Posted on October 27th, 2009 by Colin and is posted in Midlife
Dissatisfaction seems to be swallowing midlifers whole. Most of the conversations I have with midlifers are filled everything that’s missing. They are either not satisfied with their work, their bodies, their love life, their options, the quality of their lives or, in some cases, all of it! The more they seek satisfaction the more elusive it becomes. Satisfaction appears to be a slippery little critter!
What’s going on? Why is it today that many midlifers, who have the most affluent lifestyles in recent history, are so unhappy?
One of the big reasons that satisfaction eludes us is that from an early age we are far more educated in the experience of dissatisfaction. Where do we get our role models of what satisfaction is or isn’t and what it looks like – the media of course!
The shadow side of the media
The strongest and most consistent messages we hear about achieving satisfaction are delivered almost single handily by the media. Many many times a day the media seduce us with images showing us what satisfaction “should” look like. An ad of middle aged bronzed couple strolling down the beach of an exclusive five star resort, two perfect dressed children playing quietly while their parents look on lovingly, a silver haired pair standing hand in hand beside a golf cart, a beautiful slender, elegant model surrounded by a posse of adoring males or an immaculately suited businessman getting in to a expensive sports car.
We are bombarded daily with these images – coming from adverts, movies, soaps, and fashion and celebrity magazines. Often, without realisation, our minds become addicted to these pre-packaged assumptions of what satisfaction looks like.
We work hard to fit ourselves into these ready-made patterns that the media presents us with. We keep emulating, we keep shopping, we keep striving, we keep seeking that joyful feeling that comes from being satisfied and full to the brim.
We change jobs, change lovers, change hair styles. We try harder, rearranging our external conditions in an attempt to get the “perfect” combination, believing only then can we be truly satisfied. But, because this “perfect” combination is based on what the media has defined as satisfaction chasing it only leads us away from our deepest hearts desire and ultimate fulfilment.
Midlife challenges us to give up the addiction to the bombardment of success images and engage in the possibility of creating something more truthful from deep within. How many of us truly know what satisfies us? It seems as much as we desire this feeling we don’t understand it practically well.
What does satisfaction mean to you?
Start by looking at what satisfaction means to you. Notice where the feeling of satisfaction resides in your body. How does it feel? It might help to imagine eating your favourite meal and then getting a big hug from somebody you love. Which one gives a deeper feeling of satisfaction? What about buying some vegetables from the supermarket verses growing them in your garden?
The more intimately you understand your sources of deep and lasting satisfaction the greater success you’ll have in creating it in long lasting and evolving ways. I wish you all the best of the coming weeks as you become your own satisfaction detective.
Be awake. Be aware!
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