In defense of dissatisfaction

This is your life. Do what you love and do it often.

Be honest. You aren’t always doing that, are you? I get it. I am there. I am dissatisfied too. And that’s okay.

Of course I need a disclaimer. I really do love my life, largely. Frankly, I guess I’m kind of abnormally normal. I love my husband, and my kids, and my parents (who love each other), and I love them a lot. Come to think of it, I really do like them too. And I’m pretty certain they all love me back, a lot. I have a house. I have a job. I have food on my table every day. I buy my kids the things they want (well, about 5% of the things they want!). I have my health. And I get to run, at daybreak, when the sun is coming up.

And yet I am dissatisfied. Why?

I love what I do. Well, to be honest, I love most of what I do, but not all of it. You put me in a room with a patient and the outside world disappears for a while (the doctor me). You put me behind a podium and let me talk to 5 or even 500 people about heart disease and my heart rate actually slows (the motivational speaker me). You let me be with people and smile and shake hands and put people at ease, and I am at my best (the politician me?).

But I don’t do these things nearly enough. I have the acute sense that not enough of my time is spent doing the things I do best nor the things I love to do the most. Sometimes a little dissatisfaction is a good thing. It makes you stop and think, reconsider, and redirect.

I am at that age where I am not old, yet no longer young.  I am old enough to feel like I should have accomplished much more in my career already, but I’m too young to have accomplished anything (in academic medicine years, akin to dog years, I am about 3 years old and just starting to crawl…).

And so when I came across The Holstee Manifesto, it struck a chord.

This is your life. Do what you love and do it often.

Interesting. You need to read this, maybe two or three times, maybe once a week, or maybe once a month. Maybe you need to print it out and put it under your pillow. But listen to the message carefully, hear it, let it sink in. Maybe it’s a message relevant to your job, your weight, your relationships, your smoking habit, your whatever.

This is your life. Do what you love and do it often.

Sometime a little discontent fosters change, and that is almost always a good thing.

In defense of dissatisfaction.

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