Dissatisfaction space

Dissatisfaction is a useful emotion every once a while because it pushes us to reconsider how we are doing things.

The first thing to do when we’re facing dissatisfaction is to not over react. It is a natural, normal thing. We wouldn’t change if we didn’t experience dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Next, create a bit of space – an hour early in the morning or late at night – to think. What is causing it? Are there simple things you can tweak to make things better? Commit to a change or two while you are at it.

And, finally, allow yourself to dive into something and make progress. The best way to harness the energy from commitments is to dive straight into making progress on something that matters to you.

Dissatisfaction is a powerful change agent. It is wasted if we just use it to beat ourselves up or if we try to ignore it (we can’t). Instead, we must view it as a signal to change how we do things.

It is a natural reminder that what got us here won’t get us there..

Unhappiness is a privilege

Unhappiness is our dissatisfaction at a particular situation. On the other hand, an advantage granted to a few is what we call privilege. And, unhappiness is an incredible privilege even if it isn’t obvious to us at first.

If we spend time being unhappy, it can feel as if we have no choice. But, of course, that would only happen if we did have a choice.

Being conscious of this privilege is important because small bouts of dissatisfaction are necessary for progress. It is dissatisfied human beings who’ve made progress possible. But, that assumes this dissatisfaction is temporary and directed at things we control. The moment it isn’t, we inevitably spiral into unhappiness territory. And, that’s largely useless.

So, there are two things to remember the next time you find yourself unhappy. First, it is an opportunity to make things better – to improve the situation or to improve yourself.

Second, it is a privilege. So, it calls for gratitude, not unhappiness.