Dissatisfaction is the basis of all personal action.
Dissatisfaction is the basis of all motivation.
We often hear we are motivated by pain and pleasure, that we move away from pain and we move toward pleasure. It is actually a bit more complicated than that. There is another layer to behavior.
People stay in painful relationships and from time to time people actually do things that hurt them physically. On the other hand, we all put off doing things at times that would bring us pleasure. We don't eat healthy, lose our excess weight and clean the garage. Wouldn't we be happy if we ate healthy and enjoyed the benefits or lost weight and enjoyed the benefits of being trim or looked at the garage we cleaned and could find the things we were looking for without tripping and knocking things over?
In general we do desire to avoid pain, either physical pain or emotional pain and we do seek pleasure, but if you look at people and their behavior very long you will see there is much more going on than the simple pain and pleasure concept of behavior can explain.
It has to do with meaning and the satisfaction/dissatisfaction ratio.
Have you ever worn shoes that hurt your feet? I am talking about a little and not a lot. Have you ever worn those shoes longer than absolutely necessary? If we are strictly motivated by pain and pleasure why would you wear uncomfortable shoes for a second longer than necessary?
The answer is you were probably satisfied to wear the uncomfortable shoes under the circumstances. You thought they looked good or you didn't want to spend money on new shoes or just didn't feel you had the time to shop for new shoes. You attached meaning to the circumstances and when you weighed it all out, you were satisfied to put up with slightly uncomfortable shoes. Satisfaction over ruled a strictly pain and pleasure view of the circumstances.
So what is going on here? We aren't acting on just pain alone or pleasure along, we act on the meaning we attach to events and circumstances, then we are either satisfied or dissatisfied. Really become dissatisfied and you really will do something.
People stay in bad relationships when they are not dissatisfied enough to get out of them. People that know cigarettes are hurting them keep smoking until they are dissatisfied enough to quit. When you weigh out the meaning of cigarettes to you and the meaning of quitting, you can actually want to quit smoking, but be satisfied to continue. It is that conscious mind/subconscious mind tug of war we often talk about.
When people come to me to change their lives I help them change the meaning of things like cigarettes or over eating or being broke to them. I help them become dissatisfied with where they are. Reaching this point psychologists call “passing through threshold,” we more commonly call it “being fed up.”
If you can get clear on what things really mean to you and become dissatisfied with where you are, then you can change your life, I mean really get control of it.
The clear and simple way of putting this is, “If you want to change your life, become fed up with the things you are putting up with.”
Just say no to them.
Best and be blest,
Scott Hogue CChH
Scott Hogue is a Strategic Life Coach, an Author and a Certified Christian Hypnotist.