Dissatisfaction is a big word for stressed, frazzled, and unfulfilled. It means you’ve considered your lot in life and found it to be less pleasant than advertised. It ain’t a great feeling, folks. Shitty-crappy is a good synonym, too.
How to cure or avoid that dissatisfaction is what I’m going to be discussing today.
Recently in a blog post I’ll link to in the show notes my mentor Kelli Cooper used the phrase, “light, right, easy and fun.”
She was describing how an action feels when it is inspired action rather than us just trying to hustle or force our way to getting what we want.
Many times we hustle our way through our lives only to wind up with a big heaping plate of dissatisfaction at a certain point.
And the thing is, we see people achieving success with that go-go-hustle, don’t-stop-till-you-drop mentality every day.
You can run your life in this way and see results, it’s true.
But going about life in this manner is – believe it or not – the hard way.
It seems easier at first because this is what most of us are taught.
How many times have you heard or seen the phrase “work hard” as an attribute of success?
Many people proudly call themselves hard workers and to say that someone else is a hard worker is a compliment.
And being willing to put forth effort to accomplish your dreams is necessary.
But putting eighty hours a week into your job or business is only sustainable short term.
Uninspired Action = Dissatisfaction
Eventually, you’ll hit a wall – either your health will decline or you’ll wake up one morning and realize your life is going by so fast that you feel like you’re missing it.
I mean, think about it…
If you’re putting eighty hours a week into something long term, are you really enjoying your life?
If you answered yes, then that’s fine.
Maybe being busy makes you feel happy, and that’s awesome.
But for many of us, happiness does not equal busy.
Yes, feeling productive is generally a very “light and right” feeling, but being productive and being busy are two different things.
Let’s say you have a job that either pays you a salary or pays you by the hour.
Usually, jobs like this require you to put in a certain amount of time during any given day or week.
So you go to work because you’re required to be there at a certain time.
You probably have some tasks to complete, but oftentimes even if you complete all those tasks in an hour, you’re still required to stay at work until your shift is over.
This is especially common in jobs where you work with people, like retail, in the medical field or in security positions where you’re there to keep an eye on something.
And these jobs can be very fulfilling.
But for some, once they finish their to-do lists, they start looking at the the time, anxious to get off work.
Granted, there is always something to do at these types of jobs, but some don’t enjoy this type of employment because it doesn’t feel satisfying.
I mean, you can straighten and clean something every time a customer messes it up, but if you don’t actually enjoy cleaning up after other people you may find yourself feeling deflated by your work rather than energized by it.
And your to-do list at these jobs may be endless, so it ends up feeling like busywork.
Retail – again – is famous for this.
They may require you to move things around in the store constantly – moving fixtures and merchandise from one part of the store to another (something that really annoys customers, btw – don’t you hate it when your grocery store moves the peanut butter?) but if you don’t see the point in all this movement, it’ll feel like busywork.
Busywork, for anyone unfamiliar with the term, is like a teacher giving lots of similar worksheets to students for the last ten minutes of a class.
The point of it isn’t to actually help students actively learn something, it’s to keep them occupied until the bell rings so they won’t disrupt class.
Me personally, I’m not a fan.
If you don’t feel like what you do is important or really matters, it’s easy for dissatisfaction to settle in.
And granted, happiness comes from within so if we change our mindset about our jobs, no matter what our job is, we can feel happier.
But at the end of the day, if we don’t feel productive or like our work is important, then it’s highly unlikely we’ll feel like it’s “light, right, easy and fun.”
So how do we get rid of dissatisfaction?
Well, like I just mentioned, you can alter your mindset.
We get to decide what we think about our situation, and we also get to decide how we feel.
If you feel like all you ever do is busywork, create opportunities to do something meaningful while at work.
If you work retail or in the medical field, connecting with your customers or patients and truly helping them can make your job feel more satisfying and less like a grind.
Our thoughts create our feelings, so if we think thoughts like, “I get to help my customers find what they need,” we’ll feel a lot more “light” about our situation.
Another option is to seek out and find what makes you light up inside.
What is something you absolutely love that you could talk about for hours without batting an eyelash?
Most of my clients are authors, so for them, writing is the thing that brings them this kind of joy.
Wherever your joy comes from, see if you can find a way to do more of that joyful thing.
It could be a hobby or you could even build an entire career out of it, the opportunities are endless.
If you’re looking to make whatever you’re passionate about a bigger part of your life, the way to get there is to take inspired action.
And inspired action will always – and I mean always – feel “light, right, easy and fun.”
What is something you’ve done that you enjoyed so much that hours passed and you didn’t even realize it?
That, dear listeners, is where your joy is.
Now, think about doing that thing.
How can you do more of it?
If you’re a writer, you may be saying, “Jeannie, I want to write but between work and kids and life, I can’t find the time!”
I get you.
So do this: stop a moment and clear your mind.
Take three slow, deep breaths.
From this calmer state, think about doing what you love.
Think about how it makes you feel.
What expression do you wear when you do this thing?
If you’re not sure, go think about following your bliss while looking in the mirror.
Are you smiling?
Do your eyes look wider and brighter?
What’s your body doing?
Does it feel light when you do this?
When I think about doing something I love, I grin, my shoulders come up and my arms come in – it’s like I’m giving myself a half-hug.
I don’t know why, it’s just what my body does when I think about what really makes me happy.
Disneyland comes to mind.
Have you ever seen that commercial for Disneyland where the kids are in bed in a hotel room and the little boy is rolling around all hyper?
His parents ask him why he’s not going to sleep, and he says he’s too excited.
I love that commercial! (Probably because I love Disneyland!)
In the commercial, the little boy is grinning from ear to ear.
His eyes are bright.
His body is bunched up like he’s about to spring at something.
That’s some of best stuff life has to offer.
And it’s about as far from dissatisfaction as you can get.
Think about that feeling and what makes you feel that way.
Now, takes three deep breaths again.
What do you feel like doing?
Maybe you think of more than one thing.
If so, think about each thing in turn and consider how each thing makes you feel.
Whichever action feels the lightest, rightest, easiest and most fun – that’s your answer.
Follow the guidance within you – we all have it.
If you’re not hearing or feeling anything right now, no worries.
Just start doing something and see how you feel.
It could be anything – though I’d never advise doing anything unhealthy.
Maybe you start to clean your kitchen and that feels pretty good.
If so, keeping doing it.
But if it feels lousy, try something else.
Pay attention to how you feel no matter what you’re doing.
Awareness is key to tuning in.
It’s like muscle.
The more you tune in and listen, the more you’ll hear.
You’ll get better and better at it.
Something that helps me tune in is meditation.
And now I have a whole page of nothing but guided meditations on my website!
To listen, go to creativeempowermentcoach.com, and hit the tab that says Guided Meditations.
If you’re using a smartphone, go to creativeempowermentcoach.com, look for a symbol that looks like a bunch of horizontal lines, hit it and you’ll see a tab for Guided Meditations.
Soon, you’ll be tuned in and doing way more of what you want to do.
And dissatisfaction will be nothing but a distant memory