How satisfied people are with their lives and motives to live


One of the good things of this world is that we can’t compare a life in which an event happens with one in which it doesn’t happen, nor can we tell which would be a better life.

For example, what if you had told someone you loved that you loved them?

You could have been together and even married, leading to a wonderful life. Or you might have been too dependent on them to focus on your study, as a result of which you got into a university you had never been interested in, and/or a menial low-paid job, broken your relationship with the partner, and regretted telling them that you had loved them.

In your real life, where you didn’t tell anything to the person, even though you regret not doing so, you did enter the university you wanted to enter and now do a job you like.

In this way you can’t tell whether your real life or your would-be life is the better one.

The fact that we can’t compare a life with or without an event is a double-edged sword; if we think our lives are satisfactory, then they actually are. On the contrary, if we believe our lives would be better, they really are worse than we expected.

Whether we maximise our satisfaction with our lives depends very much on individual subjective judgement in an absolute sense.

Even so, this satisfaction doesn’t always mean that our lives are easy.

There are many cases where people feel their lives are hard as well as satisfactory, especially those who are too satisfied with their lives.

These people are completely pleased with their status quo and thereby with their past, desiring nothing more.

They are even worried their future will be worse, because they couldn’t be happier now.

Therefore they have to continue to live without any motive to live.

In addition, they don’t have any good reason to bring an end to their lives by themselves, as their current lives are satisfactory.

Nevertheless, if they imagined dying right now, they would think that would be that.

Reaching too high a level of satisfaction, they feel they don’t have to stand the basic difficulty a life naturally has.

The motive to endure this difficulty amounts to that to continue living.

From the perspective stated above, a life which one is satisfied with is not necessarily easy to live.

Aspects that we can’t be content with in our lives, or the eagerness not to make the same mistake twice, can be a drive for us to live.