In a recent interview with the BBC, eccentric and brilliant actress, Miriam Morgolyes was asked a very simple question:
“Are you satisfied?”
Miriam has had a very successful career, gaining critical and public acclaim, including winning several prestigious awards. She has a wealth of experience in radio, TV, stage and film as well as completing a world tour with her one-woman show celebrating the female characters of Charles Dickens. She is now in her 70’s and shows no sign of slowing down.
Despite all of this, Miriam was genuinely surprised by the seemingly simple question. Her reply?
“Of course I’m not! I’m deeply unsatisfied and that’s how it should be!”
And of course, she’s right. Being satisfied would imply it’s time to sit back and relax. To stop looking for the next challenge, or the next way to improve yourself or your life. There is a pattern amongst highly successful individuals:
They are never satisfied.
This phrase is often used in a negative context, but why? No matter your age or goals, you should never allow yourself to be satisfied. Oh, you’ve achieved everything you set out to do in life and your 25? Great – now pick some more goals and move on. Maybe you’re 65 and you’ve finally worked out how to use a computer and the internet. Brilliant – now learn how to set up your own blog.
There’s always something new to get your teeth in to – no matter how big or small. Never stop learning, never stop improving. Never be bored, but most of all . . . never be satisfied.
What do you think? Are you hoping to retire, sit back in your comfy chair and say, “I’m satisfied?”
This was my 19th post for the A-Z Blog Challenge. Follow the blog during April for more writing tips, inspirational life posts, short fiction, film-inspired articles and more songs with audio recordings. Next post – T is for Thief. There’s no such thing as a new idea.
20 thoughts on “S is for Satisfied and why you shouldn’t be.”
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Oh Dee, you are too kind! I read your post too. I have also been nominated for the Liebster award so I will make sure I post for both of them in May. Thank you so much.
“Are you hoping to retire, sit back in your comfy chair and say, “I’m satisfied?””
Yes, actually, I was.. which is why I thought I needed to write novels.. err how does that work?
There was me thinking I was too restless and should be more settled with life.. when all along, I’m not satisfied. Thanks for clearing that one up!
Good stuff for a Monday morning, or any other, and yes, motivating yourself to do new stuff is key to being happy too…
I think I may have leapt before looking properly at some projects I’ve got involved in, but, if we don’t take chances, we won’t enrich our lives.
To coin a phrase, ‘you have to speculate, to accumulate’ and its very true…
Thanks Maria – like your excellent N post says, trying new things is the key to self-fulfillment.
By the way – anyone who wants to read that post should check it out here: http://www.firstdraftcafe.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/n-is-for-new-things-tried.html
This has made me feel much better with myself because whatever happens I’m NEVER satisfied. I must be a truly creative creature!
Thanks Ros – there was never any doubt of your creativity!
Satisfied is an interesting word – I don’t think I’ve ever really applied it except in a sarcastic way (i.e. are you satisfied now?). But reading this I realise that, no, I’m never satisfied. And that is a good thing. But I’m sure it sucks for the people you live with. That endless searching for the next challenge, for perfection, means you don’t know how to rest and be still. I’m sure my other half would love it if I could sit back and say, that’s it. I can stop now.
You’re right – it can be irritating for those closest to you, but it can also invigorate them and encourage them to grow and try new things.
Thanks for taking the time to read the post.
I’ve tried being satisfied. I’ve tried to simply accept my lot in life.
It doesn’t work.
I still feel the need to keep plugging away at the creative stuff I want to do. I’ve had no measurable success in what I’ve already done (in fairness, I haven’t put much of substance ‘out there’), but I have to keep trying.
I can’t just sit by and let life happen around me. It simply wouldn’t be satisfying!
Life is nothing without the challenges we set ourselves, so we may as well try to choose interesting ones! Thanks for commenting, Paul.
I think there is a difference between striving for something better and being ‘satisfied’. I can be satisfied with minimal cleaning because I’m working on something else (like my novel!) instead. I’m always trying something new and striving to do better, but at the same time, I’m satisfied with who I am and what my life is now.
Never being satisfied sounds rather sad to me, to be honest. It gives the impression of someone who is never happy with anything.
Hi Rinelle – you’re right, it can be taken like that as in “Jeez! You’re never satisfied!” and I guess Miriam’s reaction to it (and turning it on its head) is what inspired me to write the post.
There is a difference to being satisfied with your family, home life, yourself . . .or maybe after eating a delicious pork pie (no? Just me?) and just wanting to keep on striving to push yourself towards further challenges. It was the latter I was trying to get at.
Glad to hear you’re satisfied with you you are and what your life is too.
Yes, totally agree, always strive for something better! MM makes me laugh! She was being interviewed a while ago, they were talking about Australia, and the interviewer asked her if she’d been ‘down there’. She fixed him with a huge twinkle and said, ‘oh, yes, many times!’ made me laugh. Made them embarrassed.
Good luck with the rest of the A-Z! I’m doing animal poems and facts and often a drawing as well, I like to make things hard for myself.
Hi Liz. Yes, Miriam is such an inspirational character – a force of nature with a mischievous streak. I like to think of her as ‘the female Brian Blessed’.
You are the second person I know that is also making it difficult for yourself by drawing for your posts as well as writing! You must be a masochist! I look forward to popping over to your blog too.
I understand this theory of not being satisfied. I can attest that at times i am more satisfied than others. There are the days when i am unable to complete many tasks at my job due to problems that prevent the testing programs to work properly. At the end of the day i can feel quite not satisfied.
Hey Joe (sorry, couldn’t resist) thanks for swinging by. Yes, I think we’ve all been there – some days it seems difficult just to make it through the day, let alone be productive! I look forward to taking a look at your blog too.
I am hoping to retire actually! That is one of my goals – to retire whilst young enough to enjoy it! Great post Wayne.
Thanks Dee – I’m sure you’ll retire, but that will just give you even more time to do even more stuff that you love.