It’s no secret that we’re constantly being told our #1 priority in life is to find Happiness, and once we attain it, we should sustain it. No problem.
But it’s a BIG problem, one that ranks right up there with finding a job, an apartment or a parking spot somewhere remotely close to the bar on a Saturday night.
These days there’s so much pressure on us to find Happiness that we make ourselves completely miserable in the process because it’s such an elusive concept. It’s become the Holy Grail of the 21st Century.
The biggest challenge with Happiness is that it’s marketed to us as this destination that once you reach it you’ll experience non-stop fortune, joy, bliss and smiles 24\7.
If, however, you’re not experiencing all those things all day, every day, then not only have you NOT achieved Happiness, but there’s probably something inherently wrong with you. But fear not, there’s a plethora of books, seminars and pharmaceuticals available to you for a small fee which will aid you in your quest for Happiness.
The Sad Truth
The sad truth is, Happiness is nothing more than short bursts of joy throughout a mostly mundane life. In the wide spectrum of positive feelings, Happiness is the nitrous oxide whippet. You get a hit, feel great for a little bit, then it’s back to the hum-drum monotony of life.
The trouble is, we’ve all been led to believe that Happiness is supposed to last forever, but just like the whippet, it doesn’t and then we get bummed. So we search out more and more whippets (new car, fantastic career, significant other, clothes and vacations) in the thinking that those things will bring us Happiness. All that ever accomplishes though is running ourselves into the ground while amplifying feelings of inferiority and bitterness.
Hence, we become miserable in our pursuit of Happiness.
With all that being said, I believe there’s something out there which far exceeds the joy and pleasure we’ve been taught to equate with Happiness.
It’s Called Contentment
Contentment isn’t elusive, in fact, it’s easily attained and lasts, well, a lifetime. There’s no expensive courses you need to take, no pills to pop or books to read in order to have Contentment. Contentment doesn’t hinge on a myriad of variables the way Happiness has been advertised to.
Contentment can also weather any hardships you may experience in life unlike Happiness which is always fleeting even under the best of circumstances. Contentment is always within reach. In fact all it requires is taking a minute to look and appreciate what you have here and now.
So if Contentment is so great, why aren’t we being advised to seek THAT instead of happiness?
The thing about Contentment is that it hinges on you being fulfilled with what you already have. There’s nothing to chase because you’ve already got it.
So who is going to try to sell you something you already have? Nobody. There’s no profit in it.
The best thing about Contentment is that you don’t have to kill yourself in order to acquire it. It’s about being satisfied with whatever you have and wherever you are in the present moment.
Listen, every smart and rational person accepts two indisputable facts about life and they are:
- 1. Someone will always have more than you.
- 2. Things will always change.
Understanding and accepting these two indisputable truths is the foundation for unshakable Contentment.
Contentment gives you permission to enjoy and appreciate every single mile of the journey you’re on. It gives you a deep sense of fulfillment for all that you’ve accomplished and attained this far. It also keeps you grounded when misfortune pays you a visit.
Here’s Webster’s definition of Happiness- obsolete: good fortune: prosperity: a state of well-being and contentment
Happiness is the icing in life, Contentment is the cake. So have a slice, fuck it, have two and get fat with being Content.
What Makes You Happy?