Being happy with what you have, while at the same time striving to be better or make things better is, I think, at the heart of being content. Contentment is a component of the feeling of serenity and peace that I wrote about in Well-Being is Better Than Happiness, but I didn’t really think about it at the time I wrote that article.
So how do you get to the point of being content, of being happy with your situation in life? What if you are not happy with your situation right now? If you are taking action to change something you don’t like, you can be content knowing you are making a change!
Think about that for a moment. You may not be where you want to be, but you can be content knowing that you are on your way. In a very key respect you will never be where you want to be. There will always be something more. That’s what life and growth is all about. If you wait until you arrive at the always receding target, guess what? You’ll be waiting forever. You’ll never be satisfied and you’ll never be content because you never reach that final place. That’s just a wrong-headed way of looking at life.
A much better way is to be at peace with what you are doing now to change what you want and need to change. Then you can be happy with where you are going and be content with your life as it is now. What powerful and positive perspective through which to view your life in the present moment!
I have decided to be content with what I have now. You can do the same. Part of what I have now are the ideas actions I am taking to change and grow. By consciously including them in the total view of my life situation I can be content right now.
I definitely have goals and things I want to accomplish. I think growing through striving towards goals is a very important part of the good life, but the attainment of those goals is not the point. The self-acceptance gained through the effort and the resulting growth is the point. When you have that, you have gone a long ways towards contentment regardless of your current life situation now or in the future.
Our happiness, well-being, contentment, satisfaction, peace, or whatever else you want to call these states of mind, is primarily driven from within. They come from the attitudes and perspectives we bring to our life situation. Those attitudes and perspectives are completely within our control and so then are all those wonderful states of mind that we so badly want to achieve.
Some ways to enhance your contentment
Discover what you want to change and begin to change them.
This has been written about with billions and billions of words. I think it needs no further comment.
Take an inventory of your blessings now.
You certainly have some or you wouldn’t be able to read this article written by someone who lives thousands of miles away and whom you will probably never meet.
Look for something good and beautiful in everything you do and experience.
Stop and smell the roses.
It is so much easier to be content when you have less, are doing less, want less, and see less. So declutter and simplify your spaces and your mind.
I say this so much it is probably is starting to sound like a broken record, but it is critical. If you can’t get outside then go for a nature walk virtually: http://www.peacefulwalks.com/
The billions and billions of words comments again, but at least read my articles 🙂
Here’s to your contentment!
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