The Key to a Fulfilled Life: 5 Proven Ways to Achieve Contentment and Happiness"
When I started making a little money as a kid; i couldn’t help but go straight into shopping mode. I didn’t understand what I was doing or what impact it had on me.
One thing was sure: I had more “buyers remorse” than joy from what I bought. And when I saved another dollar right away, I would do it again.
What was even more painful was that the friends I was trying to impress didn’t care either. It was either too expensive for whatever amount or of low quality.
"Do you mean you paid XXX for this XXX?"
Worse, I didn’t even have as much fashion sense as I wanted, largely because I couldn’t afford the fancy stores.
I tried explaining this frustration to my mom then; in short, it got to a point where I was no longer telling her my expenses.
“Why didn’t you just give me the money to buy for you?”
When she did buy, it was always “oversize.” She expected every kid to grow and fit into clothes.
I'd ask her if it needed to be touched up (resized)... She'd yell about how tailors ruined her clothes.
Then, she’ll promise to fit it herself. but she never did! She was always busy.
She knew how to sew but used her machine only once or twice a month or even once a year.
But something clicked one day. I stumbled upon Ben Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands.”
I got to the point where his mom had the exact problem I was facing with Carson.
He wanted to wear fancy clothes and brands because that was what his friends said were cool.
Unfortunately for both of us, we came from homes where we couldn’t afford them. And forcing our way through was more painful than joyful.
There needs to be a balance between striving for more, which is your drive, and being content, as a lack of contentment can rob you of your joy.
5 ways being contented can improve our lives and make us happier
1. Increased satisfaction:
Long-term thinking leads to contentment and satisfaction.
What many kids fail to realize is how things open up with time. Hard times come and go.
The winners sacrifice short-term satisfaction for long-term success. Losers: They sacrifice long-term success for short-term satisfaction.
Being content with what we have can lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in life.
2. Reduced stress
When you approach life with the goal of impressing others, it's easy to feel stressed out, burned out, and frustrated.
But when you approach life with the goal of making yourself proud of your effort at the moment, you feel energized, creative, and fulfilled.
Challenges and difficulties are inevitable, but your view of them is what matters.
It doesn't take long for you to realize that impressing others is not worth sacrificing your peace of mind.
When we are content, we are less likely to be constantly striving for more without intention, which can lead to reduced stress and anxiety.
3. Improved relationships:
Being content can improve our relationships with others, as we are more likely to be happy and positive when we are content.
When you live beyond your means, you find yourself losing your temper and always sad. Regardless of how hard you try, this affects your relationship with the people you love.
Focusing on what we can control is key to happiness & contentment. Due to this our relationships improve, and those around us are positively affected.
4. Greater resilience:
One thing I've noticed about "street smart" people is that they can make do with very little.
When we are content, we are better able to cope with challenges and setbacks, as we have a positive outlook and a sense of contentment to fall back on.
"Knowledge of one's strength entails a real mastery over oneself; it breeds energy and courage, helps one over the most difficult tasks of life, and procures contentment and true enjoyment of living."
The goal is to transform greed into contentment.
5. Increased gratitude:
Gratitude has been found to be linked to a range of positive outcomes, such as increased feelings of joy and contentment, improved relationships, and greater physical & mental well-being.
The fact is, there will always be people with more than you—more money, better cars, etc. The sweet spot is to enjoy contentment with what you have while pursuing more of what you want.
Being contented can also increase feelings of gratitude, as we are more likely to appreciate the things we have when we are contented, rather than constantly focusing on what we lack.