3 ways to absolute contentment

You have enough. If you’re reading this post, the chances are you have a roof over your head, food to put on the table and even your own computer with an internet connection. You may not be a millionaire, but you don’t have to be.

We are told our whole lives that we don’t want to fail at life. What does that mean? Apparently it means we don’t want to go through life without a job with a posh title, a big house and a flashy car.

But what if everything we’ve been told is wrong? What would happen to us if we decide we don’t want to be trapped in the rat race?

We’d be free.

And the key to freedom? It’s contentment. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to achieve your best or not try to change anything. It means just being happy with where you are now, and stop trying to grasp onto something in the future that keeps moving forward just a quickly as we do. Just like a donkey trying to get the carrot on a stick, we would never reach happiness if we keep chasing something that moves away just as we think we’re getting closer.

How to be content with what you have

1. Remember that: “I have lived x number of years without y”. When Steve Jobs released the iPad, people couldn’t really decide what they needed it for until they got one. Then they magically found all sorts of uses for it. A lot of the time, we create reasons to want stuff so that we can make the excuse that we need it. But we really don’t. We’re just trying to justify a new purchase so that we don’t feel guilty spending lots of money on more junk. Some things are useful, and really do grant us freedom, like the washing machine, but that was invented decades ago.

2. Don’t depend on stuff for security. Many people feel the need to be surrounded by stuff as if they need to affirm that they are working for something. My parents are very guilty of this. I love them very much, but because of their extremely poor background, they simply cannot throw anything away. They feel the need to hoard things because getting rid of it ‘would be a waste’. Even though we have enough money now to buy something many times over, they have created an emotional attachment to things that they need to feel ‘safe’. They’re scared that if they don’t have anything, then everything they’ve worked for has amounted to nothing too. If only they could realise that this doesn’t make any sense. They didn’t work for stuff they worked for us, they’ve built a wonderful family, and that’s something that can never be thrown away.

3. Stop needing to prove yourself. The amount of stuff you have isn’t a measurement of your worth. Almost everyone says this, and yet almost no one follows it. Just because a person has a nice kitchen, or their car has a bigger engine, doesn’t mean they’re better. People feel the need to acquire money as if they’re points in the the Game of Life and whoever has the most at the end is the winner. Real life isn’t like that. The real measurements are intangible things like kindness, generosity, love, knowledge, experience and happiness. That’s the kind of stuff Life is made of.

Just be content with what you have. Be happy right now. Then you don’t have to go chasing for it.

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