“Never Satisfied”

Cindy said that when her son was in his football days he used to have a sign that said “Never Satisfied”, and it drove her a little crazy…Can someone who is always looking for more ever be happy?

Think about it: if you are always striving, always looking for the next “thing” can you possibly be happy? If nothing ever satisfies you, when do you allow yourself to relax?

Of course, I thought about my favorite high achiever- my daughter when I thought about this topic. My daughter is the kind of person who gets 3rd place in a tournament, smiles and pumps her fist in the air when she hears her name, grins openly for the winners pic, takes the hardware…and immediately thinks about what she could have done better… She’s already thinking about the next tournament as she steps off the platform and walks down the aisle…

Is she happy?

Or does the never satisfied come into play?

As my daughter is a tad busy this week (classes ended yesterday- she’s juggling club celebrations and papers and studying and basketball…) I couldn’t interview her for this piece- I tried but was greeted with an evil sort of laugh… So I’ll give you my interpretation…

She appears to be a regular, happy mainly, content sort of kid. She has friends and pets that she loves. She has ways of blowing off steam- activities that she enjoys. She has balance in her life.

She also has goals. She is rarely satisified with her performance. But she also knows that there is no such thing as perfect. She knows that she is just trying to be the best that she can be on any given day. While the winning matters (who are we kidding-  we all want to WIN) she is completely aware that winning isn’t the only part of the journey. With every ounce of effort that she puts in, she learns a little more. She grows a little more. She becomes more adept at a task…

In most of her classes this semester, the final paper/test grade counts the most. The professors want to see that you have learned throughout the semester- how you started isn’t important- it’s how you finish. What is important is what you picked up along the way…

So are high achievers happy? Who knows? I don’t know how to set up that poll thing on my blog.

But do high achievers have the ability to be happy?

Yes- they just have a different definition of happy than others. Their happiness might be the high of competing, the joy of learning, whatever…it doesn’t matter.

Everyone has the ability to pursue happiness, the ability to figure out what beings them joy…

Everyone has the ability to figure our their definition of happiness and how to achieve it.

 

 

39 thoughts on “Happiness and the High Achiever

  1. As you say, balance in life is the key. I don’t see how someone who is “never satisfied “ can really be happy or content. Happiness comes from accepting what is, in the present and being there with it, not looking at the future.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I thought about that too. I think it’s just a different kind of happiness. They get the happiness from the competition…from the quest… my daughter would not be happy if she didn’t have a goal….even over winter break, she’ll try to fill in stuff off her nyc bucket list….some people love to check off boxes….and the fact that there will always be boxes to check makes them happy….possibility is their drug of choice

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But a goal oriented person knows the work involved. If you want to win you need to prepare. Competition is in the moment when you get the competitors high. But if you don’t prep you won’t win. If you want to stand on the platform, be in the deans list, write an article for the newspaper you have to put in work. It’s a different mindset and way of living. Like, my daughter has a paper due in Friday for her hardest class…she knows she’ll be happy when it’s handed in but she knows lots of work needs to be competed between now and then…she’s not thrilled today, but will be when it’s over

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Happiness and satisfaction I believe are two separate things. I can be happy I won but not satisfied with my performance. High achievers can be relentless in their pursuits but maybe striving to always do better makes them happy.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I would just toss in the idea that striving for goals as a means to happiness is fine, if we don’t become obsessive about it and can realize that nothing outside of us will replace learning to be happy with who and what we are overall when we look in the mirror.
    Competing, winning, achieving, striving to do or be more may mask a need for validation in some. Consequently they may never be able to say that they’re happy if they have to consistently look outside themselves…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As with everything there needs to be balance. You can’t be hyper focused on one thing, or on just winning. Conversely, people who have no goals and just kind of drift probably aren’t happy either

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you’re not truly happy, achieving goals gives something almost better. Satisfaction. The comfort sometimes is short lived. The bigger the goal, the better the job = more satisfaction. It has been attained. It gives something to strive for. So we set bigger goals and push harder to be better so we can get more satisfaction. It’s addicting. Plus the more you can achieve, the more people look up to you. You are strong and unbreakable until you take on too much. Then you are stressed, but you tell yourself you don’t need help and do better under stress anyway. Yeah, I get it! Happiness is an elusive feeling, but satisfaction that’s achievable.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe. For some people achievement might be the closest thing to happiness. Or it might be what makes them happy. What do you think? I haven’t had a lot of time to overthink this. lol. Sometimes if I achieve a huge goal, I almost feel happy. Then I see a bigger goal.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think people are wired differently. I could never tell if my son won or lost a tennis match by his expression because it simply wasn’t that important to him. I’m a very competitive and goal-oriented person, and am a lot happier when I’m winning. In the end though, I think my son is the happier person and I wish I could be more like him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All I’ve learned about talking about happiness is that each person has to find their happiness, and happiness shouldn’t be a goal or the thing we all “want “ but I’m still working on this

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the key to being happy is simply to be your own, genuine self. And in the case of high achievers, if that’s what they truly are, and they’re not simply going from one achievement to another in the hopes of meeting someone else’s expectations or the desire to prove they are “good enough,” then absolutely…high achievers can be happy! It’s all just a matter of listening to our own hearts, and then acting on what we hear. My guess is your daughter is just fine and very happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it depends on the type of high achiever. As a recovering high achiever, with perfectionist tendencies, I can say that I was never satisfied and there was always a next thing. In fact, many of my friends/family would ask me, “what’s next?”

    Next year, I’ll be sharing more about this, but until then, my answer is for me, I was never happy…but I also had other things that compounded my high achievements.

    Also, I hope you feel better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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