My experience is that in traveling the world, especially in India, especially living in America, and especially being a fairly well-off person, I get to see the rich side, the poor side; all sides.
Rich or poor, regardless of nationality or ethnicity, there’s dissatisfaction everywhere. The world can give us an infinite variety of ways in which to convince us not to be happy.
More often than not, though, people make themselves dissatisfied, and this is because people have a tendency to think that if you’re satisfied, given all the reasons in the world and in our personal and financial lives not to be satisfied, then something must be wrong with you. It means you’re either asleep at the wheel, a slacker, or just downright unmotivated.
Society tells us to think that you should never be satisfied to just exist where you’re at, especially if you’re not doing so well when it comes to money.
I’m here to tell you, though, that it doesn’t matter how poor, or lonely, or entrapped, or whatever you are that you’re not happy with at the moment. If you can’t be satisfied with your station in life now, you never will be.
I’ve heard people in my classes go, “Wait a minute, Harv! You teach on success, and if someone is satisfied with the level that they are at then they’re not going to go for more.” Well, no, that’s not quite what I’m saying, so let’s separate those pieces for a second: the idea of satisfaction, and the motivation to strive for more.
In other words, we have been taught that the only way to succeed is to be dissatisfied, and on some level that seems to make sense because there are two primary motivators: pleasure and pain. With enough pain, you’ll be motivated, right? Under that paradigm, you should be dissatisfied, because if you are satisfied, you’ll never amount to anything, so you’ll never achieve more.
That is the philosophy of our culture. Dissatisfaction leads to motivation leads to action leads to success.
I want to let you know, or remind you, that that philosophy might work for success, but it will not work for happy success. You will not be happy along the journey towards that result.
What if that result, say, making a million dollars, takes 5, 10, or 20 years?
You’ve made your $1 million…great! You look at your moneybag and go, “Oh, I am so happy! I’m a millionaire! This was my goal, and I’ve achieved it! Yay! Let’s have a party!”
You have your party, but what happens two weeks later, though? Reality sets in. Actually, not much has really changed at all other than the fact that you have a bigger bank account and can afford a few more things. I mean, what’s a million dollars these days, anyway?
Look, when I got my first million, I thought I was going to buy a gorgeous home. But then you have to think about savings, investments, putting kids through school, helping your parents with their stuff. You start looking at houses with $300,000 or $400,000 down, and then there’s still a big mortgage. Now you’ve got to earn a bunch more money, yes? Maybe $3 million, or $4 million, or $5 million might do it.
So, under this philosophy of success, let’s be dissatisfied again! Let’s lose our happiness over that first million, and let’s go for that $5 million which might take another 5 or 10 or 20 years.
Can you see what a crappy strategy this is for happiness? Is there another option here?
What if you weren’t motivated by dissatisfaction? What if you were motivated by progress? What if you were motivated by passion instead of dissatisfaction and pain?
In other words, what if you were fully satisfied right now?
Maybe it’s time to change the definition of happiness/satisfaction from laughter, fun, excitement, achievement and such; all those things that we deem as “happy.” I want to change that to something that we can conceivably, realistically attain at least most of the time.
That definition is contentment.
You don’t have to be thrilled every minute to be happy. You just have to be able to say, “I am content, right this second, right this moment.” In other words, it’s all about being harmonious with the present moment.
That doesn’t mean being satisfied with an intolerable situation. It means knowing that despite tough situations you have the confidence in yourself and in the universe that this too shall pass, and that you will find ways to overcome that which does stand in the way of your success.
It means taking a balanced approach to life. You take it all in as it comes–the good, the bad, and the ugly–so that you can find joy and possibility in all that life gives us in every moment.
Can you do that? Are you doing that?
By T. Harv Eker, Creator of
Secrets of a Spiritual Millionaire