Do we have to be dissatisfied to move forward?

By Liu Bathcelor


So this blog was prompted in response to the below article by Tony Robbins, and specifically the below passage..

[in ref, to writing down goals] acknowledging …where you are right now is not where you want to be. Your brain then makes this distinction and becomes dissatisfied.

One of the strongest motivators is a sense of dissatisfaction. When you’re totally comfortable and relaxed, you’re not going to be motivated to do whatever it takes to make things happen. Dissatisfaction is a power that you want. There is real drive when you find some things that you want to move away from. Tension and pressure can serve as powerful drivers of our actions. Use this as a tool to influence yourself so you can start to take actionable steps toward your success.

So …. i’m kind of undecided what i think about this – and in writing this I dont have a pre-determined ‘point’ or ‘suggestion’ upfront – but instead I wanted a) for the act of writing to help me explore it, and b) to open a discussion with you.

So I totally agree with the fact that, yes, being dissatisfied with something does very often give you the impetus to change it.

However … surely we don’t want to ‘hold on to’ this dissatisfaction as our main driver right?

If we do, would a) the journey not be unpleasant, as we have to keep referring back to our feelings of dissatisfaction as ‘fuel’/motivation?

And b) if/when we actually get to the goal, we’ve been so focused on what we’re trying to ‘avoid’ or ‘removed’, all we’ve created is a void/vacuum, and then what happens with this empty space … boom! we find something else to be dissatisfied with instead.

Its a bit like expecting a non-eco-friendly polluting diesel car to suddenly just accept bio green electric once you reach your destination!

So I may have interpreted it wrong, or I’ve over analysing it – however its is something I’ve recognised in my own life, and I guess is probably why it struck me.

Over the past few years I became aware how I always had my best ideas after a period of feeling really down, confused, or frustrated.  I noticed when I found myself not quite being able to ‘see’ the answer I was looking for, I’d keep looking, but in a really intense way that would have me feel increasingly more and more frustrated.  I began almost purposely putting myself in this ‘dissatisfied ‘ space, because I knew it would make the ‘pop’ of the ‘epiphany’ that much better.

And i’m sure many of you will associate with the deadline situation – where we subconsciously leave something to the last minute, because we ‘know’ that we work well under pressure.  I’d argue you don’t, however as you have ‘had to deal with it’, but you did managed to get the result/deadline, we have ‘learnt’ (or we could say ‘made it habit’) of thinking we work best under pressure.  We probably dont, but we’ve just learnt to use pressure/dissatisfaction as our driver.

So if we ‘know’/habit that dissatisfaction can fuel and motivate us – are we not at risk of going looking for it?  And although it may get you to your goal/result – what the experience of that?  Not very positive I’d imagine?

I guess to try and create a positive solution/opportunity from the blog/my rant, it would be as follows;

Instead of focusing on the dissatisfaction, instead create and get very inspired by the positive that you would prefer in the given situation; if you weren’t dissatisfied, what would ‘satisfaction’ look detail?

(Ha! That’s a bit of a self-referring comment/conclusion right?!)

Put negative in – its unlikely you’re get positive out!! But put positive in and, well geeze, my guess would be we might just get positive out!

Try it – even for something simple – and let me know what happens!

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