Contentment is a positive term that carries a few misconceptions with it. On the positive side contentment is the goal behind all goals; because once it is achieved there is nothing to seek until it is lost. However, many trade the peace of contentment for the fear of being perceived as settling.
“The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.”
Contentment…I can barely say the word without taking in a deep cleansing breath. I admit before doing research on this topic I found myself hesitant to say I was content with aspects of my life, however, after doing some research on this topic contentment has lost its negative connotations and has become a comforting reality.
Let’s address some of the negative connotations about contentment by looking at what contentment is NOT.
- Contentment is NOT Settling. Contentment is maximizing what is and when that is lost making the subtle or major changes to get it back.
- Contentment is NOT Foregone Opportunities. Contentment does not mean we forego opportunities that would bring us more mental and physical challenge if we are the type who finds satisfaction in increased responsibility and new opportunity. Contentment is daily engaging into spotting and seizing opportunities.
- Contentment is NOT External. Contentment is not dependent upon external circumstances, but an internal state of being.
- Contentment is NOT Changing You. Contentment is being YOU fully.
- Contentment is NOT Getting All You Want. Contentment is wanting what you have and receive.
Now that we know what contentment is NOT, let’s reframe it into what it really is.
- Contentment is Sustainable. Since contentment is the enjoyment of whatever may be desired, contentment lives on as long as we have desires.
- Contentment is the Goal. Contentment is the goal behind all goals; because once it is achieved there is nothing to seek until it is lost.
- Contentment is Awareness. Contentment is awareness of where we have been and where we are going, while loving what is.
- Contentment is Acceptance of Others. When we accept others for who they are and want to be, we love them instead of change them
- Contentment is Commitment. Contentment is a commitment to living fully in the current moment and circumstance.
- Contentment is Satisfaction. Contentment is an inner state of being, not acceptance of everything going on in the world.
- Contentment is Simplicity. Contentment is examining why you want more and understanding that desire at its root.
- Contentment is Freedom. Contentment is freedom from others influence.
- Contentment is Positive Emotion. Contentment creates the urge to sit back and savor current life circumstances and develop new views of the self and the world.
As a person who enjoys the process of making things better, I have struggled with the concept of contentment. Can I be content when I like to learn and share new things? Am I content when I blog about how to be happier? Is a goal setter content?
Then I found this quote:
“True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture.
It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it.
It is arduous and it is rare.”
Gilbert K. Chesterton
My answer to all is YES. I can be a goal setter, a catalyst for positive change, and continually grow and develop personally and professionally from a place of contentment in life. I do not have to change myself or the world to be happy and content. I will do these from a place of happiness and contentment.
Today’s Simple Smile Igniter is to consider the concept of contentment. If you have negative images around the concept, reconsider and possible reframe your definition. It is perfectly ok to be content…it is actually a significant factor in personal happiness.