Joy, Satisfaction and Frustration: Balancing Life On The Three Pillars

Through out the day, we are doing something or the other. The other day, while observing how we spend our time, I realized that the most of the time that we spend, can be divided into two gross buckets. First bucket is the time that we spend doing things that give us direct joy or the things that we enjoy doing. The second bucket is the time that we spend doing things that give us something in return.

For instance, someone loves to paint and he enjoys the very act of painting. Or someone loves to teach. In this case, the sheer joy which comes out of doing the activity surpasses other benefits that one gets out of doing it. In case of such activity, we do it not out of thought, but we do it out of joy. On the other hand, the second type of activities is the typical ‘work’ that we do. We do it because we get paid for doing it or because it will help us achieve something in future or it is good for our reputation.

What should our typical day be composed of? How much time should we spend doing activities under both of these buckets? I will be honest at the beginning- very very few people are so passionate about something that they will leave aside all other things in the pursuit. I assume you are the one who wants to lead a balanced life in a satisfactory way, balancing all the fronts (joy, money, satisfaction etc.)

It will be ridiculous to say one should full time do what he loves; unless you are very passionate about what you love and not at all bothered about money, other needs and other requirements.

It will be even more ridiculous if you spend all of your time doing things that fall in the second bucket- you do not enjoy (or might even hate!) doing them but still do them for one or the other reason.

To find out the answer to this question, one has to closely analyze these two types of activities and the drawing below might help:

joy of actionAs it can be seen, when we do an activity simply because we love it, the outcome is pure joy. On the other hand, when we do something to get something, the output depends on majorly two things- what is the level of satisfaction that we get out of doing it and what is frustration that we get out of doing it.

For instance, let us assume that A gets paid 80,000 rupees every month for working as a marketing manager. These 80,000 rupees help him in several ways- paying for the loan, monthly expenses, the school fees, buying new gadgets, travelling, medical care etc. Hence, this amount brings some amount of satisfaction. At the same time, his work forces him to travel a lot. He hates most of the part of the work that he does, he is not able to spend his time doing things he loves to do, his boss constantly tortures him etc. All of this builds a frustration in him. So, the net satisfaction will be a sum total of all the frustration and satisfaction. If the satisfaction earned is  higher than the frustration, A will continue. If the frustration is higher than the satisfaction, A might leave or he might still do it, cribbing all the time.

Considering this, one can certainly do this to improve his satisfaction

  1. Spend at least some time doing things that you just enjoy doing. If possible, do not link this activity with your financial status (simply means, if you love painting as a hobby, do it just because you love doing it and do not link it with any financial or other gains. Do not be ambitious – being a famous painter, being a well paid painter etc. do it simply because you love doing it.)
  2. It is almost impossible doing what we love all the day and linking it with money. So whatever work you do, try that the satisfaction that you get out of doing it is at least 2 times more than the frustration that it brings. Choose what kind of frustration you can handle and what type you cant. (someone might be happy dealing with a tough boss but can’t live without more money and perks whereas someone might be happy with little money but needs peaceful work atmosphere.)







2 responses to “Joy, Satisfaction and Frustration: Balancing Life On The Three Pillars”

  1. Shraddha Jadhav Avatar
    Shraddha Jadhav

    Hi dear just read your block really it is helpful for me to sorted out one big query, because of that I am feeling very much exhausted from last 2-3 days…now I realize after analyzing this diagram it work…lets try…

    1. Mandar Karanjkar Avatar

      Thanks Shraddha. Glad that the article was useful to you.


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