My theory is that your degree of job satisfaction is largely a function of who you blame for the necessarily unpleasant job you have. If you blame yourself, that’s when cognitive dissonance sets in and your brain redefines your situation as “satisfied.” To do otherwise would mean you deliberately keep yourself in a bad situation for no good reason, assuming you believe you have options. Your brain likes to rationalize your actions to seem consistent with the person you believe you are.
If my theory is true, the best way to make your employees feel a false sense of job satisfaction is to somehow convince them that there are much better jobs elsewhere. For example, you could subscribe all employees to entrepreneur magazines that are full of stories about people who left their unsatisfying jobs to become zillionaires. If you instill the false belief that better careers are obtainable, cognitive dissonance will cause the employees that have high self-esteem to believe they must enjoy their current jobs.
I wouldn’t have considered this plausible about six months ago. It’s just that recent evidence from multiple places seem to warrant a serious thought.
This was inspiring hope you can read the whole thing!
Doing this in addition to my full course load, I graduated college in two and a half years – (got my bachelor's degree when I was 20) – squeezing every bit of education out of that place that I could.
But the permanent effect was this:
Kimo’s high expectations set a new pace for me. He taught me “the standard pace is for chumps” – that the system is designed so anyone can keep up. If you’re more driven than “just anyone” – you can do so much more than anyone expects. And this applies to ALL of life – not just school.
Before I met him, I was just a kid who wanted to be a musician, doing it casually.
Ever since our five lessons, high expectations became my norm, and still are to this day. Whether music, business, or personal – whether I actually achieve my expectations or not – the point is that I owe every great thing that’s happened in my life to Kimo’s raised expectations. That’s all it took. A random meeting and five music lessons to convince me I can do anything more effectively than anyone expects.
(And so can anyone else.)
I wish the same experience for everyone. I have no innate abilities. This article wasn't meant to be about me as much as the life-changing power of a great teacher and raised expectations.