Are you never satisfied, or always striving for more? It depends on the person.
A close friend of mine said to me, “I don’t think you are ever going to be happy.” To which I replied, “I am extremely happy in my personal life” and “don’t misconstrue my mission for being the greatest in business as unhappiness, just never settled.”
That night, I thought about what he said. Was I lying to myself about my level of happiness in business, in life, in adventure? I sat at my kitchen table thinking about this late into the night (my brain works in wacky ways). And then I concluded, he was wrong. Here’s why.
This friend of mine lost his mother at a youngish age. I can’t imagine how painful it is to no longer be able to talk to a parent because I have the tremendous fortune of still having both my parents. I cannot relate to him and he can’t relate to me. Perhaps relate is the wrong word — it’s more that our scopes are different.
You see, he has had the scope of bottom for much of his life. He has had a worst day ever that is arguably worse than my worst day ever. This means his understanding of sadness, loneliness is different than mine. I don’t think happiness is the same for everyone. Your happiness chart is created by the experiences you go through in life. And everyone’s is different which means the broad evaluation of happiness, in my opinion, is false.
In business, I am not settled. I am very driven to build something extremely special, and I hope I can find great people along the way who want to build it with me. Not being satisfied is different than happiness.
My perception of myself, though, is that I have the ability to bucket parts of my life — my work and my life (even though my work is my life). What I mean is that when I get home, hear my oldest son say “dada,” my youngest son get a smile from ear to ear when he sees me, and have my wife welcome me with a hug and a kiss — my life, at that moment is perfect. And, as long as the perfect moments outweigh the non-perfect, my happiness comes at a highly satisfying level.
As my life continues, what may frustrate me in my work life today and prevent me from smelling the roses may seem, although flawed, perfect in the future. I do agree with my friend that life is short, he certainly understands that, and that celebrating the little successes is necessary and dwelling on the bumps is not healthy. I appreciate that advice and enjoy learning from his deeper scope, knowledge and chart of happiness.