Invited recently to review and offer feedback on a friends book titled “Pathological Positivity” which I promise to share more about with you later as I am already very much enjoying my reading through the draft. I just finished reading a chapter about the absolute necessity of discontent. I would love to share the whole chapter with you…but for obvious reasons
Anyway - here is just a sample…..
Discontent, is not, and never has been negative. Discontent is the impetus of learning, growth, progress. We don’t feel discontent because life is bad, we feel discontent because things could be better. They could be bigger, smaller, faster, slower, stronger, softer, more fun… And when we are pathologically positive we actually appreciate and even enjoy discontent.
That seems so wrong! Do I seriously propose that we could enjoy pain, problems, perplexity? Yes, I do. We enjoy life to its fullest when we enjoy all of life’s adventure, including and especially the experience of solving problems. It fulfills one of our most basic human purposes.
We get bored. We find something to do. We open the paper to the crossword section or go out and buy a game to play. We roll the dice, make our move, pay the price for landing on the wrong square and enjoy dramatically groaning and complaining about it, or we enjoy the benefit of landing on a better square. We then hand the dice over to the other player, and wait with anticipation to see what happens next. We take the dice again and toss them to see what is our next move. We now have again the opportunity to move closer to a win – or a loss – either way we are discontented to just sitting there occupying a space. We want to play. We enjoy the potential of loss without which we could not enjoy the possibility of gain. In effect, we enjoy our discontent as much as as our power of creation.
We see imbalance. We create balance. We see a problem. We create a solution. We find something that needs to be fixed. We fix it. When we don’t see a problem, we create one. We look around, searching for something that isn’t working or could be made better. We think about problems in disadvantaged countries or in the next county or in our back yard or on our desktop. Then we enjoy creating solutions for relief, fun, profit.
So I wish each of you a day filled with wonderful and needful moments of sweet discontent!