The song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by Mick Jagger is going through my head today. If he were as handsome as his music is good, he’d be Tom Cruise. I won’t ask my wife for her opinion. We’ve been married for 32 years, so it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t have good taste in men anyway.
What does it mean to “get satisfaction” in your work? I suppose you and I could spend the next year searching the internet for an answer to that question. But here are three keys that will get you started.
- Become aware of your personal escalator
You’re being tricked by what I call “The Escalator Effect.” Imagine yourself standing on the bottom step of the down escalator, facing up the stairs. With each step you take at the bottom, a new step appears at the top. Your drive for progress is always focused on the distant, top of the escalator, so you feel as though you’re not making any progress…that you are standing still. When you see the world in that way, it feels that you never achieve anything.
The truth is that you achieve something new with each step. Each step you take is the accomplishment of a goal that was once at the top of the escalator. You may not feel as if you are making progress, but all the while the future you’ve designed moves toward you at a regular pace.
- Keep a journal
It’s easy for each “step” you take to disappear into the floor without you having noticed its passing. A journal will help you to fix this. Write one entry each day, and don’t forget to highlight the accomplishment of your more significant goals.
Celebrate your successes with the staff. When you achieve a common goal, celebrate with everyone so it makes a deeper and more satisfying impression on you and on every participant.
- Gain real clarity about what satisfies you
Very few people give real thought to what satisfies them at a deep, human level. It’s much easier to continue along with the day-to-day “now” satisfactions that give us the illusion of having achieved the right things.
This is nothing more than a distraction. It’s like living on sugar cookies — a grab for quick and easy comfort food. The inevitable result, is that we will survive on junk food, only to find out eventually that we’ve really wasted away.The discovery of what will truly satisfy you can’t be done over breakfast, or on the drive home from work. It takes time, quiet, and freedom from interruptions.
You and I may never “get satisfaction.” It’s a moving target. Still, the awareness of how to begin the search is critical. These are three keys to raise your awareness and put you on the right track.
Mick Jagger can keep repeating the same old songs over and over again, but you and I can move forward.
And the good news is that we’ll probably be better looking.