When we are happy, we are content or is it the other way round? The connection between the two is so sublime and so enriching that it is difficult to tell the two apart. I am sure many of you would agree with me.
Contentment is that blessed state of mind, which transcends all levels of joy, elation and happiness as it has seen all of them. Even when it has not met these exquisite emotions, it knows how to make peace with life.
What is contentment?
- It is the state of accepting what is the best for us.
- It is cultivating the patience to surrender desire.
- It is the serenity of reaching our potential.
- It is feeling a sense of security and self-fulfillment.
- It is giving up the tendency to compare ourselves with people around us.
- It is the inclination to accept disparities.
- It is that inner tranquility, which harvests happiness.
To my mind, contentment should be a synonym of happiness. When we develop an attitude of accepting what we have and promise ourselves to do better, to continue the efforts – that could be the state of being happy with ourselves.
“Supreme happiness consists in self-contentment.” —Jacques Rousseau.
What is Happiness?
We know that happiness doesn’t come from material possessions, power or wealth. Don’t equate the joy of acquiring more with happiness, which is a misnomer. Happiness is a profound feeling of contentment and knowledge that all the blessings of life are around us, only if we can perceive them.
Happiness lies in our hearts! We need to nurture it to keep it alive. Emotional upheavals keep jolting our happiness but contentment balances and stabilizes it.
The Happy Man:
Have you read the story of ‘The Enchanted Shirt’? This shirt was recommended for a king who could not get well despite all the medicines, which were prescribed by the royal doctors. The king’s men traveled far and wide to find a ‘happy man’ so that they could borrow his shirt to make their king healthy and happy.
The man who claimed to be happy was brought to meet the king, who requested him to give him his shirt. The happy man confessed that he didn’t have a shirt!
“Seek not to be rich, but happy. Riches lie in bags, happiness in contentment.”—Quaker William Penn.
Contentment is so fastidious! So is happiness…
It changes with time and space. It is always thinking of the next step, assuring us that it would be pleased the moment we take that step, betraying us the moment we reach there!
When we are rushing to fulfill our aspirations, it wants leisure. It says: go slow, enjoy life, and soak in the splendor of your achievements.
When we slow down, it craves for more! When it has enough time, it wants to pursue those hectic life activities. It disapproves a chaotic life yet it gets distraught with less commotion.
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”—Socrates.
Live in the present moment:
We have no control over the past. Present is the only asset in our hands, it is better to accept it and savor it. The moment it slips away, we’ll have another moment. Put all those moments together to derive the bliss out of them. Accept the challenge of the present to do something better that gives you inner peace. There is an inexplicable contentment in making others happy.
Make Leisure activities a part of your life:
Lower the frantic pace of life from time to time. Small breaks, weekend relaxation at your favorite spots, which may be just the backyard of your home, watching the treetops and the movement of clouds – they carry us into that unknown domain of contentment for a short period of time, when we can take stock of our life at large.
Comparisons often disappoint us, they breed discontent. They always give an impetus to unrealistic goals. Happiness and contentment cannot be described in terms of a fat income and a massive mansion, which may be devoid of the glow of good relationships.
Connect with family and friends:
Contentment blossoms in the hearts of those, who care for loving relationships. If we nurture our connections with love, compassion and empathy, if we stand by our friends, if we understand the value of each one of them, our life glimmers with eternal happiness.
Count your blessings:
Life can never be perfect. Contentment makes it so. Lets reflect on the blessings of life we have all around us, many of which have been given to us as free gifts that we cherish.
Give priority to your personal health and happiness. Join a laughter club.
Do you count your blessings? Does it bring contentment? Is happiness and offshoot of contentment? I would love to hear your views.
If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.
Have you subscribed to my posts? It is absolutely free. You can do so just now by clicking on ‘follow’.
Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.
Image credits: sevenquotes.com, http://s843.photobucket.com