How Contentment Helps Us Succeed
As I reflect on some of the qualities that have been most helpful for me, resulting from the practice of mindfulness and self awareness, the contentment I feel is near the top of the list – the realization that I already have within me everything I need to be happy. I think it’s pretty obvious that our level of contentment is perhaps the greatest barometer of our success in life. But I have met many people who think that being content would rob them of their desire to achieve, and thereby inhibit their success.
Ironically, however, I have found that contentment is very helpful for realizing “worldly success”. I’d like to share three ways that increased contentment actually helps us become more effective people.
1) Increased time and energy
The more contented we are, the less we feel the need to constantly entertain ourselves and spend countless hours watching TV, movies, and surfing the web. The means we have more time for doing things help us to be more healthy, and more time to do things that truly matter to us, like serving our community, spending quality time with friends and family, learning skills that help us advance in our careers or businesses, or even working on projects that help us live our purpose.
2) Increased confidence
I know that when I was in college, whenever I was single I couldn’t get a date to save my life. I’d go 6-9 months sometimes without a date. I felt like the 3-eyed fellow below. Conversely, whenever I had a girlfriend, I’d go to the clubs and I felt like I had some type of super magnetism like the guy below.
Although this is a silly, rather juvenile example of the power of confidence, I think it’s a fun, helpful way of illustrating the following point. When we have an energy of desperation, an “I need this” attitude, we don’t attract others to us, which makes it much harder to accomplish our goals. When we are content, we do things not out of desperation, but simply because we believe that what we’re doing will be helpful for all involved. This results in a more confident, selfless attitude that inspires those around us.
When we know that we already have everything we need to be happy, we have greater courage. It starts with little things – like the courage to admit our shortcomings, failures, and when we’re wrong. And, it can lead to bigger things – like pursuing our dreams in life.
If you’re not already taking some time to do so, you might find that taking some time each day to sit still in mindfulness and just be not only helps you realize peace of mind, but also allows you to realize that you too already have everything you need to be happy. And, you might find that this increased contentment also increases your effectiveness in our world by freeing up time and energy and increasing levels of confidence and courage.