The Need for Contentment and How This Manifests in Executives (Part 5 in the Human Needs Series)
Over the first four blog posts in this series, we have discussed a number of the different needs that humans need to fulfil in order to live a satisfied and fulfilled life. These are significance, control, belonging, and the need for contentment. So far, we’ve looked at the first three in more detail. If you missed these posts, you can catch up here.
We are now going to be looking at the last one in more detail: the need for contentment. This refers to our need for growth, contribution, and serving – that is, how we can grow as individuals, how we can contribute to or give back to society, and how we can serve the community and others around us.
If we have achieved this need for contentment, this will manifest as feelings of fulfilment and comfort about where we are in life. We will experience a greater sense of inner peace and empathy for others.
On the other hand, though, if we have not achieved this need for contentment, we may be uncertain of our life’s purpose or where we are headed in life, and struggle to identify our goals and how we intend to get there.
There are several steps we can take to get closer to achieving this need for contentment. These include:
- Spending time with people who are positive influences, and inspire and motivate you (not people who discourage you!)
- Understand a focus on the impact you can have with setting people up for success and creating high performing organisations
- Making a clear plan about how you are going to achieve your goals, and breaking the journey down into realistic, achievable, bite-sized steps that you can get started on immediately
- As a life-long learner and practitioner decide what next level growth looks like for you, and go get it
- Stopping comparing yourself to others (e.g. friends, family members, other colleagues)
- Taking a detox from social media and the mainstream media to switch your focus from others to yourself
- Practicing meditation and mindfulness
- Not being afraid to take risks in doing what makes you happy
- Celebrating your accomplishments – no matter how big or small
- Making time to do things you enjoy (such as hobbies or self-care activities), even when you are busy with work
As we’ve touched on throughout this series, as a business leader, it is essential that you are proactive in ensuring these four needs – the need for contentment, significance, control, and belonging - are met. Failing to do this will mean that you are doing a disservice to yourself, your employees, and your company by limiting yourself from becoming the best leader you can possibly be.
That brings us to the end of our five-part series on human needs.
Getting started on the contentment and fulfilment journey can be a daunting and overwhelming prospect. However, you don’t have to walk this journey alone! Consider joining forces with another business leader who has achieved contentment and fulfilment for themselves, who will be able to support you as you take the first steps on this exciting new journey.
Coaching and mentorship are just two of the services I offer as an executive advisor and coach. You can find out more about my services here.
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Caroline Kennedy, author of Lead Beyond 2030: The Nine Skills You Need to Intensify Your Leadership Impact, is an accomplished, award-winning CEO and global thought leader on business and leadership. She is a highly sought-after mentor and coach to top global executives. A respected keynote speaker and author, Caroline’s methods are neuroscience-based to achieve rapid development and growth.