au · dac · i · ty – The willingness to take bold risks.
I’ve often heard people say that in order to reach great achievements we must avoid a state of satisfaction with our circumstances regardless of where we’re at. “Never be satisfied!” they say. The idea is that never being satisfied can be a motivational tool to help propel us forward. Though I accept the truth that forward progression is essential to individual contentment, there is one key point that the “never be satisfied” preachers miss: The process is the purpose. The very process of working toward great things is where satisfaction is found. It’s in the process that our very purposes materializes and we find ourselves. To this end, audacity can be a means of finding contentment in life. It can be a path to personal growth and personal fulfillment. In a word: satisfaction.
It’s true that people are pretty much the same the day before a goal is achieved as they are the day after. And since any audaciously big goal takes time and many steps to reach, it can be easy to forget about what matters and, well….remain unsatisfied. An audacious goal requires thought, planning and action. It might also require additional education or training. You might have to study and practice through trial and error to learn how best to apply what you’ve learned toward the achievement of your goal. What the goal is or where we’re starting from are two things that really don’t matter because it’s the very process of working towards that goal that’s meaningful. That, is where growth takes place and that’s exactly why it is where satisfaction should be found. The entire thing is a process. It can be broken down into components and intentionally applied and repeated. So, I broke the process down in to three easy steps.
Here’s an example of how this process worked for me. I had a goal to write a book. I had no idea how to proceed so, I educated myself: I googled “how to write a book.” For real. That’s how I started my education. I then took an online course on the topic. I learned that to reach my goal of being a published author that I’d have to break the process of writing and editing down into small, manageable steps. Each sentence required careful thought. I learned a ton; not just about the topic I wrote about or about the writing process. I learned that the creative process takes patience. I gained persistence. I gained confidence. I absolutely found the process satisfying. So satisfying in fact, that I want to repeat it as often as possible. And I want the same for you.
When taken as a whole, these steps can help you to achieve great things while also obtaining contentment and being “satisfied.” There’s no reason to have to choose between satisfaction and achievement. They can and do go together; working at one can help grow the other.
Are there any strategies you've found useful in being content as you work towards your goals? Tell us in the comments below!