How to Be Content With What You Have

There is no greater enemy to contentment than the things you desire. The more you want, the harder it becomes to be satisfied with what you have. Why? Because the things you want are always out of reach. They can never match your expectations – and when they inevitably fail to live up to your fantasies, frustration soon follows.

Why is it, then, that some individuals are content with their lot in life? When others become consumed by the pursuit of more, they find satisfaction in what is at hand. How do they manage to do this when millions would fail?

The answer lies in their choice of focus – or rather, the lack thereof. The person who fails to find contentment is the one who allows themselves to be pulled in every direction. They are so concerned with what they don’t have that they fail to appreciate what they do enjoy. The more you want, the harder it becomes to be satisfied with what you have.

Here are 10 ways to be content with what you have

1. Stop focusing on what you don’t have –

Learn to appreciate the things in life you do have, instead of desiring the things you can’t get. When you stop perceiving every event through a desire for something else, your need for satisfaction diminishes. You come to realise that contentment is completely independent of circumstance.

2. Stop expecting perfection –

The more you want something, the harder it can be to be content with its shortcomings. When you desire perfection, nothing short of it will suffice. You find yourself forever dissatisfied, full of resentment and blaming others for your unhappiness. Accepting flaws allows you to move beyond them and focus on what is truly important.

3. Stop making comparisons –

Comparing ourselves to others is a surefire way to misery and discontentment. No matter how successful someone else may be, there will always be people better off than you in some ways and worse off in others. When we stop making comparisons, we discover contentment in what we have without needing more.

4. Stop focusing on the negative –

A negative focus can control your life unless you take steps to control it instead. When bad things happen, don’t allow yourself to dwell on them. Find the lesson in tough experiences and move forward with gratitude for everything else you have.

5. Stop believing change will fix your problems –

The biggest enemy of contentment is the belief that change will fix what you don’t like. It won’t. You may get what you want and then discover that it wasn’t all you hoped or expected it to be. When we stop seeking outside forces to enhance our happiness, we learn to rely on inner strength instead of outward circumstances.

6. Stop trying to control everything –

The more you try to control things, the less content you tend to be. The world is unpredictable and full of surprises. Trying to get it ‘just right’ ensures that nothing will ever measure up because no one can do it perfectly all the time. When we stop tryingto orchestrate every situation, we learn how to roll with the punches and enjoy our lives regardless.

7. Stop worrying about the future –

Worry is a complete waste of mental energy that can be used for better things. The more we worry, the more anxious we become as we begin to imagine every potential disaster lurking just around the corner. When we stop worrying about what might happen, we free up our minds to enjoy what is right here in front of us.

8. Stop pretending it doesn’t matter –

Some people go through life trying to distance themselves from everything and everyone that matters to them the most, convincing themselves they don’t care when deep down their hearts ache for things and relationships they can never have. When we stop pretending we don’t care about what really matters, we allow ourselves to cherish the beautiful things in our lives.

9. Stop thinking it’s all up to you –

It is natural to want to take personal credit for successes and blame yourself when things go wrong, but in reality, many events are outside of your control. When we stop taking responsibility for everything that happens, we begin to see the limits of our influence. Realising you are not responsible for everything allows you to put things into perspective and live without the weight of the world on your shoulders.

10. Stop trying to hide from pain –

Pain is part of life. It comes in all shapes and sizes, but it is something that makes us who we are. Everyone has to deal with it at some point, but the way you respond can make all the difference in your life. When you give up tryingto avoid pain through distractions and detours, you learn that sometimes the only way out is straight through it.


11. Stop thinking it’s too late –

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing you have missed out on happiness and success, but the reality is you have unlimited chances to pursue them. When we stop thinking it’s too late to start over, we take a step forward instead of staying inconsolable in our sorrows.

If we stop looking elsewhere to find happiness and success, we discover it is always right here within us. It’s not about getting more things or having better relationships. It’s about appreciating what you have today instead of wasting your life waiting for tomorrow.

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