Happy and Content

6 May

Did you ever notice that you don’t make yourself happy?  That, no matter what you do or how hard you try, you really can’t make yourself happy? 

Did you ever wonder why?

Happiness….  Well, it just “happens.”  Happen-ness.  It happens to you.  You take no action.  It is entirely out of your hands.  Something happens to you and, if you’re lucky, it makes you happy.   You have no control over it.

Read that again: you have no control over your own happiness.

Now, that may sound depressing, but it’s not — because there is something better.

Better than happiness?

You bet.

Contentment.

Happiness is short-term.  It’s an adrenalin rush — that high you get when all feels right with the world for just that brief moment in time.

But like any other adrenalin rush, it can’t last.  What do you do when the moment is gone?  Do you mourn its passing and try to find another rush, another high, another happiness in a never-ending cycle of want, need, and desire for something beyond your control?

That’s a common enough reaction, but it doesn’t have to be.  You do have another option.  When the intensity passes and the excitement wanes, you can do something else.

You can be content.  

Contentment lasts.  Contentment is a choice, something you can and always will control.  That’s the glory of it.  Other things may make you happy, but only you can make you content.

Only you.  It is entirely in your hands.

In our society of over-achievers, “contentment” is often equated with “settling” (often followed by “for less”) but I would argue that contentment is something very different.

Contentment is satisfaction.  

You know that feeling you enjoy over a job well done?  Or maybe the pleasure you get from doing something nice for someone else?  Yeah, that feeling.  

That feeling lasts.  More importantly, it’s something you did.  You control it.  You made yourself satisfied.

And that, my friends — that satisfaction with yourself — is contentment.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

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2 Responses to “Happy and Content”

  1. freya46 May 13, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    What a great way to put that. Like you, I’ve made choices. I chose to give up parts of my brain to deal with chronic debilitating back and joint pain. I don’t know if I am exactly content with my choice, but I continuing to choose. I certainly enjoy the benefits..more freedom and the ability to deal with the remaining pain as I need. 🙂

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  1. Happy and Content | Donna's Stuff - May 6, 2013

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