satisfaction vs success

Success can be unsatisfying.

But what is success?

Success is the meeting of a goal.

OK, what is satisfaction?

Satisfaction is the feeling of time and energy well spent.

not always partners

Success and satisfaction aren’t always found together.

a tale of success not satisfaction

Consider the IT consultant in his early 70s that has kicked all of his goals from five decades ago like a rockstar.

And yet, with probably a decade or two left in this lifetime, he is still working 9-5, Monday – Friday.

And complaining about every aspect of work-life.

(No, he doesn’t need the money).

The above picture would suggest much success.

However, if I were in his shoes, I doubt I would continue working.

a tale of satisfaction, not success

Now consider an undergrad with ambitious dreams to become a tenured professor in psychology.

They throw themselves into their studies and immerse themselves in psych101 textbooks

This was me when I graduated from Macquarie University.

Every day ends with a brain drained of energy but full of new ideas.

The undergrad has relatively little success compared to his 10 year goals.

However, the satisfaction is evident.

And they aren’t mutually exclusive either.

In fact, success can bring satisfaction and vice versa.

And I’m really interested in the latter. It’s the foundation of a lot of the work in flow psychology and mastery.

Reflecting on this for myself,

Success: 6/10, I’m still early in my business ownership journey and finding my feet.

Satisfaction: 8/10, I’m loving the ride and watching it unfold!

How about you?

On a scale of 1-10, where do you put yourself on the super-scientific success or satisfaction scales?

(here’s a pic of me on graduation day, circa 2007, clearly unsatisfied with someone’s lack of direction).