If you had asked me a few years ago to imagine an ideal future, I'd be hard pressed to paint a rosier picture than the one I'm living now. I live in possibly the greatest city in the world, I have a fulfilling job that allows me to live comfortably, I have a great group of friends, and I get to take awesome adventures.
It wasn't always like this though. I struggled moving from job to job and changing careers a few times for the first 5 years out of college. The jobs I did find didn't pay well, and were very stressful - leaving me little time for friends or adventure. I lived in a disgusting basement of an old lady's house, and was forced to move back home to my parents house a few times. I didn't have real direction or clear trajectory in life - I was kind of floating.
But I've definitely hit some sort of stride the last few years and am in a really good place now. But paradoxically, this past week I've gotten a bit frustrated at my current predicament.
Instead of being happy, I just want more. I want a better apartment (my room is 1 foot bigger than my bed on two sides). I want a bigger paycheck so that I can pour resources into my new business ideas. I don't like bureaucracy and would rather work for myself or at least have more creative autonomy over my work. I would love to spend more time with my friends. I have a burning desire to travel the world. I just want more of everything life has to offer.
On the one hand, never being satisfied is good - and can drive one towards success. It is actually my dissatisfaction with the world around me that drives me to constantly think of new ideas for startups, that one day hopefully will come to be. One the other hand I feel so vein for having so much, and not truly appreciating how good I have it and how much I have accomplished.
Psychologists refer to what I'm experiencing as Hedonic Adaptation, which is defined on Wikipeida as the "tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes". I think realizing the folly of the frustration I've been feeling this past week is good. Especially right after coming back from The Philippines where poverty is rampant. I should be feeling so incredibly lucky, and proud of what I've been able to accomplish so far. Unfortunately it's just not how I'm feeling this week.
It is critical that I figure out how feel satisfied with where I am in life while also following the advice of Steve Jobs to "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish".
Time will tell if I can get to this state of mind or not, but I'm optimistic.