Are you content?
Nothing like a direct question to get into your psyche. After reading this question I did a little research to see if I could find a checklist of some sort to see if I “qualified” as being content or not. I did not find one. I did, however, find this poem by William Butler Yeats:
I CALL on those that call me son,
Grandson, or great-grandson,
On uncles, aunts, great-uncles or great-aunts,
To judge what I have done.
Have I, that put it into words,
Spoilt what old loins have sent?
Eyes spiritualised by death can judge,
I cannot, but I am not content.
He that in Sligo at Drumcliff
Set up the old stone Cross,
That red-headed rector in County Down,
A good man on a horse,
Sandymount Corbets, that notable man
Old William pollexfen,
The smuggler Middleton, Butlers far back,
Half legendary men.
Infirm and aged I might stay
In some good company,
I who have always hated work,
Smiling at the sea,
Or demonstrate in my own life
What Robert Browning meant
By an old hunter talking with Gods;
But I am not content.¹
Life really can’t be defined in terms of black and white, or being content or not. Emotions are rated on a spectrum and I’m positive contentment qualifies as a spectral emotion. During my reading of material I’ve realized that if I am not content with things (life) I need to make changes.
A New View
Focusing on the now is a big first step. Happy people don’t dwell on the past or rehash their mistakes. Being thankful for the positives in your life will help keep you optimistic, especially the little things. The small joys in life are a huge factor to having a sunny disposition. My favorite moment and small joy in life is that first sip of coffee in the morning, followed by my second favorite that first smell of coffee brewing. Those two moments (which happen almost daily) always put a smile on my face and start me out on the right foot for the day.
Something I have noticed in my own life that helps me deal with stress is decompressing. I tend to over analyze everything so reflection helps me stay rational. Things like keeping a journal or blogging, taking a walk to think about the day, or just sitting still daydreaming have helped me reflect. Another technique I heard about and now use is the 5-10 minute rule. When something goes wrong or sadness strikes take between 5-10 minutes and feel those emotions then move on. Don’t worry about it, don’t cry over the things you can’t control, feel sad then move on.
To be content realize money can’t buy happiness, comparing yourself to others only hurts yourself, and faking happiness until you’re really happy isn’t such a bad thing. Happiness is a choice. Today I’m making the vow to be happy. I’m going to practice compassion for others which will in turn help me not feel so alone in the world.
Do Things Differently
I’ve started to simplify my life. I’m fascinated with the tiny house movement and have realized that type of lifestyle seems divine to me. Cutting down on things is the perfect way to cleanse your house, yes, but also your soul. I’ve also begun to simplify my emotions. I don’t tend to fret the small stuff and forgiveness is the best tool we’ve been given. Life is too short for grudges and anger. I know when I’m older I’ll look back and think why did I worry so much?
Happy people do what they love. I am still working on this. Until I figure out what it is that I love to do my life will not really feel fulfilled. I have always struggled with perfection; I want it and I need it. This drive for perfection has made me unhappy so I’m learning to let it go. Nothing is perfect and to be content this is a lesson you need to conquer.
What Do Happy People Do?
Is there a secret to happiness? I don’t think so, it just takes some time. Happy people spend their time connecting with others. It helps get their mind off their own life and gives them perspective when reflecting on the negatives in their life. People that are content in their life spend time with others like themselves, they flock together. Happy people also spend time alone to unwind and are not afraid to be alone either.
There isn’t a step by step process to finding happiness. It can be as simple as loving yourself or as complicated as finding a purpose in life. Happiness is about learning from your mistakes or trying new things, finding satisfaction in a daily workout, or just admitting your flaws. I’ve learned that in order to be content it is all about the lifestyle you lead and the choices you make.
Let’s all start making good choices.
¹Poem is the property of its owner. All information has been reproduced here for informational purposes only.