Happiness vs. Satisfaction

At one point in my life I struggled with the idea of how one could be happy with what they have and yet constantly strive to be better at the same time. How could a musician not like what they are hearing in the practice room and also be content with their job, for example? Or how could a sprinter love what they do, knowing that they will never be good ‘enough’? That there will always be more work to do and unsatisfactory results, coupled with the knowledge that that is okay?

P.Slo told us the answer during my first year at Credo Chamber Music. This dichotomy…is not really a contradiction. We are meant to be happy, but not satisfied. These two words, although we treat them as synonyms, have a crucial difference, and we are able to adopt both attitudes at once. Be happy with what you have, and thankful for your abilities and opportunities. But we are not meant to stop there. Dissatisfaction is what enables us to continue striving to do even better, so that we do not stop growing. Happiness happens in the present, dissatisfaction is our outlook on what we can do in the future with ourselves, or long-term goals. It is possible to be both at once, in fact, it is what we should strive to be simultaneously. Simple as that!

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14


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