Divine Discontent

I was going through my blog, adding some labels to some posts, and I stumbled across this, which I had saved as a draft. The original email was sent to me by Mark Van Akkeren, who received it from Mac Brown, who got it from a friend of his. I don’t know how I didn’t hit, “Publish Post.” I think I was probably going to credit Mac for it, but I just always forgot to email him. Anyway, about three years after I saved it as a draft, it’s no less relevant or good…

The All Blacks, who very well may be the best rugby team in the world, and are the pride of their country, have a team saying that maybe we can learn: Divine Discontent.


‘Divine discontent’ means that within us is the constant desire to be better, and it is a sacred gift. That if we refuse to settle for what we have, for the success we’ve reached so far, then we can become better versions of our mortal selves. If you aren’t happy with being a national semi-finalist, then make a change. If you aren’t happy with your role on this team, make a change. Let it begin with you. Don’t mistake this dissatisfaction with thanklessness or ingratitude or a want for vanity or selfish desires. It’s like a hallowed ember that’s constantly turning inside you; it includes a gratitude for what you have, but it’s accompanied by a drive to make it excellent, almost transcendent.


I’m not gonna lie to you, embracing divine discontent is not a short path to happiness. It’s torturous. That is unless you accept this internal discomfort as a sort of affirmation. And it will torment you until you come out the other side. It’s constantly trying to outdo yourself, and to challenge yourself not to become complacent. Imagine if you embrace this concept. Imagine how much better you can be.


Frankly, I believe this is the only way a person can come closest to his fullest potential. I leave it to you guys, but this team could be special. And our discontent could be a team-wide goal to be the best, both as an individual and as a unit. Remember, you are the team. Be relentless. Enjoy the suffering.

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