Success & Dissatisfaction – Notes from Morris

~ I’m just taking some more notes from Tom Morris’s book, Philosophy for Dummies, Chapter 24, Success and Happiness n Life – pages 308-309.

Four Markers of Public Success:
Morris points out that “the greatest case of mistaken identity in the modern world has involved the four markers of public success: Money, fame, power, and status.” … Yet as ancient philosophers might say, they can make very good servants, but are themselves very bad masters.

“What is enough? The concept of enough is, of course, a relative concept.  … the concept of enough applies only to things that are of instrumental value, valuable only insofar as they lead to or produce something else … Enough is a relative concept. More is absolute.  There can always be more.  And that’s a problem for many people.”

Dissatisfaction in Human Life:
Morris states that there are two forms of dissatisfaction.  One is when you are not satisfied with what you have and another is when you are not satisfied with who you are and want to become something more with who you are. The first he calls the dissatisfaction of acquisition. The second, dissatisfaction of aspiration.

What the first form of dissatisfaction is, is obvious. Of it he states, “The dissatisfaction of acquisition deeds on itself in an almost cancerous way.  The more you give in to it and try to satisfy, the more it can grow, until it is literally out of control.”

Regarding the dissatisfaction of aspiration, he says, “You want to be wiser, to know more, to experience more, to develop more talents, to be a better person… ” And that the dissatisfaction of aspiration can be a very healthy goad to personal growth and fulfillment.