Satisfaction often arrives with effort. Applying our skills and resources to an act that results in a positive outcome just, plain feels good. Consider when you last washed your car, if you are like me, you took a few moments to admire the result. It is satisfying. Pride of ownership and pride in your investment increases through the effort put in to attend to your investment. And this is really a trivial act in the scheme of the things that matter to us.

The mantra today is hustle.

Be in a rush.... be more efficient...more effective....more done in less time.

But.....that massive activity applied to the shortcut doesn't always bring satisfaction. It can, but it doesn't always, does it?

I started to wonder more and more about this. If getting things done, and ticked off the list brings satisfaction then wouldn't even more tasks, ticked off quicker bring even more satisfaction?

Well, let's ponder isn't about the task. It is about the value and meaning of the task. Getting the groceries done faster may not lead to more satisfaction but spending the day planning your future, executing a critical business goal or booking the family's holiday is incredibly satisfying.

Like many aspects of life meaning is the key to satisfaction. Knowing what it means, and what is important to you is what creates feelings of satisfaction, achievement, joy and happiness.

When you are planning your next day of activity ask yourself:

  1. What does this mean to me when I get this task done?
  2. Is this task or goal congruent with what gives my life meaning?
  3. If the answers above are no, why do I need to do this task?

My final point is about Question 3. There are tasks we do just because we are responsible members of communities. These tasks need to be simplified and made efficient. If we continually devote energy to things that don't mean much to us, we must revisit what is our meaning and purpose, how I get more of that in my life and what actions I need to take today to move closer to my meaning. 

Be satisfied. Build a life of meaning.

My reflection recently is it's my responsibility to choose the path that has meaning for my life.