Thoughts on satisfaction

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I wanted to write a post about work, about how the last two weeks were tough but satisfyingly productive. I wanted to whinge briefly about the dreaded commute to the office, and how I love/hate showing up in person a few times a week.

That’s already more than enough words dedicated to work. Let’s move on.

I spent a lot of time today thinking about satisfaction, in the context of life, longitudinally over years and decades.

What is the state of satisfaction? How is it different from feeling content? Is it a binary state or is it a scale from 1 to 10? Am I satisfied with my life? Can one truly be satisfied? Were the Rolling Stones right all along?

Too many questions.

First, the dictionary definition:

“Fulfilment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.”

Wishes, expectations, or needs or pleasure? That’s four conditions that are near-impossible to quantify and are ever-expanding as more items are added to those lists over your lifetime. And, “fulfilment” implies a state of completion which could be mathematically measurable, binary or otherwise.

Given how formulaic this equation sounds, perhaps the path of satisfaction is to slow the addition of items to the wishes, expectations, needs or pleasure lists. Maybe even removing items off the list could help accelerate the path to completion, to fulfilment. Perhaps the secret is actually wanting less – the shorter my lists, the easier it is for me to be satisfied.

There, that’s the plan – shortening the lists. How will we actually do that? That’s a post for another day. I will mull (with cocktails) over this and write it into my personal OKRs for next quarter. If you have any strategies, leave me a comment below.

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