Most of us want the same thing – to lead a satisfying life. The tough thing, however, is that most people's definition of what constituents 'satisfaction' differs. To someone, a tropical island might be 'the go'. To another, satisfaction is achieved by being with loved ones.
Back in the 'eighties, one of the lessons of Neurolinguistic Programming, or NLP as it is commonly referred to, was that if you're doing something that does not work (do not deliver the work you seek), do anything rather than continue. In other words, when satisfaction is not forthcoming, do anything but continue. As the saying goes: the only thing you can get from bashing your head against a brick wall is a headache.
Research can be like that, too. A study in US, surveyed 153,000 people. Most of those surveyed claimed that they wanted to lead a satisfying life and that they knew what helped to achieve that – regular exercise, a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and limited alcohol intake. Yet, only 3% of those surveyed said that they did all of the items listed. Most people seek satisfaction: not everyone is prepared to take the relevant action.
So, there are two main reasons why someone else – like me, for example – can not hope to tell you how to lead a satisfying life.
- Most people's definition of what constituents 'satisfaction' differs, and
- Most people know what is involved with gaining satisfaction, but it does not follow that they do it.
The good news, however, is that we know that 'satisfaction' involves one thing- 'success'. That's right, in order to achieve satisfaction, you must be successful. And success involves just three things – knowing where you are, knowing where you want to be, and each day moving in some way toward that end.
So, where does this leave us in terms of ageing? First of all, we're never too old (or too young, either) to achieve satisfaction. Most of us aspire to leading a satisfying life, and the wisdom that comes with aging helping us to retain focus on what is really important in our lives: we can be successful if we want to be. The tough bit is doing what we know we should do – or what's required. While we know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential, we also know that there's more to living longer and better than muesli and exercise.