“Personal satisfaction is the most important ingredient of success” – Dennis Waitley

“’Cause I try and I try and I try and I try,” sang Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, but still, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” Those two lines sum up the experience of most people. There seems to be a never-ending search for satisfaction in life. People try, and they try, and they try, but it seems like true satisfaction is always just out of reach. Like a seductive temptress, satisfaction gives just enough of a taste so that people continue the chase. Forever around the next corner or after the next deal or in the next relationship, satisfaction seems to be the oasis in the desert that vanishes each time we get close.

If you can identify with Mick Jagger’s sentiment and feel doomed to live a life sans satisfaction, I want to offer you a way out. There is a way to experience what you so deeply crave, and it does not involve any Herculean tasks. A few steps will help you move in the direction include:

  • Getting clear about what you want in life
  • Making a plan
  • Taking action

Unfortunately, these steps alone will not guarantee you will feel satisfied. There are plenty of successful people that achieve their goals and yet still do not feel satisfied. There is a secret ingredient that is usually left out of the recipe for satisfaction in life. Even with all of the other ingredients mixed in the right amounts, the finished product still comes out tasting bland without this final secret ingredient.

The secret ingredient is gratitude. Satisfaction is not simply a by-product of accomplishing a goal. You do not have to wait for the close of a business deal or the perfect partner or huge amounts of money in the bank to feel satisfied. Satisfaction is not elusively hiding in the tallest tower of a castle guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. It is all around you every day if you will take the time to notice it. It is in a flower on the side of the street. It is in the embrace of a loved one. It is in the process of doing your job each day with full commitment and integrity.

If satisfaction were truly hidden, it would be in the one place that you would probably never think to look. Satisfaction is inside of you. It is not “out there” in some achievement. It comes with appreciating and enjoying the journey to the destination. While you should take time to celebrate your victories and enjoy the fruits of your labor, remember to experience the satisfaction that is available to you each day. Gratefulness for the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations that surround you and provide an endless supply of opportunities to experience satisfaction. So the next time you feel like singing along with Mick, pause for a moment and allow yourself to be grateful. Feeling satisfied is only ever a thought away.

Let me know in the comments below how gratitude for the little things in your life has allowed you to experience more satisfaction.