Types of satisfaction

November 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Satisfaction that boosts self worth:
showing your spending power
others recognising your talent/beauty etc
anything empowering: making something – exerting your power on materials, helping people – proving you can make a difference

Satisfaction that is a relief of a frustration/pain:
sitting down when your feet are tired
an annoying sound stopping
putting down your heavy bags
a massage
going to sleep when you’re tired
eating when you’re hungry
showering when you’re dirty

An experience can be both at the same time. Buying an expensive dress you’ve wanted for a while displays your spending power and relieves the frustration of not having what you desire. Perhaps the experience is extra-satisfying because it has more dimensions – more ways in which the experience is satisfying.

Perhaps exerting order is empowering because you are changing your environment, and also because the disorder is painful. Perhaps it is painful to be powerless. Perhaps it is because disorder can be less visually attractive. Order is about control, and using that control can be satisfying.

There are probably other categories of satisfaction that I haven’t broken down yet.

There is also a difference between the feeling of satisfaction and ‘life satisfaction’. Satisfaction is a fleeting feeling, a bit like contentment but not as long lasting. Life satisfaction is looking at the big picture – your overall happiness with your life. If you appreciate the small satisfying moments you have every day, your life satisfaction will improve. Your life satisfaction is determined by circumstance and attitude. It is harder to change your attitude – it’s a cumulation of your culture and how you’ve been brought up. Siegfried believes that people’s base happiness only changes 10-15%. If it is possible to change your attitude, I believe it is possible to have a bigger difference. Or perhaps I haven’t heard the proper explanation for that statistic. It just doesn’t seem true to me.

If I can help improve people’s attitudes to their lives – if I can get people to notice the small things, at least for a while – I will have succeeded in this project.


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