Home » Being dissatisfied: There’s a catch. And a solution!

Being dissatisfied: There’s a catch. And a solution!

I recently wrote about how being perennially dissatisfied can fuel us toward continuous improvement and growth.

There is however a catch. The dissatisfaction could lead to disappointment rather than enthusiasm. I’ll address how to avoid that in this post.

—-

Some years ago, I watched an interview with the always-in-the-news Elon Musk. Here’s one part of the interview that stood out for me:

The reporter asked: “When you see a Tesla car, what do you see?”

Elon’s answer: “I see the flaws. The many things that need improvement.”

—-

Now let’s assume you were the proud owner of a new Tesla and a friend pointed out a list of *genuine* problems with the car, how would you feel?

Most people would probably get defensive. And maybe a bit angry too 🙂

So, there’s a contrast here. While the owners of the vehicles seem attached to the cars, the creator seems detached.

—–

Here’s the process:

Step 1: As a builder, you invest your creative energy with enthusiasm. And create something beautiful.

Step 2: You then switch sides to become your own critic. And then actively seek even more feedback and criticism from others.

Step 3: You show up at work the next day with enthusiasm to work on your creation again.

Step 2 is hard. Step 3 is harder. However, unless we can get good at this process, we can’t go very far.

—-

Here are 4 key ingredients that can fuel us in the right direction:

  1. Acceptance: You will never be done. You will always see scope for improvement. What you created isn’t perfect. And it never will be. “Perfect” is a verb…not a noun.
  2. Be grateful for the progress made: You’re here today, because of what you got done yesterday. You showed up. You did great work. You made a difference.
  3. It’s not your creation: Once it’s out there, it’s not yours anymore. You’ve given it away. For the world to consume. It’s now theirs, not yours. You were an instrument, a conduit that helped make it happen.
  4. Remember you have control: If you could show up yesterday, you can do it again today. And tomorrow. And make it better. And better.

—-

“But why go through all that in the first place?”

If that’s your question, you may find this short interview (with the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson) useful.

Leave a Reply

Signup for latest updates

Please wait...

Check your email

I've just sent you an email with a link. Click the link to complete the process. Thanks!

Didn't get the email? Make sure to check your spam and promotion folders.