Why Dissatisfaction Is Good For You
Note: This is the second installment in the Raise Your Havingness Level Series. To find out what the Havingness Level is and how to find yours, click to read Raise Your Havingness Level: Introduction.
Have you ever felt dissatisfied?
I’m gonna go on a wild guess here and say yes. I mean, considering you clicked to read this post. Also –you know- considering you’re human.
Most people spend their lives feeling dissatisfied with all kinds of things. Mostly themselves. Most people also spend their lives judging themselves about being dissatisfied, while at the same time judging themselves for not doing something about whatever it is they are dissatisfied with.
Sounds complicated, right?
Yet chances are you go through this cycle multiple times a day yourself.
Maybe you’re one of the people who are dissatisfied with their job (dissatisfaction), and then you get angry with yourself for not asking for a raise or not looking for a better job (judging yourself for not doing something about it), and then you remember that even though you hate your job or your boss, or even though your work environment is toxic, you still have a better-paying job than your friends so you shouldn’t be complaining about it (judging yourself for being dissatisfied to begin with).
If it’s not your job then chances are it is something else. Your body, your relationship, your house, etc. Every single one of us is dissatisfied with something. And people tend to equate dissatisfaction with ungratefulness.
“He is dissatisfied with this, therefore he doesn’t appreciate what he has, therefore he doesn’t deserve to have it” is how it usually goes.
DISSATISFACTION IS A GIFT
But what if being dissatisfied is actually a good thing? I mean, think about it for a moment. If no one was ever dissatisfied, would anything ever change? Would we ever progress, either as individuals or as a species?
Most of the things that ever made our lives better or easier were created out of dissatisfaction. I mean, who needs a washing machine, right? When you can spend the whole morning painstakingly hand-washing everything. Plus it requires electricity. And who needs electricity when you have oil lamps and candles!
Come to think of it, I don’t see why we stopped living in caves and started building houses and villages and towns! We were surviving just fine in the caves. Sure, we didn’t have food every day, and lions and bears regularly killed many of us, and when it was cold in the winter you couldn’t do much about it, and life expectancy was between 15-30 years and if you somehow managed to live past 30 chances are you wouldn’t have any teeth left. But come on, that’s what life was for everyone, and they were doing just fine! Why change it?
See how absurd it sounds when you use the same logic for something that has already changed? The only reason you can the absurdity of it when examining something far into the past as opposed to right now is that your havingness level right now is very different to the havingness level you’d have if you lived back then.
Most of the people reading this post for example take electricity for granted because they have never lived without it. Your current havingness level includes electricity. So it doesn’t seem absurd to you if someone wants to live in a house with electricity. It doesn’t look like greediness to you. It doesn’t look like he isn’t grateful for having a roof over his head just because he also wants electricity.
See though, electricity isn’t a given for everyone on the planet. There are many people who grew up without it. There may even be people who will read this post and have lived without it in the past. Even in the western world. For many people, it is a luxury. The only thing that doesn’t make it sound like asking for too much to you is your havingness level, that is set way above that level (so congrats; your havingness level probably isn’t as low as you thought!).
If you had grown up owning a private jet, I guarantee you you’d find owning one just as normal as having electricity. Again, if you get a gut reaction to the private jet it isn’t because it’s “too much” or “you’re being ungrateful and aren’t appreciating what you have”; it’s purely because of your havingness level.
So don’t you think it’s time to break the connection between dissatisfaction and ungratefulness?
What if dissatisfaction doesn’t have anything to do with how grateful you are? What if dissatisfaction is merely you knowing or sensing that something can be better than it currently is? That-no matter how it is now, good or bad- it can be improved? Isn’t making things better, more joyful, more efficient, good for you?
And I’m going to take it one step further.
Isn’t it good for the people around you? See, if no one is dissatisfied, no one is going to do something about it, so nothing will ever change. And not all people are often dissatisfied enough to do something about it. So what if you, by being dissatisfied, are a blessing to other people too? Your dissatisfaction may be what leads you to change something no one had thought of changing before for the better. Or it may be what inspires others to make changes. And if you manage to change something successfully, you will be able to help other people do it successfully too, if that’s what you want. Do you still think that being dissatisfied makes you selfish or ungrateful?
HOW TO BEGIN BREAKING OUT OF THE JUDGEMENT OF DISSATISFACTION
In the next few weeks, I am going to show you specific tools you can use to go from dissatisfaction to change. For now though, it is important to start breaking out of the judgement that accompanies dissatisfaction.
So for the next week, try this:
Every time you catch yourself being dissatisfied, stop and remind yourself that this is a power you have, not something to judge yourself about. You may not know how things can get better or what “better” even looks like, but the first step to change something is to acknowledge you are dissatisfied about how it currently is. So every time you catch yourself feeling dissatisfied with anything, no matter how big or small, stop and give yourself a thumbs up for that first step. For not settling for something that isn’t 100% satisfying to you.
And instead of going into judgement and counting everything that’s wrong with yourself or your life every day, start counting all those as things where you sense the possibility for something better. Even if you have no idea how you could go about creating it yet.
That’s it for this week! Try it, and shoot me a message or leave a comment and let me know how it goes! And don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when the next posts in this series are published!
This is the second installment in the Raise Your Havingness Level Series. To find out what the Havingness Level is and how to find yours, click to read Raise Your Havingness Level: Introduction.
Read the next post in the series: How To Use Dissatisfaction As A Superpower