The Importance of Being Content #AtoZChallenge

The Importance of Being Content: AtoZ Challenge Post #3

We are usually taught growing up how important it is to have ambition and goals. Throughout our adolescence and early adulthood, we chase the ideal. That perfect college, the dream job, that great life partner, and so on. The goals we need to reach before we believe we can let go and start to be happy. When we can finally get down to being content with where we are. And in the meantime, life passes us by. Sometimes we spend half our lives in this chase before we wake up to the truth – life isn’t waiting for us to start being content and happy. Life is happening now, while we wait…

So am I saying that we shouldn’t have goals and chase our dreams? That we should just accept whatever we get in life, and make no effort at improvement? Of course, that’s not what I’m saying. I work a full-time corporate job and am just as ambitious and goal-oriented as the next person. We must have dreams, and we must have goals in life. They make us who we are. Improving ourselves should be an ongoing and lifetime desire. What I’m saying is, while we work away at our future, we should not stop living and enjoying our present. Being content implies accepting where you are at the moment, and just being satisfied with yourself and whatever you are doing at this point.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tsu

Being content with your present situation means perhaps making peace with a less-than-perfect status in a particular aspect of your present life. Things might get better in future, or they just might not. That’s just life and you know what, you will still be okay in the end. That’s what being content will do for you.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” – Oprah Winfrey (yes, I quoted Oprah, deal with it).

Some of my previous A2Z 2018 posts:

A for Anxiety

B for Balance in Life

 

16 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Content #AtoZChallenge”

  1. Hi, Neha, thanks for this thought-provoking post. It raised my questions in my mind: What’s wrong in not having goals & chasing dreams? Why shouldn’t we just accept whatever we get in life? Do really goals make us who we are? Don’t we have any other identity without goals? Why do we need to have an identity for ourselves?

    1. Interesting questions Ravish. Thought-provoking in return. I suppose one could have a life without goals and dreams, I just seem to find it impossible to imagine somehow. Maybe I’m the kind that likes to have things to look forward to. To some level, we do and should accept what we get in life. But if say I fall sick tomorrow, do I accept that as something life has thrown at me and not do my best to get better? Of course goals are not the only thing that make up our identity, but they do form a part of the ingredients. At least, they do for me. Why do we need to have an identity…Because we are unique creations and each of us has his or her own special qualities or gifts. Whether we realise it or not, the basis for identity is already there. If we want to develop in some way as a human being, our identity will develop too, won’t it?

      1. Hey, Neha, your reply reminded me of conversation between Alexander and Diogenes. I shared it in my post Laughter – The Language of Mystics. It’ll give you some idea of life without dreams and goals. It may also give you the answer of the question you asked about identity.

        I found Diogenes very interesting in many ways. He was once auctioned in a slave market. I mentioned about this in my post Surrender – A Way to Freedom. His life could be interpreted as the actualization of Lao Tzu’s quote, “Be like the winds; move with the winds; go wherever they take you. And don’t choose.”

        http://ravishmani.tumblr.com/post/119904643100/laughter-the-language-of-mystics
        http://ravishmani.tumblr.com/post/95966903545/surrender-a-way-to-freedom

  2. This is a topic I so relate to. Unfortunately these days many ppl chase ghosts of ambitions long past their due date. Good post.

  3. I agree with every word, Neha. It is extremely important to stop and analyze how easily we are losing on living our lives. You said what I want to say to every living person. Be content with what you have!

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