Satisfaction Is Not Happiness
Often, people mistake satisfaction for happiness. When it comes to planning their future, thinking about their dreams or setting goals, they are concerned with having what they absolutely need and being comfortable and satisfied. But satisfaction is not happiness.
Why are many people unhappy even though they seem to have everything? Because they have a flawed idea of where happiness comes from and what life should be. Which is why so many rich people are unhappy.
A good life is not the same as a happy life. Just because you have warm food, a stable job, relationships and a roof above your head doesn’t mean you are happy. It just means your basic needs are fulfilled.
Therefore, many people are unhappy because they are not focusing on the upper levels of Maslow’s pyramid of needs.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
According to Maslow’s theory, our needs can be categorized by importance from basic survival to fulfillment needs.
Many of us have been raised to believe we should focus on our physiological and safety needs. And for many of us it is a natural tendency.
But basic needs only exist to ensure our survival. And our survival is just a requirement for our happiness.
Once our basic needs have been fulfilled, and even before then, we should turn our attention towards self-actualization, relationships and social aspirations.
Why higher needs always matter
After all, our survival is meaningless if we are unhappy and without purpose and passion. And many times, our survival needs can rely on our social environment. We need income or support so we can afford a roof over our heads and food. To receive income, we need to have a job or be entrepreneurs, artists, etc.
We are social beings and our survival is more closely tied to our society than we believe. After all, our food, clothing, housing and so on are provided to us from society in exchange for what we offer.
Hence, unfulfilled basic needs (or not fulfilled enough, e.g. appartment too small, poor diet) are not a good reason to neglect your higher needs.
Solution: Focus on passion, not satisfaction
The solution is to abandon this mindset. Satisfaction is not satisfying. What matters in the end is your happiness.
Can you truly be happy about a life only being “okay” or “comfy”?
I don’t believe so!
A crucial step towards a happier life is to realize your misconceptions about happiness. Happiness doesn’t come from material belongings and having relationships for the sake of having relationships. Having toxic friends or an incompatible partner just so you are not alone will definitely lead to unhappiness.
Why am I telling you this?
My blog is about guiding you on your way to strategically improving your life. A good strategy needs good goals. (see my recent blog post)
And if you want to set truly fulfilling goals, you should first define your emotional needs. And what will make you happy.
Satisfaction is not happiness. So you shouldn’t aim for mere satisfaction. Life is an opportunity. Some would say it’s a privilege.
Make the most of it and seek happiness.