IS SATISFACTION A MYTH ?


It was the day that marked the beginning of something new and an end to a 3 year old tussle with the glorifying world of engineering where for the time being I seem to have achieved my goal – a highly aspired placement opportunity. But sadly, I feel uneasy!

Sitting in the class listening to some never ending live commentary on the breakdown of insulators I was struck with a thought. That very thought has not allowed me to lie down for 3 days on a trot. The thought revolved around the words ‘satisfaction and contentment’. My horrendously occupied brain started to put forward some arguments that made me think what satisfaction is? How one can become content with his life? The reasons for dissatisfactions and many other questions complementing the above mentioned. A brief period of introspection and silence answered many of my questions but they also raised a question in my mind whether I am satisfied with my life or not?

To answer this question I jumped into my past when I was around 7 years old and had an unconditional smile on my face. I concluded that I was quite satisfied with my life and content with the things that were around. The small level of dissatisfaction could be countered by a toffee or an ice-cream. As I grew older the smile faded away and now in the 22nd year of my journey that unconditional smile is replaced by a smile that has a corporate nature having only one purpose – to appease others. The contentment with the surroundings is lost and the look of satisfaction on my face is all but lost in the sands of time. Some may say that I have changed quite a lot in this journey of 15 years but I know that I am a person who doesn’t love changes even in the minutest of forms. So what is it that has transformed satisfaction into most unfavourable dissatisfaction?

The only thing that I can think of is growing competition. When I was small there was no competition and nowadays one has to eat, drink and live competition. Years ago, this word held no meaning to me and now that I am in the midst of this competition, competing with individuals of different kinds and probably with a motive to outsmart them. The competition to achieve success is the only reason that has ruined the world and has made every person dissatisfied with his or her life. Previously ‘success was a journey’ that was spread throughout the life of an individual and like in a journey, man used to take rest in between and remained satisfied. Or, in short, success and satisfaction moved hand in hand! Success was a long term goal and everyday small efforts were made in that direction. What this competition has done is that it has made success a synonym to hunger- an undying quench and has introduced the concept of fast track success that has made individual strive for more and more. Much against conventional attitude, success has today become a destination (which keeps shifting farther and farther away) rather than a journey who’s each step was supposed to be relishing and meaningful. This very attitude has ruined the essence of success which earlier bestowed both contentment and satisfaction.

Students entering the corporate life (full of drama) think of money as an instrument of satisfaction without paying heed to things that come their way with a gift of happiness and satisfaction attached to them. Managers, employees etc resort to unethical means of acceleration in success (both monetary and authoritative) for the same reason.  They focus on a goal that takes the life away, and in the longer run makes them live one not meant for them but for the good of someone else ( in Richard Dawkin’s sense group altruism).

The hunger for more and more has made man reject things which in the initial stage was exactly what he aspired for.  The well said proverb that ‘A bird in hand is better than two in the bush’ too seems to have lost its comprehension among the masses. It thus is a matter of introspection for each individual to ponder over what he wishes to achieve in life. A realistic introspection will enable one to identify the little contending things in life and realize their true value and worth. Also, it shall prevent individuals from aimlessly running after a ‘moving star’ and relishing joyous moments in the journey called ‘a successful life’.  After all, it is better to be satisfied than to be left with nothing.

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