Q: I'm finding myself entirely crazed these days; either my work has me all tied-up questioning myself, or my personal life has me feeling completely dissatisfied, wondering if I will ever find my "way" in life.
This dissatisfaction I feel lately impedes everything and has a way of leaking out over all else. Please help me to look at all that I have and feel good about my present and my future.
A: I do not know anyone who is completely satisfied with his or her life. I suspect that those who say they are are fooling themselves to some extent. That said, some of the happiest people I know are fools.
Here are some common-sense tips on how you can begin to feel better in the here and now!
Satisfaction Is an Inside Job
Many people's lives are an exercise in seeking what others expect of them: career path, friends, lifestyle, etc.
People who lack the self-assurance or initiative to make decisions on their own behalf and chase external expectations can build up resentment and anger, which eventually lead to self-destructive behavior.
These people often develop juvenile behavior, where they "misbehave" or discover a "streak of curiosity" in themselves. This behavior will sometimes worsen and lead to dangerous circumstances, such as drug abuse, cheating on a spouse/partner, gambling, the list goes on.
You are the author of your own story. You are responsible for your own narrative!
By awakening your (sometimes dormant) courage and utilizing your untapped intellect, you can make braver and more responsible choices, improving your own personal and professional circumstances.
Satisfaction Is a Compromise
In order to experience satisfaction, we must carefully balance our obligations with our internal desires.
You may feel a need to make enough money to pay for your mortgage, save for your 5th grader's college tuition and take the occasional vacation with your wife.
But you may also desperately want to spend the year visiting every major-league baseball stadium in the country, fulfilling a passion you've had since childhood.
Remember that the joys of life come partially in negotiating the balance between your needs and wants.
Ah, the joys of being evolved!
Satisfaction Is Not Fully Possible
If the great and powerful Mick Jaeger couldn't get it, how can we?
Despite the litany of self-help gurus, yoga teachers, psychotherapists and spiritual leaders professing insights into gaining universal happiness, the reality is our environment consistently challenges us, making absolute obtainment of that satisfaction impossible.
Faced with life's hardships and disappointments, we cannot help but sometimes feel depressed, helpless, anxious and irrelevant -- unfulfilled and unsatisfied.
You may never achieve all you've ever dreamed of achieving. In fact, giving up on a dream can actually be totally liberating. Instead of panicking about a state you have not yet achieved, I urge you to live in the magic of the moment.
Do not let thoughts about where you could have been, should have been, or need to be dominate your psyche.
Every second is a chance to be more satisfied than the last.
Thank you for your question, and I wish you the very best in your quest.
I love these questions, so keep them coming! Send to "ASK NOAH" at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a profitable and peaceful week,
Watch my appearance on the Dylan Ratigan Show.
For more by Noah Kass, click here.
For more on happiness, click here.