The Theory of Contentment - by Jolade

“Contentment does not mean that I desire nothing. But rather, its the simple decision to be happy with what I have.” Paula Rollo

I want more
You want more
We all want more.
 
we keep feverish
we keep fighting
we keep frantic
 
I will scheme
I will steal
I will slave
 
You bend
You borrow
You burrow
 
I deprive
I deplete
I devour
 
You demolish
You deny
You delude
 
We pretend 
We pander
We pollute
 
To what end!?
 
As a society we have been fed and conditioned with the idea that happiness is linked to our accomplishments, materialism and possessions.
 
We think, “I’ll be happy when I get a better job” or “If only I had more money.” We are convinced that joy is just right after we achieve a new feat, beat the next lap, reside in a choice area in town or buy that luxury car.
We keep measuring our lives by quantity. Trying to fill the gaping void in our lives. What wouldn’t we do?
 
The verses I wrote up there is what we do. Everyday. 
 
What is life without contentment? When is enough, enough? What is Eldorado?
 
Contentment means to be happy with what you have, who you are, and where you are. It is respecting the reality of the present. It is appreciating what you do have and where you are in life. Contentment does not mean the absence of desire; it just means you are satisfied with your present, and you trust that the turns your life takes will be for the best.
 
Contentment takes out the mad rush.
Rarely do many individuals spare a minute to just sit back, relax, and be grateful for all they have achieved. Instead of looking back at the distance they have covered, they stretch themselves to cover the distance that remain.
 
And in some cases, this is when ambition becomes greed. Here is often a fine line between ambition and greed. People may think that when they have achieved all they need for their dream lifestyle, they will be satisfied with what they have—but this is rarely the case. Even after you have ticked off all the achievements from your list, you still don’t feel at ease. There may remain an uneasy feeling that something is still missing.
 
Do you know what that missing thing is? It’s contentment.
 
Except you want to keep running without end?
 
You see, contentment makes it possible to feel relieved and fulfilled on the inside while going through an outer struggle. This is because you can easily celebrate the good things in your life and just work through the bad ones. Contentment is knowing God’s plan for you and believing that his peace is far greater than any problem you’re dealing with. It’s an attitude of the heart. Yeah, it’s that simple for a content person.
 
We sometimes think that, bigger is better or the more we have, the better off we are. This can’t be further from the truth. Developing this kind of attitude will cause you to go broke. In today’s society, we’ve become accustomed to being known or revered for what we own. The sad part is, once we become accustomed to living a certain kind of lifestyle, it’s very hard to step down from it. We begin to tinker with our values and jettison common sense just to keep up with the jones.
 
Contentment does not mean complacency
Complacency is different from being content. Being complacent is similar to being lazy. Often when we get upset with our current situation, but refuse to work to improve, we are being complacent. A complacent person never works to reach their potential because they feel that it is pointless. They go through the motions, always blaming external things for their shortcomings.
The difference between contentment and complacency is a subtle one. Being content means being happy. Being complacent means refusing to work to improve. It means that you are not unhappy with your situation (being content). You also continue to work hard to improve (not becoming complacent).
 
It means that you continue to work to get better (avoiding complacency) but don’t stop yourself from being happy in the moment (remaining content).
 
The person who is content can be a hard-working individual who set goals and strives for something but is happy regardless of the result. Whereas the complacent person just doesn’t care enough about the result to even work hard toward the potential of having a good result from their work.
Contentment is not complacency. It is not an excuse to be lazy. Are you content or complacent? Are you working hard in life, in a relationship, financially, spiritually, at your job, or in your community? Are you able to be content regardless of the outcome of those things? Your answers to these questions should tell you. 
 
You cannot separate contentment from gratitude.
If you can’t be grateful for what you have what makes you think that you’d be happy with more. Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more, if you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never, ever have enough. Instead of focusing on all the things you don’t have or the things you want or the dreams that has not realized themselves, why not take that precious time to appreciate how lucky you are. Don’t forget that there are millions of people who are wishing to be in your position. Think about them and just be grateful. 
 
Your life may not be as perfect as you wished for. But there’s surely something to be grateful for, a nice home, a family, great friends, good health; or probably you don’t have any of these things. I assure you that no matter how small, there’s always something to remind you to always be grateful for the life you’re living. 
 
Contentment defeats comparison 
Comparison is truly the killer of joy. Stop thinking about your friend’s great new job, your neighbor’s shiny car, your colleague’s new promotion when you both started together. You can never get anywhere with comparing yourself with anyone.
 
Here’s the thing, you’re not better than anyone, no one is better than you. There’s always someone out there prettier, richer, stronger, happier, healthier, and just more together than you. So why look when it is only going to unease your life.  
 
The circle of jealousy is never-ending. You’re jealous of someone, someone out there is jealous of you, there’s also someone jealous of that person who is jealous of you. And so it goes. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you don’t get entangled in the vicious cycle. 
 
I’m not saying envy is inevitable, just don’t let other people’s life get the best of you, wishing for their life is wishing for their problems as well. You don’t know the pain they are trying to conceal behind those smiles. You don’t know if they have a few months to live so they are trying to fulfil their bucket list. Simply put, stop looking over your neighbor’s yard!
 
 
Contentment gives you peace of mind
Contentment brings peace of mind and positivity that can facilitate growth and self-improvement. This does not mean you can’t have dreams and aspirations. You can accept the present and still wish for a better future. Contentment only means to be at peace with the present, not complacent.
 
If you are not at peace with what you have achieved at your current point in life, it can be more difficult be motivated to work toward a better future. If you want peace of mind and a positive attitude, contentment is what you should practice.
 
Contentment lets you separate wants from needs
Contentment can help you distinguish between wants and needs. When you are content, you may not desire for anything more than what you need. The abundance of the present is enough to lead a happy and healthy life. Contentment often leads to the realization that joy doesn’t come from material things. Instead, joy comes from deep within. When you are able to distinguish your wants from your needs, you stop overburdening yourself. You relieve yourself from the stress of wanting more and more. Contentment promotes simplicity. It teaches you to be happy with what you have, whether little or abundant.
 
Instead of wanting your possessions to grow, you should start working on personal growth. Because at the end of the day, inner peace fueled by contentment may matter more than the car you drive or even the house you live in.
 
Contentment is a choice. Make the choice to be you and enjoy the simpler things in life that bring peace and joy. Your emotional and physical well-being of yourself will improve providing more energy to pursue the things you enjoy. You will have gratitude and thank yourself each day for the decision to embrace contentment into your life.
 
 
Cheers to living a life free from the rat race!
 
Love,
 
Jolade
 
 

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4 thoughts on “The Theory of Contentment – by Jolade”

  1. Adedamola Ilori

    Hi Jolade,
    You deserve a medal of honor for this write up, may you continue to grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
    Well done sis

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