My boss is a nice guy. However, it seems that he is never satisfied with things. Whatever it might be, it never happens fast enough, or soon enough, or has enough of something, or has too much of something.
I was thinking about this and how frustrating it is for those who work with him. No one ever seems to get a pat on the back. Instead, accomplishments seem to be met with comments on how the task could have been better. There is a quality of achievement in that. It is that seemingly noble idea that everything can be improved. There is no question that nothing is perfect. But given that nothing is perfect, should anyone reach for perfection?
The more I thought on this, I began to think of how such an approach would create a miserable life. I cannot fathom living a life where nothing around me was good enough, where I could not find satisfaction in anything. Certainly we all want some things to be better. But the key word there is, ‘some.’ We do not want to change all things. We may straddle the fence with some things. We might want some thing to be better, but we recognize that, given funds or other conditions, it is good enough and we are happy with it. In short, given all considerations we are satisfied.
Imagine a life where you were never satisfied. You would feel that everything needed to be fixed or tweaked or modified in some way. You could not be happy about anything because something would always be wrong or weak or too much. Vacations would never be long enough, or would involve too much planning and work. Work would never be complete, as you would always want to go back and find a different, better way. Life would be a swirling mass if inadequacies. I do not even want to think of how such an individual would consider the people around them.
That said, it is not necessary to accept everything as it is. As said earlier, nothing is perfect and some things fall far short, leaving lots of room for improvement. But again, it comes down to selected maladies. Things that are obviously poorly executed require work. Things that fall in a middle ground between poor and good need to be weighed. In that group there is justification in wanting to improve some, but there is also peace in accepting some as they are. Like all considerations, there is a bell curve, with a fraction of the things in your life being on the poor side, a bulk being in that middle section of okay, and a small group being on the good side. But if you are never satisfied, do you even acknowledge things on the good side of the curve, or do you always push them into the middle, feeling they can still use adjustment?
Is your life a bell curve of poor, okay, and good? Do you recognize that, given that curve, there is little in your life that is unsatisfying, and that most things are either okay or good and should simply be enjoyed? Or is your life a cliff, with everything bunched on the left of the slope requiring improvement, until you approach good where your graph plummets to zero?
Personally, my life is a bell curve with the okay bulge being rather close to the good side of the graph, and with very little in the poor side of the curve. Overall, I am fairly satisfied. How about you, are you satisfied, or are you one of those who can’t get no satisfaction?