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Trying To Cultivate More Satisfaction

Wandering Aimfully Through Our Podcast: What is it all for?

Trying To Cultivate More Satisfaction

When was the last time you caught yourself scrolling through IG, Pinterest, etc, and wishing you had the exact kitchen, outfit, aesthetically “perfect” office, completely passive income business, etc?
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

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Jason Zook

Listen to our full episode on Trying To Cultivate More Satisfaction below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.



Five Key Takeaways for Trying To Cultivate More Satisfaction

1. Recognize what feels satisfying for YOU

Ask yourself, What is it that I want out of my life and work? It’s a big, nebulous question, but if you can come up with any answer that feels satisfying, it’s about putting together a plan of action. So often, we chase other people’s versions of success (or goals) and we don’t actually want those things or the work it takes to get them. By defining your own satisfying life goals, you may just find that the “work” to achieve those goals feels less daunting and awful.

2. Make a “good enough” list

We live in a time where we are inundated with things to buy. Beautiful things, unique things, modern things, antique things, all of the THINGS. It’s important to take time to reflect on the idea of an “aesthetic life,” (as created by IG, TikTok, or Pinterest) and having or not having the fullest version of that. You will always be disappointed in what you have and striving for more, until you define what good enough is for YOUR life.

3. Limit what would be satisfying at the beginning stage of your journey

Draw a line in the sand of what’s going to be enough for this next phase of your life/business. When we set limits, list out our non-negotiables, and define the most important core things we need, we become more aware of what can satisfy us at the earliest stages of the journey and not compare ourselves to folks who are much further along on their journeys.

4. Be grateful for the negative things that you DON’T have

It can be so much easier to be grateful for the presence of something instead of the absence of something negative. But there can also be so much satisfaction in being grateful for the things that you don’t have. Sometimes we forget that we have good health, loving relationships, positive friendships, and flexibility right in front of us that we often take for granted. Gratitude is an intentional practice, every day and every moment, of knowing that what you have now may not be perfect at all, but what it doesn’t have is all the things you had to escape from before. That is gratitude for the absence of something.

5. Appreciate what is in front of you right now

The nature of human beings is that you’re never fully satisfied. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. You are going to evolve and change as life goes on and your needs/wants/desires will change as well. But, to feel satisfaction at this very moment, take stock of all the wonderful things you DO have at this very moment.


Show Notes for Episode 135: Trying To Cultivate More Satisfaction

When was the last time you caught yourself scrolling through IG, Pinterest, etc, and wishing you had the exact kitchen, outfit, aesthetically “perfect” office, completely passive income business, etc?

We live in a time when we don’t just see what our neighbors are up to, we’re now trying to keep up with billions of people. In this week’s episode, we wanted to talk about how these thoughts are affecting us but also how we’re trying to combat them with our own future life decisions.

If you’re feeling caught up in a never-ending spiral of wanting more or dreaming about some big life change, maybe it’s worth writing down your non-negotiable (realistic) items that WOULD make you feel satisfied. And then, if you achieve that big dream or make a huge life change, you won’t automatically be focused on what’s next or what you don’t have! That’s certainly what we’re trying to do.

Links we said we’d share with you…

🏰 Go see the Dunnottar Castle if you’re in Scotland: https://goo.gl/maps/Qd6yTqa3ZoNCVDc46

🎥 Make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/wanderingaimfully

✈️ Our pramvel stories take you to our time at Dunnottar Castle and then the long day of driving to Holmfirth (central England!)


Full Transcript of Episode 135: Trying To Cultivate More Satisfaction

⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript

Caroline: Welcome to What is it All For?, a podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We are your hosts, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an UN-boring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.

Jason: And I’m here, too.

Caroline: Maybe that’s why you do that.

Jason: That’s why I do what? We’re recording, by the way. So whatever you say is on the record.

Caroline: I was just thinking that when I am experiencing hardship.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: We have had conversations about how you do this thing. And this is not a criticism.

Jason: Oh, sure.

Caroline: This is just an observation.

Jason: Is this going in the episode?

Caroline: You can decide.

Jason: Okay, great.

Caroline: We can add it if we want to. But you do this thing where you go, Do we need to stop? Basically. Actually, you don’t phrase it as a question. It’s more like, Do you need to just, like when we started this episode and you were like, it’s too windy. And so I had to close the windows and I’m still kind of recovering. And so it’s hard, and you can see that it’s hard for me. And so you just go, Do we need to not do this episode? And so you do that a lot. You’ll be like, Do we need to leave the store? And it comes from such a place of love. But I wonder, because I’ve had this conversation with you where I’m like, I don’t need you to… I will tell you if I need to stop something, or I will tell you if I need to, but what it does for me is it triggers this thing where I feel like I can’t handle this. You know what I mean? And I’m sort of like, no, let me speak up and say that I can’t handle something or that I need to leave. But I’m wondering I just had this “Aha” moment as you turned on the recorder.

Jason: Did the dials.

Caroline: I wonder if it comes from a feeling of helplessness in seeing me struggling, where you also want to kind of end that pain of watching me struggle. So you’re like, Should we just…? It’s being phrased as like, me opting out, but I do feel like maybe it’s a little bit of you opting out as well, where you’re just like, I don’t want to watch her struggle through this.

Jason: Oh, that’s probably a big part of it. I think the other part of it is, and we’ve talked about this before, is like, I think sometimes I have to help you from yourself in situations where it’s like helping you decide for you. And this is like a very gray area, right? Where it’s like, when do I step up and say, Hey, we’re just not going to do that thing ahead of time? Knowing you’re like, Well, no, but I think I could do it. No, I don’t think we’re in a place to do that. And this is very… treachery.

Caroline: That’s tricky. It’s gambling.

Jason: Oh, it’s something.

Caroline: You’re like, Is this going to pay off or is this going to be the bad thing?

Jason: It is something.

Caroline: And that’s being human.

Jason: It really is. All right, well, sure, let’s just roll into it.

Caroline: You could cut that if you want.

Jason: Yeah, but I also think I might leave it just because it’s the reality of life from a couple of episodes ago, living with a highly sensitive person and trying to be helpful, but then also protect my own emotional state in that all day I’m navigating trying to be as helpful as possible. And sometimes I’m just like, I would just love to not have to think about how uncomfortable you are for the next hour.

Caroline: Yeah. Which is what it’s like being a highly sensitive person, because Lord knows that’s all you ever think about is, I would just love to not feel this for like 5 seconds, but I can understand how it’s a unique hardship of being a person who loves that type of person. It’s both brands of hard.

Jason: We’re throwing the L word around a lot in this episode. And we’ve just started saying it recently, so it’s really…

Caroline: Yeah, it’s making you uncomfortable.

Jason: Okay, maybe I will put a photo in the show notes of this episode to show how close we are together.

Caroline: We are…

Jason: On this, because this is a love seat couch. This is not like a…

Caroline: Again with the L word.

Jason: Oh, my gosh. This is not like a three-cushioned couch where you have enough.

Caroline: It’s a two. It’s a two-for.

Jason: We can’t even do our normal leg tangle. For anyone who listens and knows we do a leg tangle sitting opposite sides. This is real smooshed. And my legs are actually on a chair. And I don’t know how the audio is going to sound because your mic is going to pick me up a lot and my mic is going to pick you up a lot. I thought about maybe I should have sat over there, but now we’re too far gone and I just don’t want to…

Caroline: Okay. So it might be like a subtle echo or something?

Jason: I don’t know. Just might sound a little different.

Caroline: We’ll just feel it out. I’m leaning back a little bit. You told me and I’m trying to help.

Jason: I’ll just hold my mic over here and I’ll project my voice this way. It’s going to sound terrible. Okay, let’s talk about what we’re going to talk about this episode. Everyone who clicks into it already has an idea of that, but this is to set the stage for us because you normally take all the notes in Notion. We take a look at the podcast stuff.

Caroline: Do you love this, just flying by the seat of my pants?

Jason: Well, no, not really, because when you’re not feeling good, you don’t do a great job of flying by the seat of your pants.

Caroline: It’s true.

Jason: So it’s a little bit of like again, this whole episode for me is treachery.

Caroline: You’re doing great, babe.

Jason: So just to set the stage, we’re going to pramvel. We are going to talk about the end of our time in Scotland. We are going to talk about seeing our favorite castle in Scotland.

Caroline: Definitely.

Jason: Now, we should caveat that with we only saw one castle.

Caroline: We only saw one castle castle but we think it’s the best one.

Jason: It’s amazing. And then we’re going to talk about a long drive that really derailed your eyes, and that’s kind of where all this…

Caroline: The derailment.

Jason: Not feeling good is coming from. Then we’re going to talk about some just, like, satisfaction things. Just kind of like talking about living as a human right now and trying to be more satisfied in life. And so those are just the notes for you.

Caroline: Thank you.

Jason: And for the listeners, they’re like, I already know this. This is why I clicked into it. But it’s more for you.

Caroline: Yes, because what he’s doing there, listeners, is I can’t look at notes.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: I normally would be able. I’m very organized. I have an entire content calendar. I’m one who writes the notes, and I yell at Jason when he doesn’t stick to them, and that’s my wheelhouse.

Jason: You all should hear when the recording stops.

Caroline: She just lays it.

Jason: Wow. The F-bombs come flying.

Caroline: He’s kidding. For those of you who are new, we don’t yell at each other.

Jason: Yeah. So you tried to look at Notion about a week ago, and it did not go well.

Caroline: Right. So we’re in a… What’s our main priority right now? Healing.

Jason: Healing.

Caroline: We are in a healing phase.

Jason: And again, for those of you who have not been paying close attention or don’t know, this is the first episode. For some reason, you look into this one. We’re traveling full time this year. We’re six months in. We have been in nine countries or something like that. 20 plus Airbnbs. A lot of driving recently, which you have a lot of trouble with, with your binocular vision dysfunction. If you listen to one of the last episodes, I can’t even keep track of them at this point. It’s definitely the episode before this. We talk a lot about that.

Caroline: I just realized an HSP episode. A BVD episode.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Any other acronyms that we want to throw out there?

Jason: A.S.S.?

Caroline: You’re such a 9th grader sometimes.

Jason: A.S.S.?

Caroline: B.O.O.B.S.?

Jason: Write it on the calculator, 8-0-0-8-5, upside down. For all our TI E3 users, you’ll appreciate that. All right, let’s get into this thing. We’re such goof balls. So let’s start with…

Caroline: We’re such Goop balls?

Jason: We are… No, that’s… What’s her names? Doesn’t she have a business? What’s her name? Goop?

Caroline: Oh, the Goop. Yeah. Good job, babe.

Jason: Those are the people, the Goop Balls.

Caroline: Are you a Gwyneth Paltrow stand? You’re a Goop Ball. How has that not caught on yet?

Jason: Maybe everyone’s like, I don’t really want to be called a Goop Ball?

Caroline: I’m just thinking of a friend of mine who still reads Goop, and I want to just text him, be like, Hey, heads up. You’re a Goop Ball.

Jason: What’s up, Goop Ball? Okay, let’s talk about these two goop balls go into a castle. And we were in Scotland for a month. Just spoiler, we’re not there anymore. It was a long time ago. But we are catching you up. We are catching you up on all the stories and all the things. Actually very close to, by the time this episode comes out, just a couple of days later, there will be a YouTube video where you can watch us go to this castle with a new format for our travel videos that we tried out.

Caroline: So if you’re intrigued, go subscribe to our channel on YouTube. You can find it at youtube.com/WanderingAimfully.

Jason: Might even be in the show notes. I might even update the show notes with the YouTube link if I can remember. Anyway, the kind of, like, preface to this castle is I looked it up on Google Maps and it had 8,000 five-star reviews. I have never seen anything with that many reviews. And we have been in Europe for six months looking at lots of things on Google Maps.

Caroline: The preface to the preface…

Jason: Yeah, go ahead.

Caroline: Is that when I was shopping at a store called Oliver Bonus, which I paused on because we’ve renamed it, All Of Her Boners, and I had to think of what the real name is. So anyway, I’m shopping at Oliver Bonus, and the checkout clerk…

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: Was chatting me up and asking where we were going and I was telling her about our trip. And then she is the one, I told her we were going to maybe go to St. Andrews, but the cathedral was closed. And she said, Well, St. Andrews is beautiful, but you know what is my favorite castle that I’ve ever seen here? And it’s Dunnottar Castle. So then Jason goes and looks it up, sees it has all these five-star reviews. And so thank you, Oliver Bonus.

Jason: Yeah, thank you so much, All Of Her Boners. Just every single one. Anyway, we looked it up. It looked amazing. We scheduled a time to drive there, and if you remember from our last pramvel, which is two episodes ago, we went and saw the Scottish Highland cattle and it was such a rainy day, and that would have been okay on this day, but we drove 2 hours to get to the castle. You did a great job in the car. And we got there and it was perfect weather.

Caroline: It was a gorgeous day.

Jason: Seventy degrees, not a cloud in the sky. Just everything you’d want on a day where you’re visiting a castle. Now, what’s really unique about this castle is that you can imagine it as an island that’s like up out of the ground, like a couple of hundred feet.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And you really don’t see stuff like that.

Caroline: You get this panoramic sea views and it’s just stunning.

Jason: It’s very much like a Game of Thrones. Picture, like, a castle on an island that’s, like, up high, very Game of Thrones vibes, but not much of the castle is actually still left. So you have a bunch of kind of derelict buildings that they’ve restored and done as much as they can. But one of our favorite parts was, before you even get into the castle grounds, you park in the car park. Not a parking lot, car park. And you can walk about a quarter mile to these overlook parts. You don’t have to pay a single dollar for that. You don’t have to pay to park. And you just get to view the entire castle grounds.

Caroline: Like, a little ways away with the sea in the background. It’s just stunning.

Jason: Beautiful. All these seagulls are flying around. And honestly, there weren’t that many people when we went we went on, I think, a Friday at the 9:00 a.m. tickets. There’s two different ticket times. You can look it up, you can find it. But yeah, it was just gorgeous. We took some photos. We took a couple of video clips.

Caroline: And my favorite thing about the castle itself, I really thought, Castle, it’s just one building.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: No.

Jason: Myriad.

Caroline: A myriad, a plethora of buildings to explore. I mean, you really do get the sense that it was just a little community living here.

Jason: Yeah, very much.

Caroline: And you had stables where they kept the horses. You had living quarters, each with their individual fireplaces because, obviously, that’s how they keep warm. You have the big kitchen where they would have a huge stove with a fire and a chimney. And it just was so cool.

Jason: Yeah, it was really fun to walk around and just see all these buildings and just to kind of transport yourself back in time and go, Imagine living on this little island. You’re just so remote, so removed. But you have everything you could need. I mean, they had horses on the island. They had this giant kitchen set up, this huge fireplace.

Caroline: And then this beach. There’s, like, a little rocky beach. So the castle is up on this island, but then you can walk down these stairs into this little rocky beach. It was just so fun. And then there’s plenty of grassy areas as well. So families brought, like, picnic baskets. And we’re just enjoying the day.

Jason: Now I don’t want to spoil one of the funnier things, which is the mad mom, which we’ll leave for the video.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: We won’t share that story here. You can watch it in our YouTube video. Oh, nice. Carol’s doing, like, a long Siri recording of our conversation. Nice.

Caroline: I’ll put it on “Do Not Disturb.” What do you think?

Jason: But I will say, we should talk about is the bonk.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: Yeah. So we take the exterior views in, and now we’re making our way into the actual castle. There’s tons of steps you walk up.

Caroline: We haven’t even really started the experience.

Jason: Really haven’t even started. And there’s this little area right before the ticket counter, where you go and purchase…

Caroline: It’s like the warden’s quarters or something.

Jason: Tickets online, and you can go in, like, all these tiny little rooms, and I’m like, Carol, go in one of these rooms. I’m going to film it because obviously we’re YouTubers, and I just want to get, like, a cute little shot of you going into a room. I’ll let you take it from here.

Caroline: The key mistake that I made is I was still wearing my sunglasses because it was a very sunny day, as Jason mentioned. So when we went inside, it was quite a bit darker. I still have my sunglasses on. I go down a couple of steps, and I’m going to go into this room. And I am not aware that the stone beam that is now at head height… So I go to really step into this room and just bonk right on top of my head. Just an extremely hard…

Jason: Bonk.

Caroline: Bonk.

Jason: Good news is you didn’t get knocked unconscious.

Caroline: No, but I really…

Jason: And there wasn’t any bleeding.

Caroline: But I really thought it broke skin and it was bleeding. That’s how hard I hit it. And I immediately… Jason has it on video. You’ll see it in the video. I just sat down. My immediate reaction was, like, very abruptly scared and hurt and just immediately sit down in tears, of course.

Jason: The content creator in me wanted to keep recording because obviously great content, but the husband in me was like, Let’s turn off the camera. Let’s check on my wife.

Caroline: Yeah, we’re not one of those channels with the thumbnail that’s like, Wife knocked unconscious in a castle.

Jason: Nice. Will she survive? She’ll get $10,000 if she does. Yeah. It was a bummer because that’s how this started, essentially. But you took, like, 15 minutes to regroup. You stood, and I got a little clip of you from afar…

Caroline: Composing myself.

Jason: Taking the scenery.

Caroline: These poor families. It’s near the entrance, and these families are just walking by me.

Jason: It’s not near the entrance. It is the entrance.

Caroline: These families are just walking by me and I am just in tears. And they’re like, What is going on?

Jason: Yes, it was not a great way to start, but you did rally. We did end up seeing the rest of the castle. You had a great time. Your head was uncomfortable.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: But it was…

Caroline: It was still a fun day.

Jason: It was a good trip.

Caroline: And it was still, by the end of it, very enjoyable.

Jason: Yeah. So we recommend it. Big time tip, though. Make sure to duck when you go inside rooms.

Caroline: Just duck.

Jason: And take sunglasses off.

Caroline: The fact that you didn’t hit your head?

Jason: Yeah. But this is the thing you have to know about tall people. We are used to this life. This life of hitting our head is our constant life. For you, it’s a rarity.

Caroline: It’s a rarity.

Jason: Like, how many times in your life have you bonked your head? You could probably count. Five?

Caroline: And they’ve all happened on this year. Remember when I bonked my head so hard on the plane?

Jason: I do. But seriously, it really must be, like, five for you.

Caroline: It’s not a lot.

Jason: Yeah, it was like 500 by the time I was twelve.

Caroline: That explains quite a bit.

Jason: Oh, just about me in general?

Caroline: Just, like, your head trauma.

Jason: Oh, interesting. Okay.

Caroline: I’m just kidding. Isn’t that a joke people make where they’re like, Oh, I was dropped in my head? That explains a lot.

Jason: It didn’t feel like a joke to me.

Caroline: Clearly, by your reaction.

Jason: Okay, so let’s talk about, we ended our time in Scotland then, and now we had to road trip from the northeast of the UK to the center of the UK in England to a town called Holmfirth.

Caroline: Yeah. And a couple of things to say there. First of all, we had originally planned to train down, which I do think that in hindsight would have made things differently. We can’t say if it would have been better or worse because really it would have been a lot of travel logistics.

Jason: It was a lot of logistics. So just very quickly, for those of you who care, it would have been driving a rental car to a rental car place. From the rental car place, getting an Uber to the train station. Train station, take the train all the way down to the next train station. From that train station, get in an Uber to another rental car place. In that rental car place, pick up the car, then drive to where we’re going, which is another hour anyway.

Caroline: And so that would have been one day. And so we just decided, instead of doing the train, let’s just see if we can keep the rental car, which luckily they were very generous in letting us from Scotland because we picked it up in Scotland.

Jason: Thank you, Arnold Clark, and it’s not sponsored.

Caroline: Thank you, Arnold Clark. And we’re going to drop it off in England. And they were like, That’s fine, and they worked it out. So we decided to drive instead. Now, what was on paper a five hour drive from the town that we were in in Scotland down to this little town called Holmfirth in England. On paper, it’s a five hour drive. We decided to split it up to do two stops. So a quick lunch stop, and then we found that the route took us through what’s called the Lake District, which people say is very beautiful. And we did some research of like, what’s there to see? And we found this cool, like, rock formation cove.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Oh, it looks amazing. So then that was going to be our second stop, just to stop, take some photos and then keep driving. Well, what started as a five hour drive ends up being an eight hour driving day because you’re driving in these like, little back roads, tiny little roads, tiny little roads. And the first leg went great. We found this cool restaurant where we ate lunch and had a beautiful view. But then the second leg, we drive from the restaurant down to this Lake District cove. Come to find out. Well, first of all, the drive was a nightmare for me, personally, it was fun for you because we somehow end up on, I kid you not, a mountain with sheep in the road.

Jason: So, yeah, let me talk about this for a second, just because for anybody who wants to just have a magical experience, I’ll put a link in the show notes to the name of this cove because I cannot remember for the life of me right now.

Caroline: Melham Cove?

Jason: Melham Cove. I think you’re right. I think that’s what it is. But I’ll put it in the show notes, the drive to get to the cove from the direction we were coming, which was from the north, you literally drive on these, like, windy, rocky roads.

Caroline: You enter those roads through a gate.

Jason: Like a farm gate.

Caroline: Like a farm gate that looks like it’s someone’s property. It’s not.

Jason: The best part is that there are just sheep laying in the road, crossing the road, laying next to the road, just walking around. And it was so fun just to drive around. So if anybody who does not have driving anxiety wants a very unique experience, absolutely do this just for nothing else. Park the car where other people are parked there, get out. Just like, walk amongst the sheep.

Caroline: In hindsight, we wish we would have parked and really take it in, sweeping, panoramic, 360 degree views with sheep everywhere. It would have been amazing. However, we, according to the map, thought, Oh, we’re just literally five to ten minutes away from this cove. So we were kind of like, Let’s just soldier on and get to cove. Come to find out, we realized on the map we’ve now passed the cove, because the cove is not a place where you can park. You have to park basically in a public lot in the little like…

Jason: There’s a tiny town, yeah.

Caroline: Village. It’s not even a town, it’s like a village where you park in a lot and then you have to hike basically a mile to get to the coast.

Jason: Which we didn’t have time for because, as a reminder, we’re trying to get to a new place.

Caroline: Right. And so we talked about it for a second and we were like, It’s such a shame to come all this way and not even do it. And then you were just like, Trust me, it’s not going to be worth it because of what a long day this is.

Jason: Yeah. And I think for people listening to this who can travel without anxiety and you can go all day long and it’s not a big deal…

Caroline: Do it.

Jason: Do it. Absolutely. It would be a fun… You walk 20 minutes one way to see this cove. I’m sure it looks amazing. The photos are fun. It’s very unique looking, but also just like a great way to take a break from driving. For us, we just kind of had to soldier on because we needed to get to our place because you were already feeling pretty crappy. So then we got to Holmfirth. But the problem was that the thing that is most triggering to your eyes is these like really tight, windy roads that are lined with things, cars, homes.

Caroline: Not to mention the width of the roads are such that you’re in constant focus to see when someone’s going to pass you. And so it’s a lot of processing and it’s a lot of triggering for this eye condition that I have.

Jason: I could tell that Caroline was just very frazzled by the time we got to Holmfirth and it was just really tough because you want to appreciate this trip, right? And I think we keep coming back to that constantly and just, it’s a dream of a lifetime and so many people don’t get to do a trip like this, but at the same time the reality is it’s so difficult for you. And so how do we balance that out? Because I know you have these feelings of, I wish I could just feel better and I could do all these things, but you don’t feel that good, so you can’t.

Caroline: Yeah, and we’re learning a lot more about, like that is one of the silver linings is until you kind of test your limitations, you don’t know what they are. You don’t know where that line is. And so for us, this whole year actually has been a mixture of testing my limitations and realizing I do better in certain scenarios than I thought I would. For example, back to back flights, like I’ve done, I think better on the flights than we would have imagined. But then testing this limitation with my eye condition and the driving and understanding now so much better, what triggers it, and then also what does it take to heal from it. Like we were just discussing now, it’s happened enough times that we kind of know like, Okay, two full days of resting my eyes after the fact, I feel a lot better. And that’s helpful to me to know going forward.

Jason: Yeah. And also it’s like, if we’re doing a longer drive, which we’re going to do this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, no plans for you.

Caroline: No computer work.

Jason: No computer work. And sleep in. Because I think that’s the other thing where it’s not like you’re taking naps throughout the day to help rest your eyes. So sleeping in would be really helpful. And you’ve noticed that that’s helped because obviously your eyes are resting completely.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: My hope, and I don’t know if this is true or not, but I think we’re going to find out the hard way, is that we’re driving every single week for the next twelve weeks. Are your eyes going to, like a muscle, get better at this or is it just always going to be this difficult? And my hope is, and I think that this is just one of those things, it’s like, who knows what’s going to happen? No one knows. Everybody’s eyes are different. My hope is just that your eyes are getting better at dealing with this over time, and then it will be a little bit easier and you’ll recover a little bit faster. I don’t think you’re going to be perfectly fine driving, but my hope is that you don’t have to take, like, two full days.

Caroline: Well, that’s the interesting thing, right, is we drove quite a bit at the beginning of this year. We drove in France. We drove in Ireland.

Jason: No, you didn’t have any trouble in France. We drove in France.

Caroline: I know. And this is my theory, is I think it’s the constant exacerbation. So if you think about it, Highland cattles, two hour drive.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Then four days later, Dunnottar Castle, two hour drive. Then three days later, an eight hour drive, then three days later, a two hour… And it’s just been… There is no healing.

Jason: And you were trying to work through those things, too, right?

Caroline: A little bit, yeah.

Jason: Then you’re putting pressure on your eyes to look at Notion and all these other things.

Caroline: So I think the difference between our time here in England and how hard that’s been versus, say, Ireland at the beginning of the year is the sheer back to back to back with no healing in between.

Jason: Yeah. Do you think it’s just because the Great British pound is not a great equivalent to the dollar right now? That’s what you’re really struggling with?

Caroline: It’s an economic factor.

Jason: It really is. Because we were with the euro. The euro was great. Basically equal.

Caroline: I think that might be it.

Jason: I think that’s it. Yeah. All right, so I think that will wrap up the pramvel. We’ll talk a little bit more about Holmfirth in the next episode because we’re going to share the first real Airbnb drama that we’ve had.

Caroline: That’s right. Airbnb drama.

Jason: Not trying to be like a clickbaiter, because also there’s nothing to clickbait into. But next week’s episode, if Caroline is feeling up to it, we will share the Airbnb that we had to leave early and change up our plans.

Caroline: It’s because three strikes and you’re out.

Jason: Three strikes and you’re out. Really two strikes. Really one strike.

Caroline: And then also. And then probably the next episode, we’ll share with you where we are right now, which is probably my favorite Airbnb that we’ve been in.

Jason: That’s crazy.

Caroline: That’s crazy.

Jason: Okay, let’s get into the actual topic of this episode that we wanted to ramble on about. And I just want to preface this with a lot of times we have, like, a polished discussion ready for you. Caroline takes notes. We have takeaways.

Caroline: We have takeaways.

Jason: I think this one is going to be a lot less structured and it’s going to just be more some thoughts about some things that you were discussing with me. And I’m very interested to see where this conversation goes, but also know that maybe there won’t be any real takeaways.

Caroline: This is more behind the scenes of what Jason and I do every day of our lives, which is we just chat and we talk about ideas, and we kind of noodle on things. And this is one of my favorite things about our relationship, is that I never get bored of talking to you.

Jason: That’s nice.

Caroline: I really don’t. And a lot of times we’re sharing things with each other without a real conclusion. It’s more of, Oh, here’s an observation I’ve noticed about culture lately. Here’s something I’m seeing, here’s a trend, here’s something I was thinking about. And so I’ve had a couple of these thoughts percolating in the past couple of days because I’ve had a lot of downtime to think. Jason is like, I’ve had zero time to think. I’m like, all I’ve been doing is thinking. And so I came to Jason, and I was like, I would like to have a discussion around these ideas without any real conclusion or takeaway, but hopefully it gives you an idea of some of these conversations that we have.

Jason: Yeah. And I think also you may be in the same boat in some part of your life, maybe a decision that’s looming.

Caroline: You, listener, not Carol.

Jason: You, listener. That you can maybe take away something from this to go, Oh, let me rethink this, or, Let me just ponder this. So I’ll let you drive the ship, unless you want me to start somewhere.

Caroline: Okay, I’ll start with this, where the origin of this whole conversation came from for me. And it’s that, as you know, I’m off of Instagram, I’m off of Twitter, I’m off of all the main social media this year, which has been fantastic for my mental health. But sometimes I do replace it with things like Pinterest, for example. Right. Because to me, that’s not a feed. It’s more of just when my brain wants that little variable input.

Jason: Yeah and the, like, scroll.

Caroline: And the scroll. Right. But I’m not getting, like, other people’s opinions. It’s just like, whatever, pretty pictures. But I find myself, especially in the Pinterest world, you get these beautiful clothes and jewelry and homes, especially, like, interior design.

Jason: There’s really nothing ugly on Pinterest, is there?

Caroline: Not on mine. Not on mine. And I find myself realizing that we’re now in this age where we have a window into, like, any object that you could possibly want, any life that you could possibly want to have. You have all these windows into other people’s lives and things like that, and it makes me feel like that’s not such a good thing for your overall satisfaction, because being aware of what else exists out there… I don’t know. It’s such a fine line. Right. Because it’s like, on the one hand, it can be so fun to kind of get lost in that fantasy. And also in the dream home example, you find interior spaces that you love and you think about, Oh, one day I would love to do that in my house, or I’d love to have a house that has that or whatever. But all it does is, I wonder if it sets us up for living a life of utter dissatisfaction because now we know what exists out there. And it just makes me think of all these, like, Instagram homes and these influencers who are redoing their kitchens and you see these bright white kitchens and they all have courts, countertops, and it’s that same aesthetic. And I wonder, did everybody want this before? Or now is there this pressure that if you don’t have this quote unquote aesthetic life that somehow you’re going to be dissatisfied?

Jason: Yeah, I mean, there’s definitely something interesting there, in that, and I think we have a very unique perspective on this because we’ve lived in like 20 plus different homes this year. And it’s very clear, granted, we have chosen the ones that we like the best through photos. It’s not like we’re just getting them at random, but it’s very clear to me which ones feel the best. Like, if we go back to the Ballybunion house, that has very much that style, right? It’s like an all white kitchen. They do have the gray cabinets and whatnot. But that felt very calming to me. It felt very aesthetically pleasing to me.

Caroline: It did. But here’s a really interesting question that I’m just realizing.

Jason: Pose it to me.

Caroline: Because I agree with you. 100%. I agree with you, like the light and all of that. That matters to me. But there is a part of me that goes, What part of that feeling is actually coming from the recognition that you’re in one of those aesthetic spaces that you’ve seen before? And so kind of your brain going like, Oh, that thing that I aspired to, I am in that environment right now and that makes me feel good.

Jason: Yeah. But I do think that’s just like a human nature of, what are the things? Because then when you get to experience that thing, you can tell, am I satisfied or am I not even satisfied with this thing?

Caroline: Right. Or is it lasting or is it not lasting?

Jason: Exactly. And I would say that being in that house specifically, it was lasting for me. I looked forward to using that kitchen every day, whereas we’ve stayed in some others, that they are beautiful, but they’re not functional and they’re not set up correctly and they look beautiful in photos. Like, the Bothy is specifically one like the copper faces to the thing, but super heavy on the dishwasher door and you drop the dishwasher door every time you open it.

Caroline: Right. It has to be form plus function.

Jason: Yeah. And so I do think that there is a little bit of that. And one of the things that I wanted to touch on was, this is a little bit behind the curtain for everybody listening. We are potentially looking to move to Europe. That is the thing that we are very much thinking about. And in that, and that may not be a surprise to anybody, but it might be. In that, is this, for me specifically, is this idea of, Well, if I’m going to uproot our lives and again, I’m just speaking for myself and our relationship here, if I’m going to uproot our lives in the US, where it’s very easy to do things and we know things, and the culture is like, we have it at the back of our hand, moving to a different country where the language isn’t English as the first language. The culture has very different things, obviously, because it’s their culture. The thing I want is to have a very comfortable home that to me is almost like a dream home because I can do that. And truthfully, like, in some places, our money does go further, and that’s just the nature of some of the places we choose and some of the places we scout. And so you can get more and actually quantifying that. And I think it would be interesting just to talk this through is like, I have an ideal of this big open space, natural light, high ceilings, looking out onto a pool, having a wonderful view, all these different aesthetics. And I know that for me, that will make me happy and satisfied in that space where I might feel uncomfortable in my surroundings. But the thing that you brought this up and it made me think about is like, but what I do think would really help us is, quote unquote dream home can get out of control very quickly.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: And what I want to do is I think it would be helpful for us to make a list and be like, Do I need a well designed cabinet or laundry room with, like, board and batten and beautiful things and like, a farmhouse sink? Like, no, I don’t. It’s a laundry room. I just need to do laundry. And so it’s like, listing off some of those things so I don’t have to keep up with every single part of this to be satisfied. It’s like, no, I just have my non-negotiables here.

Caroline: Right. I think this is just as I’m talking this through, I’m realizing it is one of those things where it’s just, you have to find the balance. It’s not either or. As I’m looking at these interiors on Pinterest and allowing myself to dream about what a future home could look like, it’s not about shutting that down entirely and going, Oh, well, this is just a fool’s errand because I’m just chasing satisfaction in all the wrong places. It’s not necessarily that. It’s about going, Oh, I can take inspiration from this and I can decide and define what good enough looks like in a home for us. Instead of trying to go so over the top and going, I’ll only be satisfied if I can be one of these people who does this full renovation of a home and picks out every… This is not to totally throw these people under the bus. But it’s just to illustrate the example. You and I have watched videos on the Three Birds Renovation channel. I think it’s this…

Jason: Australia.

Caroline: This trio of Australian women who are fantastic interior designers and they do these complete home remodels with the highest end finishes. And for me personally, I know that if I continue to consume that content without checking myself and going, This is not happiness for me.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: Then I could very easily lead myself to a place of chasing satisfaction in the wrong things. Which would be like believing that I will not be satisfied or I will not be where I want to be in life if I don’t have a complete gut job and redo of a home. So that it’s custom head to toe. And the unfortunate part is the people who are making content are the people who are doing that. They’re picking out every finish and it’s this aspirational thing, like it’s the HDTV thing, it’s the Fixer Upper thing, right? And I think Fixer Upper actually was probably like a huge catalyst, that show, to people deciding that the dream would be to renovate an entire house, to do it custom from head to toe. But I just want to be cautious about… All I want, I guess, in this episode is for us to recognize that that’s what’s happening and having these windows into whether it’s interior design and renovations or whether it’s Pinterest and clothing or all of these like I said, windows into these things that we can have. It’s just an awareness that that’s happening and wondering are we starting to cultivate this false belief that we can only be happy when we attain those things?

Jason: Yeah, I think another kind of sidestep to this that stands out to me is this idea of this perfect passive income business that is pitched so widely and so all over the place on the Internet, but yet when you actually get into the nuts and bolts of what that takes, a lot of it is not satisfaction-based work. A lot of it is like setting up these crazy funnels and automations and things that most people don’t even have the technical ability to do or to manage or to figure out or the money to pay someone to do it and actually running that type of business and trying to get that up, it wouldn’t be satisfying to do. I know there are people who have listened or listening to this podcast who have tried to build passive income funnels and it has felt completely dissatisfying the entire time. But what actually was satisfying them was the work they were doing before that where they were helping clients and they had just a couple of clients and they really enjoyed working with them and, yeah, it was work and they were trading time for money but it was actually enjoyable and it was satisfying. And so I do think, we talked about this in some other ways, but the grass is always greener thing and it’s this idea of like, Oh, well, we talked about it in our hybrid launch model episode. We’re like, well, we want to do this, but then we want to do this. It’s like, well, let’s just create a version of that that actually works for us, and it’s not going to be perfect, and there’s going to be a lot of things that don’t work, but the majority of it is satisfying work.

Caroline: Yeah. And I think the key to what you just said there was do what works for us, and that is the crux of what it means to be satisfied is defining what works for you. And so the way that this is very much tied to this conversation of enough and defining what is enough in your life. Those of you who have listened to our podcast, you know that’s the entire ethos of what this whole podcast is about is what is it all for? And not just trying to create a business that’s growing for growth’s sake, but really defining what is it that you want out of your life and then going and matching your actions to attain that. And so the thing about satisfaction is that, by definition, you have to sit down and decide what is satisfying or you’ll never know that you’re satisfied.

Jason: And I think, if I can butt in real quick, I think you also have to be willing to limit what would be satisfying at the beginning stages. So for us, we haven’t bought a home together.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: So I think it’s very important for our next home is to go, Okay, there are a couple of non-negotiables, but there are a bunch of things. Like, if we don’t have those, my laundry room examples are a perfect example, I think. It’s like, if there’s not, like, a really nice laundry room, I don’t care at all. I am not going to be dissatisfied with the home. And I think in any aspect of, like, in business or anything else, it’s about listing out the things that are just like, you have to have these things.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: And the rest of them, having like a slick sales funnel to be able to sell a thing, that’s a, sure, maybe I’ll do that in a couple of years, but I don’t need that right now. What I need is like, every day when I open up my laptop, I don’t hate my work. And so it’s about defining those really core things and then, by writing them down and agreeing to them with yourself or with your partner or whatever, you then go, Well, when I get those things, then that’s going to be enough for a while. And I do think that lifestyle creep is obviously a thing that everyone deals with and we all have to fight the hedonic treadmill of all the things.

Caroline: Well, for those of you who don’t know what those terms mean, lifestyle creep being you work so hard to make more money. The second you make more money, you start to…

Jason: Spend more money.

Caroline: Spend more money in order to accommodate that. And you’re always found wanting.

Jason: Yeah. And I do think that that’s just the thing that, as we’re tuned into social media, apps, celebrity culture, lifestyles of the rich and famous, which is not even a thing anymore. But you know what I mean?

Caroline: Yeah, but it is every day on Instagram is lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Jason: And that’s what I was going to say is is being aware of how much of that you’re consuming and how much of that is dictating what will satisfy you when you actually haven’t really written it down for yourself. And so that’s even for us, for this dream home, I think we would save ourselves a lot of trouble by writing down these non-negotiables.

Caroline: Yeah, for sure. And we will absolutely need to do that. And also, it’s just for me, kind of this moment of realization of, like, Do I want this perfectly aesthetically pleasing, devoid of personality, but looks pretty in a photo, looks like it could be in any magazine. Do I want that over a home that feels lived in with people who are real human beings? I think about our place in Carlsbad. I know some people probably think that that was aesthetically pleasing, but it was… Like, to us, it wasn’t our perfectly… matching our style. But what I loved about it is it had a view and it had things that we loved. And maybe they didn’t all go together quite right because we’re not professional designers, but it felt like a home to us. And so I think that’s what I’m coming to also is just trying to check myself on this belief that this perfect life exists in this curated space and instead realizing that my perfect life exists in the… I know it sounds cheesy, but like the lives that you and I have and the family that we hopefully get to create one day and the weird daily rituals that we create and all of that is probably not happening in a perfectly aesthetically pleasing space.

Jason: But don’t you think it will happen in an open concept of the pool and a view?

Caroline: Yes, it will happen.

Jason: Don’t you think the rituals and the lives will happen more?

Caroline: And that’s the balance, right? That’s the balance.

Jason: Absolutely.

Caroline: It’s not saying that you can’t have pretty things. It’s just knowing what things are the most important and why. Why does it bring you happiness? Why does it bring you satisfaction? Is it the light or is it just that you think that you’re living this aspirational version of life that you have seen in a perfectly curated TikTok or whatever?

Jason: Yeah. And I want to really stress that we are only at this place of potentially thinking about buying a home that we have dreamt about and living in a country that looks amazing and having all these opportunities years after figuring out our business stuff. And I think that so often, like, five years ago, we weren’t even thinking about buying a home.

Caroline: No.

Jason: Because it just wasn’t realistic. And I think that helps keep you satisfied in what you have at the moment.

Caroline: Exactly. And what was satisfying to us at that time did not include a house.

Jason: Yeah. It included the flexibility of renting and being able to go, You know what? We might want to move and we might want to live somewhere else.

Caroline: Yeah. And listen, that’s the kind of paradoxical nature of satisfaction is, I think the nature of human beings is that you’re never fully satisfied. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just finding the right balance of it. Like defining what is good enough at this moment in your life and working towards that thing and then recognizing it when it’s in front of you. And there’s still room to evolve that and to change that. We always talk about, defining your enough number in business doesn’t mean that that doesn’t change. It just means, like, defining a container so that you will know when it’s full.

Jason: Yeah. And being satisfied with that container for a certain amount of time, so that when the next container sets up in front of you to be filled, you don’t feel like you have to do it right away.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: I think that’s the thing…

Caroline: It’s not coming from a place of lack and wanting and feeling like… desperation, I guess. It’s more coming from a place of empowerment, of saying, Wow, yeah, I have developed this wonderfully satisfying business or wonderfully satisfying life, and maybe I’m ready for a new change, a new challenge. It’s like coming from a place of, like, not desperation.

Jason: No. And I think that there is something to be said for, and we’ve seen this in our lives, is like a big change or a big thing in upheaval in life. It provides a whole bunch of unintended consequences, good and bad, but it opens you up to a whole new thing, a whole new life, a whole new way of thinking. And I think that’s exciting. And we only do that so many times in our lives. Like, there’s really not that many.

Caroline: Yeah. Another thing I was sharing with you earlier today was that I don’t think it’s talked about enough and kind of bear with me here because it’s hard to communicate, but there’s also so much satisfaction in being grateful for the things that you don’t have. Let me explain what I mean by that, being grateful for the negative things that you don’t have. And so I was telling Jason, I forget sometimes because we’ve been business owners for over ten years now. I forget to be grateful that I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck. I forget to be grateful that I don’t have somebody else setting my schedule or my to-do’s. Things like that, where it’s so hard to have gratitude for the absence of something. I also think about this with my health. It’s like, yes, my eyes are on the fritz right now. But I think back to a couple of months ago when I had COVID, and I couldn’t breathe out of my nose, and that was scary and awful. So I’m trying to be grateful for the absence of COVID, but it’s so hard because it’s so much easier to be grateful for the presence of something instead of the absence of something negative.

Jason: And I think that just is intentional practice in every day and every moment and everything. I’m speaking on my own thoughts of this. I have tried so hard this year to not look forward to where we’re going next, because that’s the easy thing to do when you’re on a travel adventure, is like, Okay, but what’s the next place going to be like? And what’s the next country? And it’s very easy to go like, we’re in this unbelievable place at this moment, but my brain is already thinking about like, Well, isn’t there something better coming next? And it’s like, Hey, brain, chill out. The place we’re at is amazing. Let’s soak this in. And I think it’s just an intentional practice, and it’s an intentional practice of going, Hey. Not this place specifically, but maybe like, the place we were in before this. Like, it’s not per-… Not the one right before this. Two before this. The one we went to after the… is like, Hey, brain, this place isn’t perfect at all. But you know what it doesn’t have is all the things the last place you had to escape from.

Caroline: Exactly. It’s gratitude for the absence of something. It’s gratitude for the absence of the terrible smell, spoiler alert. And so, I don’t know. I think that that is something we don’t spend enough time thinking about that if… I do hope that if there’s one thing you take away from this podcast. It’s like maybe spending just a little bit of time noodling on that today of… Or maybe something that was negative in your life a couple of years ago that isn’t there anymore. And just having a little bit of gratitude for that.

Jason: Also just one very timely thing. And we’re not even on Instagram right now, but everybody is in an uproar about the Instagram algorithm changes and everything.

Caroline: Oh, I didn’t even know that was happening.

Jason: Oh, my gosh. It’s just like, everyone’s… But maybe be grateful just of the fact that something like Instagram exists, that you can still get in front of people and not have to pay for it. I understand you pay for it with your time and with your effort. And listen, I’ve been on social longer than most, and I’ve seen a lot of these algorithms change when I was using those platforms. It sucks. It’s not fun. But also the alternative is that you don’t have an easy way to reach tons of people. And so it’s just trying to be grateful in these moments where we get so frazzled and we get so upset when something changes out of our control and just going, like, Let me just intentionally take a moment to go, At least this exists and I can use it to some degree and now maybe I need to change my strategy, but I have the opportunity to use this tool and to use these things and to just be grateful for that.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: You got anything else?

Caroline: No, these are just some of the thoughts rolling around about this notion of satisfaction. And as you can probably tell, none of these are extremely well formed. But the biggest thing that I’ve just been thinking about lately is the impact that social media and having a window into everyone else’s life has had on the lack of satisfaction that we all now have with our lives.

Jason: Keeping up with the Joneses used to be the seven people on your street, and now it’s the 7 billion. Yes, I already wrote that down.

Caroline: I didn’t know who…

Jason: I actually wrote 8 billion, because I think we’re closer to 8 billion at this point.

Caroline: Really?

Jason: Yeah, but that is the wild thing.

Caroline: It is wild.

Jason: Like, you’re not just keeping up with a handful, you’re keeping up with everybody in the world.

Caroline: So many. Yeah. I think…

Jason: The moral of the story is be a hermit, move to the Dunnottar Castle, where there’s only, like, that small island.

Caroline: Don’t bonk your head.

Jason: Don’t bonk your head, and just don’t pay attention to anything else. Also, have a nice laundry room, but it doesn’t have be that nice.

Caroline: Exactly. Define what you think satisfaction in your own life, in your own business, in your own home looks like and then recognize it when it’s there, when it’s in front of you.

Jason: And appreciate it.

Caroline: We’re going to have to define what a quote unquote dream home, a satisfying quote unquote dream home…

Jason: Yeah, because it’s our dream.

Caroline: It’s our dream.

Jason: It’s not someone else’s dream.

Caroline: Right. And also, I want to make sure it’s not a Pinterest dream and it’s not an Instagram dream and it’s not a YouTube dream. It’s Jason and Carol’s dream.

Jason: No, but I need followers. You know this about me. Like, my home has to bring me followers or it’s not a home. That’s what’s on my chalkboard over my sink.

Caroline: Your cross-stitch pillow.

Jason: Exactly. All right, that’s it for us this week. Hope you enjoyed the rambles. That’s it.

Caroline: The pramvels and the rambles. And hopefully by the next episode, my eyes will be, like, 100% better because we didn’t really share an update, but I am doing better. Just not fully healed yet. But, boy, I was in bad place three days ago, and I’m not in that deep, deep hole, so you just got to be grateful for not being in the hole.

Jason: Be satisfied you have eyes.

Caroline: I thought you said peace out.

Jason: Peace out, eyes. Okay, peace out, eyes.

Caroline: Okay, peace out, eyes.

Jason: You goop balls.

Trying To Cultivate More Satisfaction

(Big Fat Takeaway)

Define what you think satisfaction in your own life, business, home looks like and recognize it when it's in front of you.

IT IT

This article written by

Jason Zook

(he/him) Co-head-hancho of this WAIM thing. I used to wear t-shirts for a living, now I just wear them because I'm not a nudist. You can usually find me baking things, watching JCVD movies, and dreaming of living on an island.

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