"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

The Power of Dissatisfaction


I’m all for contentment and satisfaction BUT it is possible to have too much of almost any too good thing! All things in moderation including moderation! There is a powerful place for functional dissatisfaction and discontent; both can be magnificent motivators in energizing life-changing action.

Too much success for too long a period can lead to complacency and overconfidence; how to prevent, how to stay “hungry like the wolf”, keep the “eye of the tiger” even when your belly is full?  

The key is to find that Zen place of “happy dissatisfaction” where you are quite content with what you have, you just see/know that more and better is possible, achievable, just around the next bend or over the next mountain and you are bound and determined to get there AND to delightfully enjoy the journey along the way! Yin and Yang, existing in dynamic harmony!  

Closing Quotes:  

“All progress is due to dissatisfied people….without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” – Frank Zappa, 1940-1993 

“As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.” – George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950

“We are pleased to be dissatisfied, blessed to be restless. Those of us who are satisfied and at peace with our art are done, finished.” – John Hope, 1868-1936, president of Morehouse College & Atlanta University 

“The little dissatisfaction which every artist feels at the completion of a work forms the germ of a new work.” – Berthold Auerbach, 1812-1882   

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

It’s Not Really about Time, It’s About Priorities, Organization, and Energy

not enough time

“I don’t have the time! I’d do it if I had enough time!” That is the internal lament, the theme song of those with full days who wish they could somehow get more done or fit in one more thing. 

Well, time isn’t the issue… pause and reflect, keep a time log if you have to but add up all those idle moments, the in-between moments, the wasted moments (either non-productive or un-enjoyed) and let’s not forget the time you spend parked on your couch in front of the “one eyed god” all too many of us worship. And add in the other “screen time” spent surfing the web or on social media on laptop, smart phone, or tablet.

Tremendous hours, right? Well, if you are happy with it, terrific. If not, if you want more, read on! 


Priorities: Every yes is a no. Given any limited resource, every time you acquiesce to one thing, you are implicitly saying no to another. If you wish to gain control over your time (i.e. your life) you must be crystal clear about what is most important to YOU and make sure that when you say yes (often out of habit or without really being aware) you are saying yes to what is most important to you. I’ve written many blogs on goal setting/life planning, many resources exist free online.


Organization: Plan your days, think through your week, know your month, have a strategy for your year. Most folks overestimate what they can do in a day and vastly underestimate what focused effort can accomplish in a year. Know your personal rhythms: my best time for journal writing/reflection/introspection are the early morning hours. My car now tells me I spend over an hour a day driving; I fill that time w CD’s (Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, and Stephen Covey are all favorites as is Eckhart Tolle). 


Energy/Motivation: So easy when you want to, so hard when you don’t. By the end of the normal work day, I’m often tired but by setting goals and planning, I usually find the energy to continue onward with activities that are enjoyable AND enriching versus succumbing to passive entertainment or ending up at happy hour. I plan exercise after work (Racquetball! I don’t always “feel” like it after a hard or long day but because I’ve made a social engagement, I soldier on and when that ball comes at me, my competitive juices kick in) and surprise, surprise I end up refreshed, rejuvenated, and re-energized afterwards, no longer tired! If you wait until you “feel” like it, you will accomplish little. Start and you will be delighted how often within a few minutes you’ve gotten “in” to whatever activity or task you’ve set for yourself.

Closing Quotes:

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg, 1878-196, won three Pulitzer Prizes

“If you want work well done, select a busy man — the other kind has no time.” – Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, (Died aboard Lusitania, torpedoed by Germany during WWI)

“Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst.” – William Penn, 1644- 1718, founder of Pennsylvania

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

The Indispensable First Step


The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is to decide what you want! It is astounding how many folks drift through life with only the vaguest of goals, a random set of reflexive, Madison Ave induced, often conflicting desires. What little “operating system” is running their life is Beta at best and as buggy as can be! No wonder the results are, shall we say, somewhat sub optimum. As the Buddha said, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

Even those directed individuals who have some goals rarely have a comprehensive set of goals with written, well thought out action plans for each and every role they have in life (see below) with multiple goals for each role and motivational targets, timelines, and deadlines. Furthermore, intelligently setting direction (i.e. Finding your life’s purpose(s), discovering your passions) is an ongoing process that requires a high degree of self-observation (you’d be surprised when you start to pay attention how what you think will make you happy or content doesn’t really or doesn’t really last, and other, smaller things do! The key is to be witness to your own life and learn how to attract more of what brings quiet smiles and lasting joy).

Journaling is a very, very powerful way to increase your level of self-awareness, to gain perspective, to direct your introspection. Your best self awaits you, please do not keep it waiting!

Closing Quotes:

“He who chooses the beginning of the road chooses the place it leads to.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1878-1969

“You will never win if you never begin.” – Helen Rowland, 1876-1950 (You don’t have to be great to start but to be great you have to start!)

“So many fail because they don’t get started – they don’t go. They don’t overcome inertia. They don’t begin.”  – W. Clement Stone, 1902-2002

Six Major Roles:

– Career/Financial
– Family/Personal
– Physical/Health
– Education/Mental
– Social/Community
– Spiritual/Creative 

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier