Never satisfied

I’m never satisfied. It’s as simple as that, specifically in regards to my recovery.

As I write that, and I imagine as you may read it at first glance, it may seem extreme. In fact, many friends, family and readers of this blog have told me that I need to be better about acknowledging and appreciating the accomplishments that I make. As a result, I have put a lot of effort into recognizing my milestones and achievements, as small or seemingly insignificant as they may be. While this continues to be a huge challenge for me, I try to improve upon it everyday, as I know that my recovery is a long process and it’s impossible to reach the light at the end of the tunnel without appreciating those moments in between. All of that said, there’s something I really love about not being satisfied and I feel compelled to acknowledge the benefits of this stubborn, hard-headed approach that I embody.

I would attribute a great deal of my improvements and physical gains to this inherent characteristic of mine. You see, I LOVE to push myself. I always have. So when I accomplish anything, it’s natural for me to think to myself, “Well, that was good, but what’s next? How do I get even better?” When it comes to accomplishments and achievements, I can’t help but think of a cheesy yet very salient quote from some old martial arts movie where the sensei warns the student not to get overconfident because, “there is always someone better than you.” (If you know what this movie is, feel free to educate me)

It’s the same reason why I can’t stand arrogance or conceit in people. Why tell the world you’re really good at something when you always have a chance of getting better?

Ok so I realize this last bit may be misleading so let me clarify. I’m not saying that recognizing one’s accomplishments automatically equals arrogance. And I don’t think that we should all just wallow in mediocrity and never celebrate positive things. (As I’ve written about many times, I almost unwaveringly tend to see the positive in everything). But what I am saying is that by leaning to the side of under-acknowledging and downplaying my achievements, and by never feeling fully satisfied, I avoid complacency and I maintain my intense motivation and commitment to my recovery.

As I continue on this wild journey, I maintain the promise I’ve made to many people to stop and appreciate those small victories but by adhering to my stubbornness, competitiveness and will, I’ll keep my laser focus and I’ll keep going strong, always looking for the next challenge to conquer.

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36 thoughts on “Never satisfied

  1. I think you should appreciate all you have accomplished AND never be satisfied. I know it seems like a contradiction, but I truly believe that it is possible to experience both. And at the same time! Yes, you have come so far and it is awesome…but how much better can you do? Can you beat last weeks record? 🙂 Sending you some good healing energy as you continue to never be satisfied!

    1. Yup, that’s exactly it. That was the point of my last post, that I’m trying to do both and I don’t necessarily see them as a contradiction. I think they complement each other well actually but I happen to be better at doing one than the other. Thanks for the healing vibes, much appreciated. -AB

  2. I hear you and appreciate the mindful way that you hold the two sides: positive attitude and insatiable desire for improvement. It is a fine line to balance on to be sure. I wonder if your desire for the better and the next allows you to enjoy the moment, live in the present and fully enjoying each experience. I am very much the same and get myself in trouble, jumping in head first in the next experience or project. So I fully get it. Keep keeping on.

    1. Yeah that’s the challenge. I’ve always had a bit of a challenge with enjoying the present moment to the max so I’m trying to be better about that and it’s something I’ve learned about through this accident and recovery. But it’s all about how to balance these two feelings. Thanks for the continued encouragement -AB

  3. Just as long as you keep everything in Balance – accept, recognise, reflect, calm, peace, strive, yearn, challenge, conquer……………and move on to the next day/week/month/year/lifetime.
    Yin and Yang.
    Balance in everything.

  4. Dear Arash, thank you for inspiring me (in my own life) once again. All best wishes for those milestones of achievement to keep coming thick and fast for you. 🙂

  5. many look inward with sobering critiques, but few share those honest views with the world. your posts always help us evolve into stronger people as well, and hopefully none of us will settle for adequate when its our duty to be the best we can be – each day.

    i think that movie might be ‘the karate kid.’


  6. Good post and comments. There is a great business book that applies here called “Built to Last” which looks at the common threads between very successful companies over time. One of the threads is called “good enough never is.” Like you, these successful companies did many great things, but they had a continuous improvement mindset. So, I think it is more than OK, to say that was a great, but look to improve. Yet, I do think it is important to acknowledge something well done and those who may have had a hand in it or would appreciate knowing of your success. To do otherwise is opportunity missed. BTG

    1. I’ll have to check out that book. Thanks for sharing. Yeah the whole point of my post was that I want to find that balance between both of these emotions of wanting more yet appreciating the achievements. Hope you keep reading! -AB

  7. I assume that when I stop searching for improvement within myself, I’ve stopped living…or may as well have. Of course, there’s pleasure in each day, because I know I’ve done my best. But there’s always tomorrow to look forward to and that day may be even better! Kindred spirits?

    1. Absolutely. As I mentioned, this is something I’ve done my entire life and I think it’s sustained me through so many different situations, not just this one. Hopefully tomorrow will be better than today 🙂 -AB

  8. The only way to be better is to always believe that you can be better. At least that’s what I think, but, then again, all of my friends think I’m slightly insane because I’m always cooking up some new ridiculous challenge as soon as I finish the one that just took over my life.

    But that amazing feeling you get when you finally do it and then realize that you can do even more is totally worth all the eye rolls and side-eyed glances you get from everyone else, right?

  9. I don’t get on your blog enough, but when I do I cannot stop reading. You have such perspective and such heart and courage and it makes my life feel small. I am so proud of you Arash. Keep on keeping on:) You are an inspiration to so many:)

  10. Arash: I am Jere Carroll’s mother and he has kept us up-to-date on your recovery. I am so impressed with your insight, courage, and determination. If anyone can do this, you can! You are truly an incredible person! There is so much others can learn from you, including me at age 60. You are truly an inspiration facing a challenge so much harder than most of us will ever have to deal with. I can only say, I am completely in awe of you & wish I was half the person you are & I REALLY MEAN THAT!!!

    1. Nice to hear from you Debra. Jere has been an amazing source of support and a wonderful friend through this time. Thanks for the kind words, I’m only trying my best to get to what I want and achieve those goals that I want oh so badly. Best to you -AB

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