Biology-onoline.org defines personal satisfaction as “a subjective evaluation, judgment, or attitude expressed by an individual with respect to the attainment of certain goals or needs based on his level of aspiration or expectation.” In other words, how does your life measure up to what you expected or hoped it would be?
Although psychologists are best known for examining people’s emotions and mental well-being, they know that when the “whole person” is balanced physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, the person has a much better chance to feel a sense of personal satisfaction with his or her life.
For decades now psychologists and medical doctors have agreed that regular physical activity is a terrific antidote for depression. Rather than producing exhaustion, physical activity makes us feel more energized. If you have a family, just getting everyone off the couch and out into the yard or park on a regular basis can strengthen not only your bodies, but the emotional bonds of your relationships as well. Looking and feeling better naturally leads to improved self-esteem.
Spiritual health is another part of the balanced and satisfied person. For some of us, the word “spiritual” is directly connected with a specific religion’s beliefs and with the practice of those beliefs. Others say “I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual.” In other words, they may not belong to any particular church, but they still feel a connection with something greater than themselves. Whatever your belief, this connection can be a powerful motivator toward personal satisfaction and balance.
Your job should be a source of mental and emotional satisfaction. People who feel that their jobs have a meaningful purpose express more job satisfaction than those who don’t. Managers often tell their employees about company “missions” and extol “the vision thing,” but even if you believe in your company’s mission, you may feel your own responsibilities have little real purpose. If you don’t have the authority to make decisions affecting how the company operates, or if you are hounded about reaching quotas but not praised when you do, working for even the best company can be frustrating. Too many people work unhappily for years at the same jobs, complaining steadily about how bad it is, and thinking that some day in the future things will change.
But living in the future can mean your present is wasted. It’s extremely important to get present-oriented. Think of success and satisfaction as a road you are on right now-not a far-off destination that never seems any closer. You’re more likely to take the steps that will move you forward to harmony and balance in all areas of your life.
Making the transition from standing still to moving forward begins with a positive attitude-about yourself and your capabilities as well as toward the people at work, your family members, and people with whom you socialize. Relationships with other people have all four aspects of personal satisfaction: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Instead of concentrating on the negative, look for the good in those around you and in situations you encounter on a daily basis. If a problem presents itself, focus on the solution, not the problem. Most problems offer opportunities to learn something new. Instead of yelling at your computer, figure out how to solve the problem. Instead of shouting at your children or spouse, talk to them-or go for a walk or bike ride to burn off some steam and then talk about the problem and its solution. You’ll find that positive thinking and positive action empowers you to move forward past problems and to keep moving on along the success road.
If you feel you are in a cycle of failure, set a small goal you know you can reach with just a little effort. If you’ve been talking about doing something for a long time, but you haven’t done it, take one step toward that goal and allow yourself to feel good about the accomplishment. Renewed self-esteem will propel you on to your next goal.
Why is self-esteem so important? Because if you have a negative self-image, you are likely to become immobilized in an “I better not try it because I probably can’t do it” kind of mindset. Of course, if you don’t try, you’ll never know what the outcome would be, and you’ll remain stuck in the kind of mental and emotional state that leads to boredom, depression, and more immobilization. Your very first goal may be to learn to like, accept, know, and help yourself.
Setting goals often involves making choices, and making choices usually involves a certain degree of risk, but if you don’t make your own choices, you’re a slave to the ones other people-or life in general-have made for you. Certain things can’t be changed, but you should try your best to change anything within your power that is negatively affecting your life.
Tap into the energy source that is within you. Have faith in yourself. Have the courage to set your own goals, make your own choices, and take control of your life. If dissatisfaction is bringing you down, you can take a small step toward satisfaction and success right now. Fill in the form on the main page, and learn about some fantastic possibilities that could change your future.