Be Content with Life

‘Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.’ – Lao Tzu

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Just be content with life. However, it’s probably the one thing that most people in the world struggle with for most of their lives, even if they know about it or not. Let’s face it, we all want to find our own version of happiness, we all want to discover the promised land, and we all want to enjoy that feeling of inner peace. Contentment. Being happy and at one with everything around us.

So, why’s it so elusive. Our generation of human beings, especially in the Western World, have it better than any other in history. We can pretty much do what we want to do and when we want to do it, is that not the path to happiness? Well, I guess not, otherwise we’d all be walking around dazzling each other with our smiles. This doesn’t seem to be the answer. The sad state of society in this day and age is defined by the pursuit of wanting more. We are put on the treadmill at a very early age to learn how to want more, when we get a job it means that we have money and then we enter the realms of short-term happiness. Don’t confuse this with contentment though. This is a drug addicts fix, an illusion of happiness that disappears in the limits of novelty.

When you get promoted you feel happy, but then you think about how happy you could be if you get that next promotion and the pursuit once again kicks in. You buy a nice house and you feel happy, but then you look around at some of the other houses and you realise that you don’t have the biggest, and I bet you’d be happy once you lived there. All purchases carry the same principle because there’s always something better. You can’t own everything in the world, and you can’t stop new things being invented, so wake up from that trap straight away. We are programmed to want more because we are told that more will bring us happiness, and it does, for a minute, but then we need more.

Living like this is not the road to contentment. Clutter, oneupmanship and novelty will not bring you what you’re really looking for. You just need enough to be comfortable, this is what you’re after. That will be different for everyone but don’t kid yourself too much.

Contentment is available right now, as you’re reading this article I can give you contentment. It’s all about NOW. This very moment is where the promised land hides. The most obvious things in life are hiding right in front of your nose, but you need to stop looking through the catalogue long enough to be able to see them. You must appreciate what you have in your life, and you must create a habit of doing this daily. Just be grateful for everything.

The other large part of contentment is learning to be happy with yourself. This means that you have to accept who you are. You have to enjoy the person that you are, and realise that you’re perfect, you don’t need to do anything else in order to become perfect, you don’t need different clothes, or different hair, just be who you are. In the world today we are obsessed by self-image; we are continually compared to models, and film stars, who are all fake images of perfection. We are never going to be content by comparing ourselves to these false idols. Understand that you are already perfect and enjoy the freedom that it gives you.

Here’s some daily tips to help you become content with your life:

  1. Appreciate what you have every single day.
  2. Look for the positives in everyone you meet, even the people that annoy you. – Relationships will become better by looking for the positives.
  3. Be consciously aware in the moment.
  4. Let go of the endless comparisons to perfection – they’re not real.
  5. Don’t worry that you’re going to miss something in life. Your life is happening right in front of you, enjoy it.
  6. Don’t be so busy. Minimalise your life in to those things that make you happy and have to be done. Don’t try and do everything, because you know you’ll never get to the end.

This is it. The secret to contentment. There’s probably more things that people could suggest (there can always be more), and they’d probably be right, but this is a good start. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not something that is unattainable. It just takes a commitment to changing the way that you view life. Like I said, we are all conditioned in to thinking the complete opposite of all of this, so it will take commitment to make the change happen. But it’s worth it.

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