We run through our existence, our work, our relationships, our jobs all in the search of pure happiness. We build this idea that the next job, the next relationship, the next assignment will give us that. But this only leads us into becoming people who get absorbed with finding happiness in materialistic things and lifestyles that come with an expiration date.
Contented life is a successful life!
This then begs the question, what is contentment? Is it the momentary happiness we experience when we get a promotion or buy a new car or fall in love for the first time? Or is it something more lasting and found in the little things in life which are soul satisfying?
What Is Happiness? What Makes Us Really Happy?
Most of us are stuck in this mechanical mode where we go for classes, get education, degrees, jobs, build a family, buy a house and have children. We live out our entire life in this mode, a clockwork kind of existence where we spend absolutely no time thinking about anything. We simply exist.
But are we completely happy, existing in this mechanical mode? If not, then what is it that our life needs for us to be truly happy? It’s important we ask ourselves this question. And if we have never given this any thought, maybe it’s time we did.
You see it’s not about experiencing fleeting pleasures, since they are always connected to a certain time limit.
For example, when we have our favorite meal, we feel content. When we wish for something and we get it, we feel content. So, we spend most of our life chasing something or the other because once it comes to us, we get to experience this temporary contentment. The basis of which is nothing but some expectation and its subsequent fulfilment, which like an illusion never fills up.
None of these, recurring needs for certain brief pleasures, make us happy. They make us feel okay, they make us feel better, but only for a short duration and then we find ourselves back to feeling the same way we did before. Is that happiness? Can that be happiness?
Happiness Is A Permanent State.
Happiness or contentment is, when the mind is not running after needs, requirements or wants; when the mind is stable and it’s peaceful. That’s when permanent happiness, true contentment, happens. It is a state that is definitely achievable by each and every one of us, but we fail due to our expectations.
Being happy about the smaller, ordinary things in our everyday life, these tiny little surprise factors actually help us ‘be alive” in life and every situation in it. It is what brings a sense of purpose in our lives, be it a new project or a selfless act. It is this ability of a person to be happy in every moment, every high or low, that can be considered as the highest possible wealth-of-a-lifetime a man can have.
So, how does one achieve this level of contentment where we can be happy and satisfied irrespective of whether something is available to us or not; where we are happy no matter what?!
3 Things To Help Achieve Complete Contentment
1. Reduce Your Dependency On The Things Outside
The usual method of human contentment flows something like this; there is a desire -> which leads to fulfilment -> that creates a sense of satisfaction -> and ultimately gives us contentment. This is the way all of us work.
But what if we reach a state where, for example, we have a desire to have a coffee and even though the coffee is not available to us, we do not get dissatisfied? This state is a possibility for all of us, but it begins with us having to change our whole attitude and resort to the idea that whether or not our desire is fulfilled, we can still be happy.
This requires a fundamental shift in awareness. We need to reach a level of maturity where our dependency on things outside of us, gets reduced. The less dependent we are on things outside, the more content we can be with ourselves and maintain stability in our lives.
2. Focus On The Activity, Not The Result
Whatever work we are choose to do, we should focus on doing it, and as perfectly as we can. Think clearly about your work, your job and all the others things that bring meaning to your life, give you a sense of purpose and then look for ways to fulfill that purpose. Just dive right into it with complete attention, complete application, complete concentration and don’t worry about the result.
You know where we go wrong in this? When we have an expectation of how the result should look like and when it doesn’t meet our requirements, we are met with absolute disappointment.
If you gave this thought a minute, you would see that majority of our disappointments are usually connected to expectations.
The trick here is to divert our focus onto the activity at hand and not the result. Eventually it will lead to a big shift in our lives and no matter what result we receive, we will be to deal with and accept it, happily.
3. Grow Your Inner Richness – Be Utterly Grateful
Our true wealth as a human being isn’t defined by the number of cars or houses or designer shoes or bags, we own. It is defined by our inner richness as a person. This is where we are not dependent on any aspect of the earth whilst still being sincerely grateful for everything that is provided to us. This is the state of perpetual contentment!
Materialistic things, specific people or suitable places are not required for happiness. Happiness lies within. Whatever is external of us cannot guarantee any happiness. Which is why we keep finding ourselves running from one job to another, one relationship to another, one place to another.
Our happiness depends on our inner state. The stability of which has a lot to do with our self-acceptance. A selfish person seldom enjoys contentment. It takes selflessness to experience perpetual contentment.
So, learning the art of being grateful, practicing self-acceptance and living a life of abundance must exist for us to be able to grow this inner richness. This is the ultimate truth.
It is only when we share, that we grow rich.