Years ago, working in a large corporate setting, one of the members of my team was a fellow named Stephen. He was really good at his job and had essentially mastered it. So, it was no surprise when he came to me to express his “dissatisfaction.” With that as his opening statement, I assumed that he was looking for a raise or a promotion which, by the way, I was happy to consider given his performance. However, what came next was a very different request than I had anticipated. What Stephen wanted was not money or a new title – he wanted, instead, to ensure that he did not stall out mentally, to ensure that he stayed sharp, to ensure that boredom did not take over. He was looking for continuous self-improvement and asked for the opportunity to engage in a number of professional development exercises. I was so impressed.
As innovator, Roger von Oech, explains, dissatisfaction can be beneficial to the creative process. Without dissatisfaction, we run the risk of becoming complacent, of losing that prod that we need to spot potential problems and opportunities.
So, sure, perhaps it’s not necessary to “fix it if it ain’t broken.” However, might there be a better way? Might there be an opportunity for advancement? For broader use? For improved efficiencies? Perhaps the right thing to do is decide that we are not satisfied with things as they presently are and challenge ourselves to press on for more meaningful outcomes. Might it be possible to apply this principle to our relationships? Could we enhance our connections, our interactions and our efforts to do more together? What are you dissatisfied with?