The Oxford Dictionaries define success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” They define satisfaction as the pleasure derived from “the fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs.” But does one equal the other? Which is better? Which should you choose?
Does Success Equal Satisfaction?
It depends on how you look at it. For the CEO of a company, success may mean a high-dollar car, a big house, and a jet-setter lifestyle. But if you don’t make much money, a secondhand car that keeps you from walking to work in the rain or not having to share an apartment with a bunch of roommates may mean everything to you. But who will the world see as successful?
Success v. Satisfaction
You can have all the outward trappings of a successful life and no satisfaction. Why else would people like Bill Gates give up on the pursuit of future “success” and dedicate themselves to helping others? Because they realized something is missing. Something important. Satisfaction.
Satisfaction, on the other hand, has nothing to do with possessions or how other people see us. Satisfaction is why some people stick with low-paying jobs, ignoring promotions and paths to prestige, power, and money – the outward trappings of success. Satisfaction is why some people show up to life with smiles on their faces and go-getter attitudes. It’s why they go to sleep each night eager for the next day. Satisfaction equals success, no matter where society sees you.
How Do You Find Satisfaction?
These simple steps will help you attain and maintain a life of satisfaction:
· Don’t judge your success against the success of others, and don’t worry about “keeping up with the Joneses.”
· Take stock of things in your life that bring you pleasure and leave you feeling content. Maybe you look forward to getting home to your kids or your favorite videogame. Or maybe you can’t wait for church or coffee with friends. Whatever you find, embrace it.
· As you make plans for the future, think about what you want, and analyze what you expect from those things. Will they bring you lasting happiness, or get you closer to it?
· Take pleasure in the achievements of others. It focuses you on the positive and makes the tough times easier to conquer.
And most of all, give thanks for what you have already. Finding satisfaction in the life you have now will open you up for an even greater future!
“When you are satisfied, you are successful. For that’s all there is to success is satisfaction.” ~ Will Rogers