He has enough who is contented with little. Anon
Contentment is the one contentious issue that is at the heart of most human problems be it relationships, personal illness or simply being happy. For proof simply revisit the 7 deadly sins of Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth and you will making a startling discovery that each of these sins is a result of lack of contentment. This is the right time for each of us to also pause and introspect as to what is it that will bring us contentment and peace. Words like more money, better job, an ideal spouse etc. are too vague and can at best be compared to a shadow not a clear blue print of what we seek. How often has it occurred to us that we go to a restaurant and after placing our order see the waiter serving something looking more yummy on the neighboring table and then we crave for what is not ours. Contentment can begin only if we are clear in our mind and heart as to what we really want.
We are very indecisive about our choices simply because we have too many choices and each looks more appealing than the next. How many of us own more than one watch? To tell the time one watch is more than enough yet there are many of us who would love to own more watches. The mobile phone is perhaps a more apt example in today’s context since we are fascinated by the features and style, rarely pausing to think if we would utilize anything more than the basic functions for 95% of our time. Too many choices therefore tempt us, trigger emotions of need and want finally ending up in us succumbing to our emotions. A study of people buying at duty free shops at the airport lounges are an eye opener for in addition to the choices there is the lure of ‘duty free’ and the pride of premium shopping being done. Noting can be more ironic than seeing a teetotaler buy his quota of liquor simply because that is the done thing and is often flaunted to guests who like a nip or two.
The most content people are those who are pragmatic and limit their needs. This is done by the reverse process of accepting what is available with gratefulness and good cheer instead of actively seeking choices and then trying to match it to meet our emotional need and our financial wherewithal. In a world that is consumer centric, marketing and advertisement driven and designed to lure the gullible, the temptations are too strong to be suppressed. There are other pressures too like social pressure, family pressures, emotional needs that fuel our desires and wants and the net result is that we pacify our desires without being content. In the days of yore, the most content people would perhaps have been the religious leaders and gurus for they chose to limit their wants and found that they attained bliss thereafter. Even that bastion is now crumbling and only a very conscious awareness can help us outline our bare necessities and thereafter we can enjoy the fruits of contentment.
Remember: “True contentment depends not upon what we have; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was too little for Alexander.” Charles Caleb Colton
- Do a little spring cleaning and try to get rid of the accumulated stuff that you have never utilized during the past 6 months or those which you will never use in the future. It could be footwear, clothing, greeting cards, watches etc. Many a time some items would have sentimental value but if you really cross your heart most accumulated things are kept because we can’t bear to part with it.
- If your best friend coveted something that you own that you are passionate about but has little sentimental value would you spontaneously gift it to your friend? Eg. You have a very beautiful picture frame that you purchased because you loved it when you saw it. Now you friend admires it longingly and expresses a wish to own it. Will you gift it spontaneously?
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