The World Belongs To The Discontent

Robert Woodruff, the former CEO of Coca Cola, used to say, "The world belongs to the discontent.” A person who is discontent is dissatisfied with their current situation. Said another way, a person who is discontent is constantly looking to improve or better their situation. In the last few weeks, I have met with several people that expressed discontent about their current situation. After some reflection, here are a few thoughts on unleashing the power of discontentedness:

1) To be effectively discontent requires a vision for something better. Being discontent without a vision is just complaining. The more clear your vision, the easier it will be to progress. As my grandmother always says, "It's hard to hit the basket if there is no goal.”

2) An effective vision requires a strong action plan. A vision without a plan is simply a dream.  On the other hand, a plan without a vision is just staying busy. This important step is where I see most of us stay idle thinking that the plan must be perfect before proceeding. Once the vision is clear, create an action plan and start moving. The good news is that no plan will ever be perfect so you can always pivot along the way once you are moving in the right direction.  

3) Engage as many mentors and supportive friends as possible to bounce your ideas off of along the way. The key here is to find people who are truly supportive with no strings attached.  There are many people out there that will try to discourage you from bettering your situation for a multitude of reasons. Avoid them and focus on the ones that take joy in your progress. 

If you are discontent with your current situation you have two choices. You can remain idle and complain, or you can get moving on an action plan that will take you towards your vision with the help of supportive mentors and friends. The world will belong to those who choose wisely. 

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