“He is well paid that is well satisfied” (William Shakespeare).
MANY THINGS WE MAY NOT HAVE, BUT IF WE HAVE WHAT GIVES US SATISFACTION, WE CAN GIVE THANKS. No two of us are exactly the same, and so no two of us are going to be satisfied by the same things, but the world we live in is so wonderfully varied, there is something to satisfy everybody. What we need to do is make up our minds to be satisfied with our own satisfactions. Rather than being seduced by the advertisers and entertainers to want things that wouldn’t be satisfying even if we had them, we’d do better to bow our heads and give humble thanks for our own real satisfactions.
It’s a common misconception that satisfaction is the same as apathy or indifference, but it’s not. Genuine satisfaction doesn’t mean complacency; it means contentment. Satisfaction still leaves room for growth, and it knows how to aspire to greater things. But it also knows how to enjoy and be honestly grateful for present benefits. What it comes down to is this: things don’t have to be perfectly satisfying in order for them to be pleasantly satisfying.
It’s an old suggestion, but it still contains a lot of good sense: simple things are often the most satisfying. As I am writing this, for example, the morning sun has just climbed above the horizon and warmed the waiting world with a golden glow. As I look up from my writing desk and take in the view outside my window, I see something that is satisfying in a simple way. Whatever else I may not have on this day in my life, I have enjoyed something that should content my soul.
But life isn’t just about being satisfied; it’s about giving satisfaction to others. It’s not always possible to do that, of course, but when it is, we should be eager to do it, even if it means going the extra mile. Sacrificing to see that others are satisfied is one of life’s privileges.
You may never have thought about it, but your own satisfaction is a contributor to the satisfaction of those around you. It’s one of life’s most refreshing joys to know and work with people who are at peace within themselves, and so we do everyone we deal with a favor when we choose to be satisfied. Not apathetic, mind you. But satisfied.
“Let a man’s talents or virtues be what they may, we only feel satisfaction in his society as he is satisfied in himself” (William Hazlitt).