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Most people want to do something that fulfills them. In each and every one of us resides a unique process of individual evolution. Inherent in us is a desire to flourish and grow, to create and to achieve. We are programmed to evolve, move forward, to discover, to find new frontiers.
Of course for some people this desire, this inner urge is stronger than in others. This urge to flourish and grow and to discover who we are and what we are capable of is often experienced as a feeling of discomfort or even a feeling of discontent.
What most people don’t tell you is that you need a certain ‘healthy’ amount of feeling discontent as this will help you to evolve. Ultimately nothing can ever emerge if there is not a certain amount of tension, friction or perturbation. Even Siddhattha Gotama was discontent, and out of his discontentment found ultimate contentment. He became known as the Buddha.
Without this urge, this drive, nothing much would ever have been achieved, including (so-called) enlightenment, and we would still live in caves. Great civilizations, advancements in science, inventions, great works of art, music, architecture etc., have all been born out of the uniquely human need and desire to create and achieve.
There is however a recipe for ultimate disappointment and discontent. The worse thing is to have this inner urge to flourish and achieve, yet never act on it. This inaction goes against human nature and causes stress and even depression.
Depression often occurs when there is a lack of ‘expression’ in other words when we don’t live our potential. No matter what your needs are or what you desire when you don’t act on the inner drive to grow and flourish it will rarely lead to achieving anything much. This is why so many people suffer from 'unhealthy’ dissatisfaction.
Many people think they can satisfy this ‘unhealthy’ discontent by filling their lives with material things. They believe that when they acquire all the material things they desire they will be satisfied and fulfilled. This doesn't work. Why? Because if what you think you need, and what you think you desire, does not align with what you truly value you will remain dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
When you acknowledge and truly honor your instinctive human programming to flourish and grow; to align your needs and desires with what you really value, you can achieve what you never thought possible.
But there is one more step that is essential to make things happen. To make it happen, you’ve got to act on it! You must do more than most people will ever do, and that is:
Keep in mind however that the drive for you to evolve will never really be satisfied and neither should it be. Remember that this is your inner drive wanting you to be more, do more and be the best you can be. This ‘creative discontent’ leads you to innovation, motivation, action and achievement.
Remember to live your life according to what is really important to you. And when you consciously and actively allow your inner drive to help you flourish and grow, you will do the most important thing you can ever do; you will allow yourself to express your potential.
It is this process of your personal evolution which will make you feel more content, fulfilled and satisfied more often.
Tao de Haas is a registered Psychotherapist, Social Ecologist and Corporate trainer. He is the co-founder of Minds with Integrity, an i4 Practitioner and one of the co-authors of 'Leadership is Upside Down: The i4 Neuroleader Revolution".