Finding contentment requires lots of stops and starts

The person who finds contentment will have stopped chasing after everything and everybody who interferes with their peace of mind.

You’d think that everybody should be able to find contentment quite easily because who doesn’t want to live in peace? The truth is, most people don’t want contentment, they think that’s for people without ambition. The following quote puts that thought in perspective.

“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” ~Jim Carrey.

So, if contentment is not achieving everything you’ve dreamed of.  What is contentment? Contentment is an emotional state of satisfaction that can be seen as a mental state, maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind.

Yes, contentment lies within the attitude you have towards yourself and your situation in life. You’ve got to learn to be at ease with your place in the world. There’s many a person who will climb the hill in front of them only to find another hill waiting for them if all they want out of life is meaningless accomplishments.

“At this moment, lying on the bed, sick and remembering all my life, I realize that all my recognition and wealth that I have is meaningless in the face of imminent death,” ~Steve Jobs.

Contentment means that you’re at peace with yourself regardless of where you find yourself on any given day. An introvert can learn to enjoy moments of extroversion if they believe that’s exactly where they were meant to be at that moment in time. Some other examples of contentment are.

“He was most content when he was sitting by a warm fire on a chill winter’s evening with only his dog for company.”

“She was most content when she listened to her children playing happily in the next room.”

“They were at their most content when they were swimming in the ocean when the only sound they could hear was the waves crashing onto the distant shore.”

“She was most content when she was surrounded by her life-long friends, having a glass of wine and reminiscing about the good times they had shared.”

The thing to remember is, one person’s idea of contentment could be another person’s nightmare. Introverts and extroverts do not appreciate the same situations. And that’s why there isn’t a one size fits all, however, the process for finding contentment is similar for everybody.

How to find contentment. Finding contentment revolves around two processes. Things you need to stop and things you need to start. I have listed them to make them easier to read, however, the order you carry them out is entirely up to you.

Things to stop.

  1. Stop chasing after things you do not need.
  2. Stop listening to people and information you do not agree with.
  3. Stop trying to impress other people.
  4. Stop seeing positive traits in people they don’t possess.
  5. Stop judging people.
  6. Stop believing people are talking about you.
  7. Stop criticizing yourself.
  8. Stop looking for perfection.
  9. Stop thinking anybody is better than you.
  10. Stop blaming other people for your troubles.
  11. Stop worrying about death. (Yours or anybody else’s.)
  12. Stop letting your emotions control your behaviour.
  13. Stop thinking you know why people do the things they do.
  14. Stop trying to control people or situations where you have no power.
  15. Stop interacting with people who undermine you.*
  16. Stop living in the future. If you’re always thinking about what you’re going to be doing in 5 minutes, you’ll be forever living in the future.

Things to start.

  1. Start appreciating the things you already have.
  2. Start expressing your opinions regardless of who’s listening.
  3. Start doing things that impress you.
  4. Start exercising your mind and body.
  5. Start appreciating the power you have over yourself.
  6. Start allowing other people to do as they please. If you’re not pleased with what they do, let them go.
  7. Start forgiving yourself.
  8. Start taking responsibility for your life.
  9. Start remembering everything you’ve achieved. (Learning to walk is a huge achievement.)
  10. Start believing everybody is trying their best to live a happy life.
  11. Start developing an open mind.
  12. Start living in the now. Be aware of each breath you take.
  13. Start remembering the times in your life when you were content.
  14. Start understanding that for now, you’re good enough just the way you are.
  15. Start having realistic expectations, or in other words, don’t have expectations about anything. Be a witness, not a judge.

Remember. Don’t mistake happiness for contentment, happiness comes and goes, contentment lasts forever. I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes from people who understood what contentment was all about.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Bernard Baruch

“The day you become your own best friend is the beginning of a wonderful life.” ~Alexander Strong.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” Dr. Seuss.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” ~Lao Tzu

About BrendanDunne

I don't give advice if it's not asked for, however, I leave my advice lying around for everybody to find.
This entry was posted in attitude, Self Improvement and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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