Contentment can only be achieved by a peaceful ease of mind that comes from being satisfied with what you have, whatever that is.
Contentment is attitude specific and can be experienced no matter what your situation. It looks for peace and happiness in the midst of problems and challenges.
It requires you to have a sense of satisfaction and sufficiency. It is also dependent on your perception of how you perceive things. For example, do you see the cup half full or half empty?
Contentment lets you fully experience the joy and pleasure of what you have and what you are as opposed to dissatisfaction with what you don’t have. It liberates you from envy and yearning for those things which seem beyond your reach.
However, contentment isn’t a matter of being content with your situation in life and never trying to improve it. It’s a matter of being content with what you have and at the same time enjoying the happiness of the moment.
Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote: “Happiness is self-contentedness.” This is what personal ownership means – ‘this is what you’ve got.’
It does not mean that you shouldn’t try to improve on what you’ve got.
Contentment facilitates a spirit of contribution towards others and generates an attitude of thanksgiving. There is an old American poem which reads:
For every moment of joy
For every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving.
When I say ‘enjoying the happiness of the moment’ I mean enjoy what you create by choice at that moment. I’m not so naive to think that under extremely difficult and unhappy times that it will be easy to activate such a thought.
My own life has been filled with moments of unhappiness. There have been times when I wasn’t happy, and everything had turned to mush. However, I now realise that I was the major contributor to my unhappiness by adopting a selfish attitude. And, also by allowing others to influence and control my life instead of taking ownership of it.
When that happens you are renting your life to someone else. They have their hands on your steering wheel and are driving you where they want to go.
When you start taking ownership of your life contentment comes more easily. Because what happens is, that you accept yourself, faults and all and you start to look at what you’ve got not what you don’t have.
Take time to appreciate your life! I now make it a daily habit each evening to write three things I am grateful for that day. It is part of my sleep routine. The key here is to take a few minutes and think of the things and people you’re thankful for, and thank them.
Start the happiness and contentment cycle now!
The major factor which determines happiness is your personality and how you think. You CAN think your way into a happier existence. Many people believe that a stress-free life and money is the key to happiness and contentment. Let’s be honest. Of course, both these factors can contribute to a happier way of life. But the reality is, those things don’t ensure lasting happiness.
Happiness and contentment are not predicated on any one thing because they are the result of the choices you make. Make a choice about finding purpose in your life instead of ambling along through life. Devote time to family and friends and appreciate what you have already. Be thankful for the gifts and talents you possess and maintain an optimistic outlook on life and your work or career.
Here’s how to start building personal ownership that leads to contentedness:
- Notice your blaming tendencies.
Our tendency to blame others for our circumstances is often a knee-jerk reaction.
- Focus on solutions.
Your mind will seek out solutions and answers if you let it.
- Practice your power of choice.
Consciously choice to do things. You might say to yourself, “I am choosing to do this thing” until it becomes automatic.
- Become accountable.
If you don’t have a coach use a tracking app to track your success and failures.
- Monitor Your Media.
Garbage in equals garbage out. Remember that.
As an aside, this is what free will is all about. The option you have is to choose what you feel and what you can do to change your circumstances and influence the degree of happiness you want to experience.
One issue I see is that many people choose the wrong people to hang around with. Surround yourself with good friends and people who themselves radiate contentment and happiness and have a positive outlook on life. Good people will always support you in your endeavours.
You could also, develop friendships by letting family and friends and work associates know how you appreciate what they do for you and that you’re happy that they’re part of your life. I’ve done that before and it’s a great way to strengthen relationships you already have.
It is in the giving that you receive and which really brings contentment!