Dissatisfied — for a Better World

I’m sure the question has crossed everyone’s mind: What makes a person so special, that they change the world? What do they have that lets them create such amazing things? From Special Relativity to CSS and XHTML, every facet of our lives is inundated with discoveries and constructions made by all sorts of admirable people.
Really, it’s one word: dissatisfaction.

When you’re completely satisfied with your life, you’ll never change. You won’t see anything wrong, and you’ll keep doing as you’re doing. It’s often said that any good artist is never satisfied with their work, and always sees all those tremendous flaws scattered throughout the design. We’d tell Leonardo da Vinci that his paintings are genius, and that he shouldn’t be too hard on himself.
But you know what? If he listened, he’d fail.

And so it is with for the rest of us. If you find anything — the slighest thing — that you don’t like, that just doesn’t work, think of ways you could make it better. In the end, you’ll be left with things like Linux, jQuery, Firefox, a community, and a great feel of self-worth.

I’m writing this partly because I, myself, am fairly satisfied. I’ll nitpick over details of my work, of course, quick to find error in whatever it is I’m working on, but I’ll thoughtlessly twist myself around the W3C specifications and eat plain boiled beans with salt.
When it comes right down to it, I should notice every annoyance the current specifications give me. I should create logs with new ideas for new elements, and new ways to use the old ones. It’s easy to say to oneself that “it’s all been done before,” but it’s just not true. Every day, something new is discovered, and everyday I’ll see something that I could have discovered myself.
I’m reading some old posts from various blogs I’ve recently subscribed to, and I’ve just paused halfway down Johnathon Snook’s article about his Matrix Layouts. He was dissatisfied with the current layout scheme, enough so that he put his mind to creating something better. I wish him all the best.

And so there we are. As a global society, we need to open our eyes and see what it is we’re doing throughout the day. Only we can build something better and more relevant.


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