Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Rules For Life – Letting Go Of Dissatisfaction

by Ken La Salle

Welcome back to my continuing series of Rules For Life.

The new year wouldn’t be complete without a resolution and here’s what I’m proposing today: Letting go of your dissatisfaction.journey in art

It’s easy to be dissatisfied with life. In fact, there’s so much you can be dissatisfied by that it forms kind of a spectrum all around you. Just take a look around, wherever you are, in 360 degrees. If you’re anything like me, you won’t come up short of things to be dissatisfied with. And if those things aren’t around you, you’re bound to find plenty of things inside of you, about you, just everywhere.

And people do this every day. People that do it too much can really cheese off everyone else. They’re the whiners and complainers. They’re trouble-makers and, well, they are basically very unhappy people.

What we need is a way to hold on to our happiness or, better yet, find some new happiness. And, if unhappiness occurs when we fill ourselves with dissatisfaction, maybe we can reverse that equation to our favor.

Why don’t we try letting go of dissatisfaction? Just let it go. Because I’ll bet that most of the things you’re dissatisfied with or by aren’t things that matter in the long run. They’re such minor things.

For instance… when you’re waiting at a light, what are you doing? You’re just sitting in your car or standing still. Right? So, what’s to be dissatisfied by? What’s the big deal? Or how about when the weather’s rotten? So what? You know what really gets to me? When there’s nothing good on TV. I get really cross sometimes but, when I think about it, so what if there’s nothing good on? What if we didn’t hear music coming from another car and immediately feel like it was an intrusion? What if that rotten weather wasn’t really so rotten after all? What if all those negative qualities in your spouse or your sister or your friend or your mother weren’t actually that bad?

And I’m not talking about “fake it til you make it.” I’m talking about seeing things in a different way. Choosing to let go of your dissatisfaction. Just admitting to yourself that this isn’t all about you and not everything is meant to satisfy you.

Try accepting the world as it is instead of how we want it to be. Because, if you want to be happy – and who doesn’t want to be happy – it’s really easy. We know happiness is a choice. And that choice comes from letting go of your dissatisfaction, not being bothered if everything isn’t just the way you want.

How far do I take this? Sometimes, if I’m at a restaurant or getting coffee, and I get something I didn’t order, I’ll give it a try. Why not? Sometimes, you find things you like that way. Would I ever have known I like upside-down caramel macchiatos if I hadn’t been given the wrong order? Probably not.

And you can take this much further. And if letting go of a little dissatisfaction helps a little, imagine how much a lot would do. And, why not take it as far as you can go? Why not forgive others, even strangers? Why not love more, even people you can’t really stand? This goes against no religion or major creed. Some religions even promote this attitude.

It’s our stupid brain telling us things should be our way – things should always work out to our advantage – that screws us up. So what if everything doesn’t go your way?. As long as the important things do, that’s all that matters. And if the important things don’t, you gotta let that go sometimes, too.

Otherwise, you and I will spend our lives wishing for a world that doesn’t exist. That’s what dissatisfaction is, after all. It is us barking at the universe, “No! That’s not how it’s supposed to be!” And, you know, maybe it isn’t but that’s how things are. And most of the time, it’s not that bad.

Let go of your dissatisfaction. It leaves your hands and your heart free for happiness.

About the Author

Author and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His plays have been seen in theaters across the country and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at

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