That strange, gut-wrenching feeling you have is not the sushi you had for lunch. It's your soul trying to give you a nudge to do something. A word for that feeling is "discontent." Discontent is a state of not being satisfied or fulfilled in your current situation.
Of course, this same feeling can apply to a hundred different situations, from a work-related issue to a personal issue at home. But, the resulting meaning is still the same: "make a change." Some people listen to that feeling and change their life in such a way as to eliminate that feeling. However, some people that fall into discontent, but tend to remain in that situation as they find it a place of "same-ness" and "safety."
--- Souler Greenhouse ---
Discontent is actually a "souler greenhouse" of change. It is the first warnings you receive that things are not what they should be and that a change is required to correct the situation. Discontent comes when there is juxtaposition between needs and desires. Usually, you're pursuing a need, achieve it, and then continue to pursue the ideals of the same need. This occurs because you don't know what to do once you reach the objective. However, once you achieve a need, you need to move on to the next pursuit.
Many people find that discontent for a given situation is acceptable. For instance, discontent with your work might feel acceptable because you have to make money and care for your family. In this way, you learn to overcome the discontent by accepting the obligations. However, while this may work, it is not necessarily the route to take. Indeed, you might need the job, but this feeling is calling for an evaluation as some aspect of the situation needs attention.
Discontent can provide you with either a reason to stay right where you are or a fertile environment from which to move forward. While it does provide a way for the Universe to bring attention to a situation, we sometimes become so accustomed to the feeling that it becomes part of our life. In such a case, if we adapt and the discontented feeling is resolved, we will miss it.
--- Growth ---
Growth from discontent is an amazing change. Again, comparing to the greenhouse, it can either smother you, or help you grow. However, change from discontent is something that you have to execute consciously, because discontent can also provide you with a safety zone. By accepting discontent in one part of your life, it can spread into other areas of your life. You can become satisfied with the feeling because it becomes familiar. However, you end up working on parts of your life in hopes of resolving the feeling when you find that, once that part of your life has changed, you still feel the same.
Growth occurs because you feel a push, or pull, to move in a direction. The objective is to obtain a balance such that the discontent disappears. Once you achieve the necessary change, you will be able to leave the discontented feelings behind you. Focus on the situation that makes you feel the discontent, not on other issues that may, or may not, make you feel better. The contented feeling from "doing busy work" or fixing something that isn't broken is fleeting, unless you tackle the core issue.
The growth comes in once you embrace the change. When you move from an area of the familiar, you must learn something new or different to adapt to the unfamiliar. However, in this transition, you are putting your life back in balance and moving forward, which eliminates those feelings of discontent.
--- What's next? ---
Don't let discontent drag you down! Listen to your gut! It will always tell you when change is necessary. It might be a simple gnawing feeling or a twisted knot. In either case, be honest with yourself and trust that feeling. Discontent is the universe's way of telling you that a change is necessary within yourself to resolve the situation. It is there to warn you of situations and guide you when things need to change.
To make the change, you have to know where you are and where you want to be in the near future. However, the one thing to keep in mind is that you want to achieve some type of balance to counter the discontent. Remember that discontent is caused from an imbalance in one or more parts of your life. Ask yourself, and focus on, what it is that is causing you the most concern. Once you are able to determine the issue, only then can you set out on a goal that satisfies the feeling. Such an approach will not only restore balance, but it will also allow you to move forward to a more fulfilling life.
Edward B. Toupin is an author, life-strategy coach, counselor, and technical writer living in Las Vegas, NV. Among other things, he authors books and articles on topics ranging from career success through life organization and fulfillment. For more information, e-mail Edward at email@example.com or visit his sites at http://www.toupin.com or http://www.make-life-great.com.