Why are we never satisfied? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Why are we never satisfied?


Every now and then I like to set goals for myself and I always think that once I reach that goal I’ll be happy and I usually am but only for a little while. Getting my drivers license, buying my first car, getting a job, graduating from university, moving out of my parents house, working a full time job. All of these are things I’ve accomplished and i was proud but I never feel complete. I always still feel like a failure because all of my accomplishments are always half assed.

Sure, I graduated university but it took me 7 years, sure I bought a car but it’s used and old, sure I have a full time job but it’s a temp agency, sure I got my drivers license but it took me two tries to pass the test, sure I have my own house but it’s shabby and old. I know things could be worse and I am grateful for what I have and for what I’ve been able to accomplish but everything I do is always subpar. I’m mediocre at everything and I should just accept that but I can’t.

I want the best of the best. I want to be able to drive a nice car, live in a nicer house, have a better job, and travel the world. I know, none of that is possible for someone like me but let’s say I do accomplish all of that, would I actually finally be happy or would I just want more? I just never seem to be satisfied with anything. I don’t know, this is just some stuff that’s been on my mind lately.


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 01:26 PM
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A lot of billionaires are probably miserable because they're behind Jeff Bezos. Humans are wired to be discontent because it keeps them striving for more, and trying to fill the void with babies.

You can control it a bit, though. Thinking of reasons why being more successful would be annoying helps -- like all the complications wealth brings, all the cleaning you'd have to do in a big new house, etc.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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A lot of billionaires are probably miserable because they're behind Jeff Bezos. Humans are wired to be discontent because it keeps them striving for more, and trying to fill the void with babies.

You can control it a bit, though. Thinking of reasons why being more successful would be annoying helps -- like all the complications wealth brings, all the cleaning you'd have to do in a big new house, etc.


I don’t really want to be a billionaire but I can see how I might have made it sound that way. I guess, it’s not really the materialistic stuff that I want but more the meaning behind the materialistic stuff. When you own and have nice things it shows that you’re accomplished and successful. So, I guess, all I really want is just to feel accomplished and to have stability but my SA and other mental illnesses make it difficult for me to even function sometimes.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 11:51 PM
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Try to impress yourself instead of living to impress others? For me, that mostly means creative pursuits. Nobody listens to the audio dramas I produce or reads the stories I write, but I still feel good about creating stuff that meets my standards.

Stability is harder.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 11:54 PM
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social disappointment the ultimate symptoms.. + waiting
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 04:35 AM
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We're built to consume, if our attempts to consume outward things, knowledge, power, wealth, love etc are hindered we become consumed with the thought of becoming consumed & we consume ourselves & that's the most popular definition of sanity <a href="http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/images/smilies/lol.gif" border="0" alt="" title="" >:-)</a>






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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 05:29 AM
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"I always still feel like a failure because all of my accomplishments are always half-assed."

If you are feeling this way then this is worth looking into. They say a goal without a concrete plan to accomplish it is just a wish so what possible steps could you take to come a little closer to your ideal self right now in the present? Certain things might be beyond your control, and conditions in your life might work against you but always keep in mind that you have the power to change at least something small in a way that gives you a slightly better life.

I know plenty of people who didn't graduate University within the standard 4 years, and a lot of them went on to have a career just fine. It could be that you were struggling with something at the time, and that's ok you know? **** happens, plus that's in the past now and you did get the degree, in the end, didn't you?

Ask yourself do you really need an expensive, brand new car though? Consider the costs that follow with that--higher insurance, pricier gas, etc.

About your house, could you maybe take up a couple of low-cost DIY projects to spruce it up? The better you can make it look the easier it will be to forget about the fact that it's old and shabby.

It doesn't matter IMO that it took you two tries to get your license. You still got the damn thing and just be proud of yourself for that In fact, that tells me something positive about you because you didn't give up on the first try!

Regarding your question? There are several reasons of course, but I think it might be because we have a tendency to associate our image and self-worth with our possessions and accomplishments. For example, we are bombarded with TV shows and advertisements were the characters are living in nice expensive houses, leading an extravagant lifestyle and it's human nature to want something better for yourself, so you go "Oh that looks so nice. They look so happy! I want that too". When in fact depression rates are soaring and we are still buying stuff, comparing ourselves to others, searching for validation elsewhere to fill the void in us. I am constantly coming across articles describing the 'burnout culture' and how we let our happiness and sanity depend on our productivity so much. Try to imagine what your life would be like if you suddenly lost all your valuables one day. What if everything disappeared? Would you be able to pick up your pieces and start from scratch? Who are you without your material possessions? The Buddhist monks are on to something when it comes to 'removing yourself from Earthly matters' to an extent. What do we really have in the end? I could lose all my friends tomorrow, my family could go bankrupt, I could get injured or lose a limb, I might no longer have an internet connection for all I know. Those things are not permanent neither a given! Would I be strong enough to pick myself up and dust myself off if I lost everything? I truly have no way to know, but one thing I do try to do is to practice gratitude every day because I recognize that I am not a mere sum of the things around me. I could potentially be content (after a period of grief, naturally) even if I lost some of them someday. Just a thought... honestly? I am not sure that you can steadily depend on external factors for your happiness, for the reason that they are fleeting. Relationships, successes and all that sure contribute to our happiness but they can't be the sole source of your happiness if that makes sense. But! Just because they are fleeting doesn't mean that you should despair. That alone makes them worth so much more to me

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyApathy View Post
would I actually finally be happy or would I just want more?
if you mean being always happy or most of the time then probably not, happiness is temporary.
imagine someone who had been homeless for 5 years before getting a lot of money from inheritance. now he has two houses, three cars and a lot of cash in the bank. for how long do you think he will be happy?, three, six months or a year.

I understand that solving my problems and making some achievements will make my life better and make me happy for some amount of time.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 07:35 PM
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I've heard it said that people are addicted to the chase not the achievement.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 07:38 PM
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Honestly I don't want the world if I can't have God. Without Him everything is meaningless.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 05:07 PM
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I'm pretty satisfied. on and off course. I dont expect to ever think of an experience "that was good, I'm never going to do that again". we do things/get things, lose them/do them again.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 07:23 PM
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Yeah, I'm that kind of butthole, it's hard to satisfy me idk why...

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 05:23 AM
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The reason why you are not satisfied and don’t have happiness is probably because you have (subconsciously) set up expectations and beliefs in external and imaginary things, to provide you with satisfaction and happiness and which those things you quote cannot ever give or bring you. Not ever, even for a moment.
Its not your fault or anyone else’s fault that you do this because we have all pretty much been taught and conditioned to do this, from a very early age.

Happiness is much misunderstood. Happiness does not come about because of the presence of something, but because of the absence of something.

Because almost everyone in the world has been raised in a similar way, we all pretty much grow up believing (and thus pursuing) that “stuff out there” will bring us or give us peace & happiness. In addition to pursuing “stuff out there”, we also pursue imaginary things which we also believe will bring us happiness (such as work, relationships/friends, experiences, consumption and more). This is also because we have been led to believe this, by our upbringing and because we see almost everyone else behaving in the same ways, which further reinforces our pursuits.

The reason you feel a short term “high” when you achieve your imaginary goals (yes, even getting a car and graduating are really imaginary things), is because you have set these goals or desires up in your mind in a way that says “I will be/have……. when I get X”.
And so because you have primed your mind to believe this, when you do meet your goal, you experience a good feeling, of perceived satisfaction, value, acceptance, worthiness, etc..
But this high is not happiness. It is just pleasure.
And the reason this pleasure high is short term is because you probably built up this goal with an expectation that it will bring you happiness, something that cannot ever possibly happen through external or imaginary things. Not for anyone. Ever.

And because the external/imaginary thing did not bring you happiness, your high soon fades and then stops.
You can see this in a child that gets a new toy - after a short while, the child bores of if and the toy gets tossed in the corner of the room with all the other “new “ toys from the past. Look at professional sportspeople. When they achieve their goal, do they stop competing? No, they keep trying to get another win, another championship, another medal, another cup, more money, etc., etc.
What about people who have a lot of wealth. Do we see such people stop trying to get more wealth after they have a certain amount and who say “Yes, that’s enough”? No, they usually keep trying to accumulate more wealth, because what they have found is that the wealth they have accumulated so far has not brought them any peace or happiness (often the exact opposite), but because they do not understand what peace and happiness are, they believe that getting more wealth will bring them their happiness.
This is not to say that some wealthy people do not have happiness. Its just that those people who do have happiness, do not look for their wealth to give it to them.

The same goes for people who believe that they will have peace and happiness if they change their home, or change where they live, or buy new furniture, get this or that qualification or job, or change their friends, or marry/re-marry, or have children, or divorce their spouses, or do more travel, lose weight, etc.

No toy, championship, or any amount of wealth can possibly bring people, who look for those things to bring them happiness, one iota of happiness, or to anyone else. What it will bring them is distraction, novelty and moments of pleasure, the same as you have experienced, along with at least 95% of the world’s population.

We load up (because we have all been taught to and conditioned to), all kinds of expectations and beliefs/opinions/values onto all things & people, and expecting them to provide us and bring us what that they are 100% incapable of. And so when they do not bring us what we believe they should, we become dissatisfied, upset, annoyed & angry, down saddened, depressed and more. And so we suffer.

Billions of people engage in all kinds of things in pursuit of happiness, often for all their lives, without knowing what happiness is. People also confuse pleasure and excitement with peace and happiness, mainly because we are not taught what happiness is and how we can have it, all the time.
Pleasure and excitement are always limited and transitory, that’s why people keep doing whatever gives them those sensations, over and over and over and over, often for all their lives.
Peace and happiness is a continuous & uninterrupted state of mind and only suffering can stop a person from having that state. Eliminating all suffering is the only way peace and happiness can be attained.

You can discover, for yourself, that nothing outside of your mind can bring you happiness - not money, not stuff/objects/property, not people, not experiences, not work, not consumption, not imaginary things like success, accomplishment, acceptance, popular, being right, being good and anything else.
This is because these things are incapable of eliminating the cause of your unhappiness, which is suffering in some form or forms.

Once you realize that all external and imaginary things cannot bring you or give you peace and happiness, you can stop looking for them to provide you with those things. And then, you can just enjoy what those things can bring you, instead of what they can’t.

The cause of all unhappiness/dissatisfaction is the presence of suffering (mind pain). Once you remove all suffering, what is left is peace and happiness and it is uninterrupted peace and happiness too, in every moment. And just as none of the above things can bring you happiness, so too can they not make you unhappy either. They simply do not have the ability to do that. Ever.
One more thing you need to know. Your happiness, the one you may have had as a child, is still with you, right now. Its just that cannot experience it because of the suffering that is effectively smothering it or blocking it.

The root cause of all suffering is thoughts.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 03:17 PM
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Hey

It's because your approach around goals and satisfaction isn't quite right, according to research! While achieving a goal gives some satisfaction, it is minimal. In fact, most of the satisfaction comes in the process of working towards that goal. While you're working to the goal, you have the motivation to go on, and the confidence that you're getting closer, that your skills are better etc. At the same time, anticipation increases as you near that goal, which raises your expectation of satisfaction upon reaching this goal. When you reach that goal, it doesn't feel as satisfying because the anticipation prepared you for it. But along the way, you experienced that satisfaction of working towards your goal, regardless of whether you achieved it or not!x

As for taking 'longer' for some things, that's okay. Not everyone can be the best, the fastest, the strongest - that makes no sense! Take things at your own pace - living your life at anyone else's pace, and it doesn't feel like your life any more! Don't worry about what others are doing - focus on doing what you want to do, whether it takes you longer or shorter to get there. Enjoy the process

Much love <3

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 03:29 PM
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My theory is there's a void somewhere deep down that we desperately try to fill with accomplishments, new experiences, etc... in the hopes that this new and better thing will fill that void. Trying to throw sht at a wall to see what sticks, so to speak, and in hopes that we find what we didn't know we were looking for.

Or we compare ourselves to others and we don't objectively measure up in terms of assets, income, social ties, appearance. And that makes our accomplishments feel trivial and sad.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 04:20 PM
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An absence of any confirmed reason for existence. There's no real certainty of an ultimate purpose to human life, how do we know when enough is enough and what we have makes us complete? I suppose what people lack is a sense a finality and completion to their lives which is a strange quality of existence.
We're finite creatures with a seemingly infinite capacity for dissatisfaction.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 04:35 PM
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It comes down to the ego, the ego which is basically our mind loves to create problems and is always after the next best thing. People identify with it because they take their thoughts to be themselves not realizing that they're the awareness behind their thoughts, a lot of people go their whole life not even realizing there's a voice in their head, that's how much they identify with their thoughts.

Our purpose in life is to go above thought, to become one with our awareness, the more awareness (presence) you have the more peace and joy you experience.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 10:47 PM
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It comes down to the ego, the ego which is basically our mind loves to create problems and is always after the next best thing. People identify with it because they take their thoughts to be themselves not realizing that they're the awareness behind their thoughts, a lot of people go their whole life not even realizing there's a voice in their head, that's how much they identify with their thoughts.

Our purpose in life is to go above thought, to become one with our awareness, the more awareness (presence) you have the more peace and joy you experience.
I tend to agree with this. Our ego, the ego of which we need to live with and cope with, the ego which is our mind and brain and thoughts, will always create trouble and troublesome symptoms. Humans think using their brains to create thoughts by which other thoughts are manifested, and come up with ideas. The awareness behind these thoughts using wisdom which comes from thoughts which stem from brain cells have no self-awareness. The voice in our heads makes people use their own thoughts to formulate opinions. We must fight to become more bigger and more better than thoughts and ideas and ideals, we must become philosophers who use run-on sentences and jumbled ideas and thoughts, feelings, emotions, thoughts, awareness. May us all find peace and harmony through our confused opinions.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 04:59 AM
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Let me explain something.. we are flawed, sinning people. We need sex, love, things and more things to please our sinful selves. You are guilty. We’re all guilty. What you need to do is stop trying to chase people and things that feel good to your body. You have a void in your heart because you’re a weak, clueless human being with no knowledge of what’s to come when you die. So you think you need to do all the things the millions of people who came before you did because that’s the default template for life.

In reality, we’re all just very weak so there’s no way we can truly find happiness as long as we’re on earth. Being alive in this world means that you are now part of this clueless, diminishing race that will carry our curiosity to the grave. We need to pray to God every day so that we can become closer to him. For me, it’s important to ask that he examines my mind and heart and help take away anything that isn’t holy.

Everybody these days thinks that they absolutely NEED to be somebody in order to be happy in life. The truth is that you will always just be another ordinary person who was born, lived and died. I accept that already. I’m just another person out of the billions of people.



I've been seeking happiness for years.
I've lived in hiding from the darkness.
I've spent so many hours in question.
I've prayed that God finds me soon.
Only to realize I must find myself.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 10:17 AM
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Mick Jagger has been struggling with this for a long time



Yeah I agree with the first poster. We humans are wired to never be content because we always need something to work to. Otherwise life becomes meaningless.
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