The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

being pleased or being satisfied


Careful and loyal readers of this Blog know, and full well, that I coach my Haley Anne and her Shockers teammates (

This past Wednesday night at practice, with some ill-advised shenanigans afoot, I found myself relating a story to our Shockers about “being pleased or being satisfied”.

I think most of them will remember the moment. If not the words, well, perhaps the catch in my voice – hopefully my heart, certainly.

We have a lot of soccer ahead of us this season. And, our Shockers collectively, have a lot of life to prepare for.

I’ve asked them to start asking themselves that simple extrapolitive question: “If I’m pleased, am I satisfied?”

I’ll always hope the answer is no. But, their tests, realized daily will forge that view of the world. I do hope they think of me in those moments. My Grandad called it: “remembering the face of my father”. Great story and parable for another time.

The point of this being, when they do anything, are they willing to ask the most of themselves, and those around them. My Grandad also used to say: “if you must judge a man do it by those around him”. When Shockers come to practice I want focus and best efforts. I added that winning and losing matches is important and fun. But, I care more about the look on their faces and the feelings in their hearts after the match – regardless of which way the ball bounces. If they can look one to the other, and know they did their best, truly and sincerely, their best, I will be both pleased AND satisfied with them.

By the way… I also challenged them with the question: “What is the difference between philosophy and strategy”. And, I’m quite curious over who comes back with an answer, where the information came from, and what it inspires going forward.

Brian Patrick Cork

3 Comments to

“being pleased or being satisfied”

  1. Avatar December 24th, 2009 at 8:04 am 2009 was a great jump-shot « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    […] You can read about that in some detail, mind you here: being pleased or being satisfied. […]

  2. Avatar January 27th, 2010 at 9:31 pm Jeff Hunter Says:

    Great post Brian. You make me think…and here’s what’s in my head/heart…

    The foundation of life philosophy for the “walking-after-life-in-my-life” Christian has to be a fine balance between being pleased and being satisfied. Frankly, I find the discussion and focus on perfection in our society to be counter productive to understanding who God is and walking in the “peace that passes all understanding” which Paul understood so well. In the end, unbalanced perfection is just pride in the disguise spirituality.

    Before you label me as a fanatic or some deranged weird person, hear me out…

    Does a true and godly father love his child any less when they have performed less than completely? Does God love us when we fail Him (which we do many multiple times each day)? We are called to have balance. To strive for perfection while we are at peace with our circumstances. Consider the following:

    Heb 13:5 – “Be content with what you have for have I not said, never will I forsake you, never will I leave you.”

    Philippians 3:2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

    For if we cling to perfection for the sake of perfection and accomplishment at the cost of all, then we fall into the most prideful and sticky of traps. Self.

    People who focus on performance at the cost of satisfaction struggle when the inevitable challenge of life comes. “Why do bad things happen to good people” and the corollary “why do good things happen to bad people”…

    In the end, it must be about balance. Not Ying and Yang, but about understanding the limits of sinful human flesh this side of God’s fulfilled Kingdom on earth.

    Lets consider David, proclaimed by God to be a “man after God’s heart” – the image of perfection – Acts 13:22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Yet then there’s the story of David’s failing with Bathsheba/Uriah. That’s about as much *premeditated” failure as is possible. Yet even after that, God restored relationship with David because of his heart and because of what Christ would do for us by paying for ALL sin, past, present and future. Psalms 51:1-17 beautifully lays out a man who understands balance. Who understands that human flesh can never be perfect, yet because of Christ, he can be at peace with his imperfection, accept God’s mercy and strive on for perfection through God’s empowering grace.

    While I applaud excellence and in my heart and every action I can control strive for that…I recognize that I am but mere flesh. That I can never attain perfection. Only Christ did that. What we teach our children and those we with whom we have influence with must recognize that the Mercy of God and the FULL acceptance of God is there for us, always, even when we fail, even when we purposefully and with malice of forethought fail (as David “man-after-Gods-own-heart” did). What we need to teach the next generation is to embrace failure as ‘part of the plan’. Ps 139 states that “before the foundation of the world was laid, I knew you”. He knew our failures, our (Eph 6:12) “struggle against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms”. He revels in our falling down, repentance and getting up again to move forward into ever improving relationship with Him. Its all about that. Its all about relationship and walking in forgiveness for failure… Not “being pleased with being satisfied” does not lend itself to the full understanding of the amazing mercy (God’s unmerited favor towards us) that God shows to us through Christ…we need to teach and exhibit mercy…

    But…then there’s Grace…that balance that I think is critical. Grace – ” a state of sanctification by God; the state of one who is under such divine influence” Grace is the balance to the likely ‘sloppy agape’ that a mercy-only view carries. God expects and wants us to walk in perfection. But it’s a perfection that is balanced by humility and recognition of our frailty in our human condition.

    So I’m back to Phil 3 – I press on toward the goal to WIN the PRIZE. I live in the most wonderful place. I am pleased with being satisfied, because that is what God wants for us – yet he also wants us to press on to win the prize. In all respects in our lives spiritually and non-spiritually. So I love to win the game and strive to use all my skils and capabilities to do so. Yet, always at peace and in a state of constant satisfaction. That’s why Paul was able to say “for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

    And that my friend is being pleased with being satisfied…in a way that seeks to win the prize.

    “love ya man!” Keep up the good work…

  3. Avatar January 31st, 2010 at 8:42 am showing Up. « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    […] PDRTJS_settings_455745_post_6852 = { "id" : "455745", "unique_id" : "wp-post-6852", "title" : "showing+Up.", "item_id" : "_post_6852", "permalink" : "" } I’ve discussed this in, possibly, more detail with an earlier post: being pleased or being satisfied. […]

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