Wright Foundation | April 20, 2016

Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Here’s How to Change Your Life

Do you ever think, “Is that all there is? Is this IT?” Do you often wonder why you rarely feel fulfilled? You might feel like you’re truly missing something from life.


Read this post if this sounds like you:


I’m not just talking about introspection during major life shakeups like divorce, career changes, or moving across country; deep feelings of unfulfillment might not stem from a full-out midlife crisis or a breakdown of your belief system. What I’m talking about here today is more like a vague blasé feeling—an itch you can’t quite scratch.

Philosophers call the persistent feeling you should be doing more with your life and experiencing (rather than losing) opportunity: “ontological guilt.” Most of us have experienced this feeling at one time or another. Maybe you’ve got a decent marriage and a good career. Maybe your financial situation is fine (or more than fine)—but yet there’s still something missing.

I can’t tell you how many CEOs and really successful people I’ve sat down with who’ve expressed this feeling to me. They just aren’t getting what they want out of life and they can’t deal with it. So, what do they do to cope with these feelings of emptiness? They fall into soft addictions—spending money, eating, shopping, zoning out in front of the tube, and surfing Facebook.

In some cases, they fall into more serious addictions—alcohol, substance abuse, destroying their relationships…and for what? To try to scratch that itch—you know you want to change your life, but you don’t know how. So you’re left feeling lost, still trying to answer that nagging feeling of: “Is that all there is?”

Even the most successful of us experience periods of dissatisfaction and unrest.  We might be on top of our game and by all accounts successful and “doing well,” but still we just don’t feel like we are where we want to be. The feeling of wanting more continuously haunts us.

What’s Missing? The Secret to Kickstarting Your Life

Are you ready to change your life? When it comes to boosting your life’s satisfaction, the answer is transformational growth. People who are out there making transformational changes (radical and meaningful shifts in their life) and constantly growing, developing and engaging in their relationships report the most satisfaction. It’s NOT those people in relationships devoid of conflict or those working jobs that bring home million-dollar paychecks for showing up. In fact, it’s almost directly the opposite. Satisfied people are engaged in everything they do. They’re out there fighting FOR their relationships, not against, and they’re leaning in at their jobs, working harder to make a difference.

We’ve seen it time and time again in our students at Wright Graduate University and in leaders we’ve coached in Chicago and all over the world. Those who are the most successful and most satisfied are engaged and focused on transformational growth. They don’t have perfect lives, but they’re active, alive, energized and involved. They aren’t sitting back and waiting for things to come their way. They aren’t interested in keeping things status quo—they’re shaking things up and finding the meaning in the mess.

To continue the conversation on engaging with others and to discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to learn more about our next More Life Training.

The amazing thing about transformation is it’s possible for almost anyone, given the right tools, the right life coaching, and a little strategic direction. People have an amazing capacity for growth and change; these positive deviations occur regularly. Some people are more disposed to a transformational mindset, but it’s really accessible to anyone.

So often, people seek therapy, a life coach or a workshop to solve a problem. They want to make more sales in their department. They’re fighting with their spouse too much. They’re stressed out about their parenting skills. They’re seeking change, but not in the transformative sense. They are seeking a solution to a problem.

Transformation is more than change. If you truly want to change your life for the better, you’re not looking for a Band-Aid or an answer to a singular dilemma. It’s an all-encompassing shift in thinking…in BEING. Transformational change means relationships deepen, careers transition, and potential is reached. It’s about fundamental change at the core toward a more positive and greater version of yourself.

You CAN Change Your Life but It Will Take Time & Effort

Whether you’re focused on your own transformation or you’re working to coach someone else through realizing his or her potential, transformation is a gradual process. It takes time. It’s not a “quick fix” or an instant solution.

I know a marathoner. He runs almost daily and he’s completed hundreds of miles and tons of races. I can put on the same Nikes he wears and don the same running clothes. He can teach me all about breathing techniques, PRs, Fartlek training and cross-training. After all that, I might be able to practice for a little while and keep up with him for a few minutes on a run—but I’m not a marathoner. I’m going to poop out long before the end of the race.

No matter how much I understand the process of running a marathon, how much equipment I have, and how much I even WANT to run—without practice, without logging the miles, there’s just no way I’ll make it to the finish line, let alone keep up with him.

When it comes to transformational living, it requires practice. It’s laughable to think you’d be able to buy a pair of shoes and run a marathon the next day. Similarly, we can’t expect radical, positive life transformation to occur after just one amazing weekend retreat, after reading one book, or after working with a life coach for one or two sessions. The transformational process is gradual. Just like any major task, it requires time and practice. It requires you roll up your sleeves and do the personal development work.

Human beings are hardwired toward growth and adaptation. We want to learn, explore and grow. Just like our ancestors who forged ahead to new frontiers, we too want to move forward, achieve and discover new things. The very essence of life is growth. We are constantly driven to interact, to engage, to explore, and to transform.

The desire to change and grow might be loud and obvious…or it might be subtler. It may manifest itself as this vague sense of dissatisfaction, this desire for MORE—and that’s perfectly fine. It’s not always an alarm bell or a major crisis. Sometimes the itch starts because you just don’t feel like your life is “enough.”

Once you begin your transformational journey, the desire to change will propel you forward. The yearning for something more is the driver of our transformation. The first step is wanting to get that satisfaction—then you’re on your way to achieving the growth, life, and fulfillment you’re searching for.

To discover how to change your life, reach your full potential and bring out your best, join us for our next More Life Training. Don’t miss our transformative high-value workshops. Join us to discover the tools you need to go forth and ignite your world. [Learn more!]

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Featured blog post image “Looking Out on the World” courtesy of Flickr user Brian Holland licensed under CC by 2.0. The original image was altered for this use.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.