How to Change Everything
Satisfaction is a funny thing. It's aim is always on a future target. A bullseye that says, "When this happens, then I'll be happy." We think we're headed there. And all the while the future never comes. We prepare ourselves for a moment in time we have yet to see, for a person of the distant future we have yet to become, for a world evolved a million times over that we have yet to experience. It's in our sights and nowhere in sight. And yet, satisfaction continues to aim straight ahead.
The definition of satisfaction is
"The fulfillment or gratification of a desire, need or appetite."
Here's the issue with our desires, needs and appetites — we think they belong to our future selves. We think: "If I get [fill in the ever-lovin' blank], then I will be happy." But this person in the future, this person who gets all she desires, is a figment. She's a theory. She hasn't spun out of this current chrysalis yet and maybe when she does she'll look completely different than we imagined. Because she's not real.
Real is right now.
Satisfaction aims for the future, but her home is right now. How can we ever prepare ourselves for who we will be "when we get [assumptions, expectations, "goals", etc.]?"
Were you prepared to be the person sitting here and reading this?
Were you prepared to be the person who said "I do" or "I quit" or "Let's do it" or "Goodbye?"
Chances are, up until that moment, you had no idea if you'd be prepared or not. Your identity was on the verge. It was balancing on the threshold of change, wavering before that final commitment. Chances are you didn't approach these big, satisfaction-producing moments with great preparation, but rather surprisingly quick clarity. Because when we drop into now, presence tunes up our senses.
So if we're going to be satisfied, the question isn't "Will I be happy when I get [blanking blankity blank]?" The question is,
what will fulfill me in this exact moment?
It takes a second to find it. We spend so much time looking out for our future selves we forget to care for the self that actually showed up today. But that self is never as far away as we think. We never meet this future enigma of identity, but we do meet our present self every single moment of every single day if we're open enough. If we want real satisfaction, we should be digging into now instead of planning the future. We should be locked into here instead of thinking ahead.
So go ahead and ask yourself:
What's working right now?
What do I see when I pay attention to my sensory experience?
How are my needs met in this exact moment?
And then? Go. Be there.