Do you remember the last time you felt content? Contentment is that state of being where you know you just have enough. When you’re content, you don’t need any more or less.
However, contentment seems to be so elusive or at least, difficult to sustain.
In this world of excess, the idea of contentment is not often mentioned compared to success, fame, more money and material possessions.
But let’s talk more about contentment.
Because being content means not exhausting what other people and the world could give. It could mean not hurting others and the environment. It could also mean more people sharing the riches of the world.
If you’re in search of contentment, where do you go?
Seeing Happiness in Those You Love
Seeing happiness in those you love elicits a state of contentment. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that your loved ones are happy.
I experienced this a few weeks ago on a Saturday evening. I wasn’t necessarily doing anything exciting. In fact, I was just washing some dishes in the kitchen, which is not even my most favorite chore in the world.
At the same time, my husband and son were running around the house, playing hide and seek. The sound of laughter from both of them was like music to my ears. The kind of music that made me forget that I’m doing my least liked chore.
Then I thought of what we did earlier in the day. How much my son enjoyed his swimming lessons. The new discoveries we made when we visited one of our favorite shops. The delicious lunch we had at our local Korean market. And the calmer than usual evening we’re spending at home.
I felt so much joy and contentment that night.
Do What You Love
The other day, my son and I were having lunch and while waiting for him to finish his meal, I started writing the beginning of this blog post on some paper napkins (serviettes). As I try to think of ideas for this post, I felt again a sense of contentment. Even with just a pen in hand and some paper napkins, I still love the whole writing process.
I’ve spoken about finding my passion/North Star in my very first blog post. This is so important to me because I know that finding my passion/North Star leads to contentment. I believe there has to be great love involved in doing work that enables us to achieve our life’s purpose.
In doing something that you love, you will surely find contentment.
The Serenity Prayer
Growing up, my mother urged our whole family to pray together. My siblings and I are typically called after dinner on a daily basis to pray the Holy Rosary. Each one of us took turns reciting one assigned prayer. The Serenity Prayer is usually the last prayer that my youngest brother recites. The prayer goes like this:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
While I’m very familiar with this prayer, which I’ve probably heard a million times already, I didn’t take to heart it’s full meaning until recently. Somehow, this prayer to me captures the essence of contentment. In times of dissatisfaction, I find myself saying this prayer.