If you want results,  get dissatisfied

The stronger the vision, the bigger the goal, the more exciting the ambition, or the more aspiring the hope, the more likely you are to feel dissatisfaction with the status quo.

If you want to get sold on your vision, work on getting REALLY dissatisfied with the way things are. Put a bit of shoulder behind it. Get a reason to change.

Please don’t confuse dissatisfaction with unhappiness. They are quite different. Dissatisfaction is a healthy and constructive state of mind. It’s the source of creative genius, and it can propel us to change something for the greater good. On the other hand, unhappiness, sadness, and melancholy, if left unresolved, can lead to depression, illness, and a litany of other dysfunctional and, at times, debilitating outcomes for ourselves and those around us. Clinical depression is best addressed by a qualified medical professional. Transient unhappiness occurs to all of us at one time or another. It can occur when we suffer personal setback, experience criticism, or compare ourselves, our achievements, and our possessions too closely with someone else we think has been cut a better deal. I find this latter type of unhappiness easily rectified through a few simple techniques:

  • Write down a list of everything you are grateful for
  • Every day, remind yourself of this list and whatever else has come into your life that day to be thankful for
  • Remember and focus on what you have already achieved
  • Ask close friends and loved ones to remind you of how wonderful you are, and repay them in kind
  • Remember a time when you felt really happy and re-visit what you felt then
  • Take time out to do something that you love, such as interacting with loved ones, playing with your pets, or working at a hobby

Personal happiness CAN coexist with a sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo. History shows this to be true. It is very interesting to observe how dissatisfaction has played a part in the story of great human achievement. The more significant the achievement, the greater was the dissatisfaction with the status quo.

In 1953, New Zealand climber Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepali Sherpa guide and mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first humans to successfully climb Mt. Everest after seven previous attempts by others (including Tenzing) had failed.

Australian Steve Irwin was driven by his dissatisfaction with the world’s poor capacity to protect endangered wildlife. His legacy continues with wife Terry and daughter Bindi, who have earned international recognition as wildlife warriors.

The story of human achievement is rich with similar examples. In short, if you want better results, take off the rose-coloured glasses for a moment and get dissatisfied with the status quo.

Adapted from A Climate for Change© Di Worrall 2008

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