What’s Wrong with Being Content?

Contentment – not a word that is used much anymore. There is a lot written about setting goals; striving to achieve; challenging ourselves and pushing the limit. Nothing really wrong with any of those unless you’re obsessed with making it at any cost. People are literally becoming depressed and suffering from low self-esteem when their “friends” on Facebook appear to be having more fun, have the latest phone or are going to better parties than they are.

Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Maybe it’s time to stop for a moment and reflect on what you have and how “bad” you have it. Are your issues primarily first world problems? There are those in our society who are truly struggling and trying to figure out how to feed their children and pay their rent. Survival, not contentment, is their daily challenge. For most of us, and likely everyone reading this blog, that’s not our situation. We are fortunate and blessed beyond measure for the most part. How come we are seldom content then? I have no secret formula or link to a website that provides it, but what I do know is that each one of us has the ability to be happy, fulfilled and even content right where we are.

Some of the most materially successful and wealthiest people I have met are not the happiest or most content. Too often they are driven by their quest for success and gain, almost at any price. Some of the most satisfied and grateful people I have met as I travel the world often have very little externally and great wealth internally. Which one would you rather be?

We’re at the mid-year point again. This may a good time to reflect back on the first six months of the year while casting a glance forward and ask yourself how you are doing. Are you happy, satisfied, fulfilled or driven, impatient and pushing others so you can achieve your goals?

I’d encourage you to reflect on the following statements to see how many you answer “yes” to.

  • I’m at peace with myself and my life where I am right now.
  • I’m not jealous or envious of those that have more than me.
  • I’m generally happy and free of stress.
  • I give thanks and reflect on how fortunate I am daily.
  • Even when I’m not happy I have a sense of peace and contentment with my life and relationships.
  • My contentment comes from internal sources and is not dependent on other people’s actions or input.
  • Having more “stuff” doesn’t satisfy me at a deep level.

Pardon my “going deep” but I’m reflecting more on this issue in my own life and seek to be, and remain, in a state of contentment for more than a weekend or while on vacation with a drink in my hand watching the sunset. How about you? My guess is that it’s showing up on your radar too. Might be worth reflecting on and moving in that direction.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. Frederick Keonig – Inventor

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. George Moore – Writer

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