Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
Contentment, or desiring no more than what one has, can be our best friend or our worst enemy. Being content with what we have is generally a good thing, especially when referring to material possessions and other “things.” However, being content with our accomplishments, goals, and general position in life essentially means we have no more goals or ambitions since they have already been either reached or forgotten. Those who lack goals and direction in life also find it difficult to achieve happiness. It is this level of contentment that gets in the way of our success.
At this time, it is likely you have already experienced much success. You may have reached some of your goals, or you may have achieved success in other areas where you may not have expected. It is times such as these we start to get comfortable and begin to lose the burning desire that once was the driving force behind our success. When we are content, we are not frustrated, and we do nothing or very little to improve our situation. Remember that success does not come easy; it is not about taking the path of least resistance; it is about continually challenging yourself and holding yourself to higher standards.
What is the difference between true happiness, and contentment and how can you tell the difference? Although this may seem like a challenging question, you already know the answer. Ask yourself, “Am I truly happy, or am I just content?” Although you may not be able to put your feelings into words, you will be able to tell the difference.
If you feel that you have reached a point in your success where you are comfortable or contented, then it is time to review your definition of success and refocus on your goals. You may feel that you were in a more “hopeful” state of mind when wrote the goals and now your goals seem less important or maybe “too bold,” but do not let your current state of contentment cloud your judgment. Review your success journal along with your general and specific purpose. Look at your dream collage. Do you really want to give up on these goals and dreams? Are you really exactly where you want to be or do you feel you have more to give?
Being content with the material things in life is said to be one of the keys to happiness and it also makes a very worthwhile goal. Contentment with your achievements in life, on the other hand, is usually more destructive than productive and can be combated by refocusing on your goals and life purpose. Remember the words of John Lancaster Spalding, “If all were gentle and contented as sheep, all would be as feeble and helpless.”
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)