Like most babies, mine had a pacifier. A pacifier is rubber or plastic object with a nipple that satisfies the baby’s intuitive sucking motion, when that's not readily available, babies tend to use their fingers. Pacifiers are used to comfort the baby and reduces the infant’s fussiness and crying.
It gives the baby something to focus on and do until she calms down, falls asleep, something catches her attention, or she becomes hungry again. One thing it does not do is feed the baby or provide any type of nutrients to the child.
While it provides a false sense of calm and security, this feeling of comfort is real to the infant.
Adults have pacifiers too. They might come in the form of shopping, snacking, watching a television show that’s of no interest or even filling time with meaningless relationships, jobs, or activities.
From time to time, I level set my life by evaluating what I have allowed to become a pacifier. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents wean the child from using the pacifier by the age of 3-years-old. They advise that weaning the toddler from its pacifier will reduce dental issues, like misaligned teeth, overbites, under bites, and overcrowded teeth, as the child grows.
The same is true for adults. Weaning oneself from things, people and situations that no longer feed you or provide nutrients is vital to keeping your life and career in alignment.
I have stayed in clubs past the time of me doing them any good or them feeding my desire to serve. I’ve stayed in relationships past the expiration date, evident by me being the only one calling, visiting and checking in to keep the conversation alive. I've remained on jobs that no longer impassioned me; completing task with lackluster enthusiasm. It’s difficult to walk away because you keep yearning to be pacified or satisfied as you once were.
I urge you to seek more than mere satisfaction, seek joy.
Seek joy in what you for a living, so that everyday is filled with enjoyment and passion. Seek joy in the activities that you do in your community in such a way that your participation makes a difference. Seek joy in your friendships and partnerships, where your communication and actions are reciprocated.
Don’t wait for joy to come knocking on your door. Be proactive and go look for it. Most of all, evaluate who you are and what brings you joy, peace, love and true happiness. Start by making a list of all of the things you really want in your life, as well as a list of things you don't want. Include all parts of your life – your career, your family and friends, your leisure time, your spiritual time, etc. It will require you to really be truthful and vulnerable.
Be honest with yourself first and then be honest with others to get what you truly want and need in your life. Be dissatisfied with that which only pacifies you and no longer feeds you.