How content are you?

Oprah Winfrey quoted;

“Be thankful for what you have, you will end up having more. If you concentrate on what you do not have, you will never ever have enough.”

Have you ever felt you do not have enough of something, whether it be time, money, good health, friends, hobbies, achievements, recognition, attention from close friends and family? We have all been there (at least I have) where we spend far too much time focusing on what we do not have and overlook what we do have. This overshadows our view and changes our perception of ourselves and life.  It can consume us and cause a great hindrance to our joy. I say joy as happiness is short lived. Happiness is temporary and tends to be based on a future event or an occasion such as a celebration or a holiday.  Once this is over, your countenance changes.

As a teenager, I recall thinking of my evening/weekend plans to get me through the day. I would even go so far as planning what I would watch on television.  I was deeply unhappy at school and constantly looked for reasons to feel happy.

We do of course have needs and desires and when these are not met (primarily our needs), it can cause us a great deal of stress.  As children/teenagers we had ideas of what life would be like as an adult; in my case it was the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted.  It did not occur to me that being an adult would come with a great deal of responsibility.

Back to my point – our lives may not be what we envisaged due to a number of factors (this list is not exhaustive);

1. Decisions we have made
2. Circumstances that are beyond our control
3. Lack of choice
4. Lack of knowledge

We can go over what life could have been had we done x, y or z but this will not bring an immediate change.  We can be hard on ourselves which will only dent our self-esteem.

We can choose to look at the good elements of our lives and enjoy every minute of them. We can choose to stop in this moment and take in what is around us rather than stewing over the “gaps” in our lives. There is not one person in this world who does not have a need. Some refuse to allow this to dampen their spirits and enjoy life, others feel they cannot be complete until they receive what they desire. Which one are you?

Live life to the full today!

Do you have contentment?
Did you have to work at it?
What advice would you give someone struggling in this area?

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16 thoughts on “How content are you?”

  1. I think about this a lot actually. I spend so much of my free time working on side-businesses so I could have the freedom to enjoy my life someday. The problem is, I spend all my free time now working, not enjoying my life. That is something I am working on a lot lately. Thanks for the positive encouragement!

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  2. Hello Phoenicia. Contentment is an interesting subject to ponder. Since leaving corporate life I have embraced the idea of being content with the simpler things in life. I think that leaving the rate race of corporate life enables us to do that.

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  3. I am the kind of person who is 50% optimistic and 50% pessimistic. Although I know that I should be happy about my life at this moment, but worries, stress and negative thoughts about future overcast my present most of the time.
    I intend to increase the percentage of my optimism though. But as you said in point no.2 , the circumstances are not always within our control.
    That’s why, I will do whatever is required from me. I can’t be 100% perfect , but can try my best to be at 99.99% at least.
    Let the Almighty decide the rest good or bad for me.

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  4. Great post, I do think you must walk a thin line, and do not confuse contentment, with complacency. there are times, you need to not accept what is happening and change it. But I do agree, you should not be chasing rainbows your whole life, and understand and be thankful of the blessings you havem

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  5. I grew up in a happy household. Dad was an eternal optimist and mom was a pessimist. They kept us balanced. I try to start each day by saying Thank you, God, for letting me wake up. That’s a good way to focus on contentment–at least for me.

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  6. Phoenicia,
    I totally agree. Contentment and happiness are largely up to us. We choose our attitudes every moment of the day. Some situations are more difficult to handle than others, but once again, we can determine our reaction even though the situation may be out of our control. Thanks for this post!

    Rin

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