Do you remember buying your first car? You worked hard, saved your money, and went out and bought a 15-year-old used car. You were so proud as you drove home. Along the way, or even out of the way, you stopped to show all your friends and take them for a ride. You had a car, and all was right with your world.
How long did that feeling last? When did you start noticing the dents and rust, the scratches in the paint job? When did you start noticing all the newer cars for sale at about the same price you paid for your clunker? The glow wears off and discontent sets in.
Most of us, at some level, get caught up in the cycle of wanting more. Yet there are people how seem more satisfied with what they have out of life. How does that happen?
Here are some tips to help you remain content with your life.
- Keep positive – Focus on things that are going well. Everybody has some measure of difficulty in their lives. If you spend too much time focused on the negative, you will never feel content with what is going well.
- Don’t worry – Every time you start to worry about things you don’t have, ask yourself this question, “How much difference is this going to make in five years?” If the answer is, “not much,” stop worrying. It’s not worth the effort.
- Be thankful – Look at what you do have: food, shelter, friends, family, a job, etc. Don’t gloat but recognize that you are much better off than many people in the world.
- Live well – Have you ever known someone who bought a new living-room suite and then covered it in plastic to protect it? Suddenly it seems more like a showroom than a living room. Get the most out of what you have.
- Get involved with others – Volunteer! Get out in the community and give something back to someone in need. It is difficult to wallow in discontent when you’re dealing with the challenges others are facing.
Don’t get me wrong, discontent can be a useful thing. For example, discontent with one’s weight can lead to diet and exercise. However, if the discontent gets out of control, diet can become an eating disorder. To keep our lives in balance, we need to learn to be content with what we have.