“Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.”
~Thomas A. Edison

I remind my clients (and friends) to recognize their strengths and realize how great they are. I recommend (strongly recommend) that they realize and own what they’re good at, and that they build on those strengths and be proud of all they’ve accomplished. And at the same time I support them to never stop growing and learning. To never stop striving and improving. To never be thoroughly satisfied with who they are, what they’ve accomplished, and all that they’ve done.

Because life – and leadership – is about doing your best to always do and be your best. To keep dreaming bigger, giving it your all, and aiming for more, even while you acknowledge all that’s good, and great, around you (and in you).

There’s always another project we can complete, relationship we can build, and experience we can enjoy, and success is often finding the balance between being satisfied (so that you do enjoy) but not thoroughly satisfied (so that you don’t stop aiming higher). The balance between appreciating what is, and appreciating what could be better.

If Thomas Edison had been thoroughly satisfied, we might not have electricity. If Susan B. Anthony had been thoroughly satisfied, women might not have the right to vote. If Steve Jobs had been thoroughly satisfied, we might not have Apple. There’s a time to be satisfied but not thoroughly satisfied, so that we delight in what’s in front of us, while always aspiring for more.

That’s the opposite of failure.

How has not being thoroughly satisfied helped you?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.


If you want to be effectively satisfied but not thoroughly satisfied, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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Photo Credit: Oleg Golovnev/Bigstock.com

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