Understanding Satisfaction versus Happiness


As a professional mixed martial artist I’ve felt the sting of losing as well as the rush of winning. The euphoria that comes after winning a bout is second to very little in life. However, in the beginning of my career I’d find myself almost experiencing a mild depression for a short period time after the fight. How could I be depressed after such an accomplishment?

What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was putting far too much weight in the fight itself instead of enjoying the journey of preparing and training for it. Now, you might be thinking, “Who enjoys the preparation? The fun is in the fight!” and I don’t entirely disagree; but the truth is I really do enjoy the training and the preparation and I believe most others do too. In comparison to the fight itself of course it’s going to seem a little less enjoyable but when I was just a kid I used to dream of training for fights. The training, the preparing then the resting afterwards is what it means when we thinking about living the life. The dream is the preparation as much as it is the fight.

The problem I was having is that I didn’t understand the difference between satisfaction and happiness. Throughout my training I am almost always in a continual state of dissatisfaction however for the most part I am pretty happy. It’s the journey from dissatisfaction to satisfaction that matters most in the first place. The challenge for most of us is understanding that it’s ok to be dissatisfied and that we can still be happy when we are. If it wasn’t for dissatisfaction it’s pretty unlikely the Wright brothers would have invented the airplane. Dissatisfaction drives us forward and happiness keeps us doing what we love.

So now when I’m training for a fight or working toward an achievement I make sure I take time out of my day to live in the moment, to settle in the dream and appreciate the journey. I truly enjoy the journey from dissatisfaction to satisfaction and it’s that journey which keeps me in a continual state of happiness. As Earle Nightingale put it; “success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” In other words, success is doing what you love because you love do to it. Isn’t that what life’s all about?

By Ricky Goodall, Certified Nutrition Coach

by Verda

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