“One who has one hundred craves two hundred. When he acquires the two hundred, he craves four hundred. Therefore, no one dies with [more than] half of his wishes in his hand” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:13)
Us humans, are by nature satisfaction-craving beasts. We cannot survive without purpose, and living by that purpose is what gives us satisfaction. The purpose depends on what every person feels to be his calling. Feeding the poor, curing the ill, teaching the ignorant, comforting the unfortunate, counseling the perplexed and similar acts of the selfless nature, give us all a great sense of purpose and thus a strong sense of gratification.
Nevertheless, we have to admit that we (most of us, at least; maybe it’s just me!) are not noble enough to live off selflessness. We need something that makes “us” feel special and accomplished. Most of us put our goals and purpose in our careers, education, hobbies, relationships, fortune, and the alike. Even when we give charity and help an old man or a young child across the street it is the feeling the “we” are good people that makes us feel good. While the aforementioned are reasons to feel accomplished, it is still our own pleasure that stands in the center of our focus.
The difference between the two types of purposes and satisfactions is that the former gives long-lasting satisfaction while the latter gratification is very short-lived. Look at a rich man who made a lot of money, a workmate who got a promotion, a student who got a degree etc. rarely will you see them a month later with the broad smile and full heart they had the moment of achievement. For we always need more and more. Moreover, we get addicted to that drug and go crazy before falling into depression when we do not feel good about ourselves. Our desperation then forces us to act in ways beneath ourselves; the rest of the cycle is obvious. That is of course if we put our own ambitions as the prime goal and purpose of our lives…
Let’s try to learn from the people we admire, let’s feel real satisfaction for once.