Do you consider yourself a contented person?
While some people always look for more to have, do, achieve, and desire, some are simply content. They are grateful for the moment and everything in it. Rather than thinking about how to pursue contentment, they focus on fueling happiness. But happiness is a temporary emotion, and believe it or not; contentment is a choice.
Something that many people do when they’re young is imagine their life as an adult. Teenagers try to map out their future by deciding on jobs, what they want in a partner, and even the type of home and décor they will have. It’s a normal part of the human process.
The problem is that many of us want more, even if we have plenty. It doesn’t matter how much you have; it’s never enough. Wanting is an endless and impossible cycle.
You will never have everything because you will always want something else, something more. When you realise that, you will start to recognise how that want negatively impacts your contentment levels. The more you want, the less content you are because it feels like you will never have it.
You can train yourself to be a more content person. And as you practice this, you will notice a difference in your contentment levels, but it’s an ongoing journey. While happiness is a fleeting emotion, contentment is a long-term state of being.
As an example, a jogger is running on a hot day. There is a long stretch on their route that is fully exposed to the sun. Halfway through the run, they reach a point where they are desperate for shade, a cool breeze, or a drink of water.
Suddenly, a cool breeze rolls in from nowhere. It was exhilarating, but it went as quickly as it came. The bliss of the draft didn’t last long, and when it faded, the jogger was left feeling more frustrated and annoyed that the wind had disappeared. It didn’t take them long to realise how ridiculous it was that they were annoyed at their inability to control the weather. They were allowing a temporary emotion to manage them.
If you want everything to be exactly as you enjoy all the time, then you will never be content with life. If you can find satisfaction and gratitude in most things, you will likely always feel content with your situation. You can’t avoid misfortune in life, but you can build an unshakeable level of contentment.
How often do you get angry when things don’t go your way? How often do you complain about silly things and expend energy on things that don’t deserve your attention? We’re all guilty of it, but some people feel it more than others.
Contentment isn’t the fulfilment of the things you want. Contentment is the acceptance of how things are.
By practising contentment, you make a conscious decision to see your life as it is and accept it with gratitude. That doesn’t mean you can’t strive to better yourself or work on growing as a person. It means that even if you don’t yet have what you desire, you are content with where you are.
You aren’t chasing more because you’re unhappy. You aren’t chasing more because you think it’s necessary for your contentment.
Your motivation is different, which means your intent is pure. There is nothing passive about contentment; it is a choice that you need to make time and time again. Contented people are calmer, more understanding, and more open-minded. It’s an internal attitude that you have total control over.