Sunday, 12 October 2014

Striving Towards X...

What exactly is satisfaction? And from what well does it spring? Is true satisfaction really attainable. Or is it like happiness, that elusive high you chase and gain, only to lose and chase again? What is true satisfaction? Can it like a retirement, be planned towards? Or is this an onion-like philosophical question which leads towards a path of multiple question complexity?
Is it being happy with what you have? If so, at what point do we distinguish satisfaction from complacency? And really, what is complacency and why is it given such a negative tint. If complacency is going with the flow and accepting things as they are, then with what justification do we accuse someone who refuses to strive? Who is "satisfied” with things as they are? I ask honestly.
Is it doing what you love? The “starving artist” personae is perhaps the most clich├ęd description that dangles as a question in my head. Is a hungry artist satisfied? Why do governments keep losing social workers to the more commercially fulfilling private sectors? Or am I asking too simplistic a question? Can I be satisfied with what I do yet unsatisfied with what I get? Or satisfied with what I get yet unsatisfied in what I do? Does a balance exist?

Is a part of it found in financial security? If so, how then  does our chase for this arm of satisfaction famously imprison us? Why then do we become murderers-in-waiting at the slight sense of another who we sense may threaten our position? And if some form of satisfaction may be gained from financial security, at what point can we say we are truly secure? Is there a numerical value to it?

It seems that our push for people to be more, aim for more, aspire to more, sings out -  strive, strive, strive! I ask, “to what end?” And I ask this with the utmost honesty, as I really do not know. Perhaps, this will sail down to join the long list of questions whose answers will never be known. Perhaps I will stumble upon the answer as the numbers tumble upon my age.

The Buddhist philosophy tries explain a source of satisfaction as rejecting the lure of ownership. Realizing nothing as truly yours. While on one hand, I think they have this locked down, on the other hand, I think about Tibet's relentless strive towards independence and wonder. And so, while I like its theory, I question its practicality. Is satisfaction truly attainable? Or are we doomed to keep striving? Striving towards x.


  1. Odoyin, you pretty much captured the emotions of this past week. Valid questions that as you say, may sail towards the long list of unanswered ones.
    I do know this, sometimes I'm satisfied, other times I'm not, the cause is not as important as what I do about it. Life happens as a constant swinging between both points (satisfaction and dissatisfaction) and I'll accept both as part of the package.

    1. A continuum then, heh? I agree.

      I believe that understanding the cause of such dissatisfaction is critical to deciding what I will do about it. For example, if I'm financially dissatisfied, I may see the solution as getting more money. If I understand that the source of this feeling is because I'm comparing myself with others around me, I may realize my solution is actually fixing my mindset as opposed to acquiring more. You get?

      I do appreciate your contribution, Joksy. And yes, ultimately we accept these moments of clarity and confusion as a part of this beautiful package called life, no? :-)

  2. Another epic musing there Doyin. I think the definition of satisfaction is as varied as the individual, however I believe it exists in a continuum of complacency (self satisfaction) - avarice (I call it inordinate desire for material things, greed!). Marking the point of satisfaction may be challenging though due to unforeseeable factors but my take is for individuals to enjoy every stage as may be.
    *** Yes, I agree with you- why does complacency carry such a negative connotation?! :)

    1. Thank you, Abigail. Question: Once that individual point of satisfaction is marked and reached though, are we truly satisfied? Or do we then up the stake and strive for more?

  3. This is a good write-up!
    Questions leading to other questions raising more questions, I think satisfaction as a term varies on the various individuals desires.
    Self satisfaction doesn't always have to be greed!

    1. ...which may in turn lead to questions we will never be able to answer. Its fine.lool. Thank you, Folusho. Don't be a stranger. :-)