Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—Robert Frost
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
Life requires balance. When it comes to ambition, the equalizing factor is satisfaction.
People tend to live in the extremes of this balance: They are either much too satisfied with low aims or perpetually unsatisfied with unrealistic expectations. Both extremes keep us stuck. Only when they’re in balance can we grow in both.
Today’s focus is on the latter extreme of low satisfaction. Ambition without appreciation for one’s life and accomplishments is unsustainable. Instead of it driving you forward, it keeps you discouragedperiodsLiving in this state for long periods of time leads to burnout, which sometimes ambition can never recover from.
Satisfaction is key to more than just sustaining drive. It promotes patience through a genuine appreciation for what you treasure in your life. It bears in mind that change is a constant and that what you value shouldn’t wait to be cherished until it’s gone. Gratitude is the real source of happiness in accomplishments.
When times are trying, satisfaction keeps you grounded. It gives courage and discernment from knowing what weathering the storm will bring. It is trusting that the sun will rise again, even if it does so in different ways than before.
So how do we incorporate this crucial part of our being? While what we constitute as a satisfactory life varies, it comes down to knowing your values and having confidence that you’re pursuing them. However, most people are missing the latter half of that equation.
Satisfaction will evade the person who doesn’t make confident decisions for themselves. Avoiding action out of fear of difficulty or finality is the greatest disservice you can do to yourself, and it is a very easy mental trap to fall into.
Confidence in your choices and actions is a crucial factor in gaining satisfaction. To understand this, think about when confidence is missing.
The detriment of doubtful decisions
Life moves on whether you move with it or not. Your actions in this very moment will determine whether you move forward in life with appreciation or emptiness.
There’s a reason you can’t spell satisfaction without action. A stagnant life is demoralizing. It goes against what we were created for, which is to act with purpose. Prolonged inaction crushes one’s spirit, making it harder to recover purpose and enjoyment of life as time goes on.
Action and idleness both stem from decisions. Whenever we make a choice, we’re faced with the reality that with each “yes” we say “no” to other possibilities. This is what causes anxiety around decision-making. But if you don’t choose with intentionality and confidence, a decision will be made for you, and not in your favor.
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.Theodore Roosevelt
Failure is not to be feared. It is incredibly useful when it is learned from. The only way to reach high set goals is by trial and error along the way. By taking previous mistakes into account, you secure greater chances of success going forward. This is pivotal to long-term achievement.
When you choose to do nothing, irretrievable moments pass you by. Therefore it is critical that you make confident decisions each time you are presented when options. This happens constantly throughout our days, especially in our dealings with ourselves. Even the thoughts we dwell on we ultimately choose.
What would change if you gave more decisions the intentionality they deserve? What if you switched up routine actions just to observe the result? Your situation and life satisfaction would reflect your choices. The hidden result will be confidence that emerges as these decisions compound.
Confidence – the game changer
The quality of your life directly correlates with your ability to make confident decisions. To feel satisfied at the end of the day, you must take intentional action to better your present situation and expand into your potential.
Your actions comprise your story. No day is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. You ultimately decide whether your days send you in a forward direction or not.
Choosing confidently doesn’t mean success is assured. No one gets it right all of the time and confident people acknowledge this. However, it does mean you’ve adequately prepared yourself before leaping into action. This is the distinction between confidence and arrogance. Arrogance is an assuredness in one’s importance apart from preparation and work ethic, which serves no one.
The key to building confidence is a series of decisions: It starts with choosing to learn at every given opportunity. You then use your knowledge to form solid ideas and actionable steps. Your repeated follow-through on what you decide will build confidence with time.
You already know what needs to change in your life, and you may have the solution to get yourself there. Take it in steps, giving each the intention of seeing it through. Appreciate those moments that you choose to act, knowing you’ve made a step towards the life you long for.
Lastly, trust the road that lies ahead. It is yours to travel and there is none other quite like it. Have confidence that it will lead you to the place you’re meant to go.
Until next time,
Liv a Little