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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Learning to Be Contentedness..

If you are in a bad place in your life, and are unhappy with everything about it (job, relationship, yourself, house, habits, etc.), it can be a miserable thing. But here’s something interesting: it can also be a happy thing.



I’ve been in situations where you might think things were bad, and sometimes I was very unhappy, and other times I was happy. The difference wasn’t in the external circumstances, but in my mindset — I learned to appreciate what I had, instead of focusing on the things I didn’t have or didn’t like. I was grateful for my health, for the people in my life, for having food and being alive.

If you can learn to develop the right mindset, you can be happy now, without changing anything else. You don’t need to wait until you’ve changed everything and made your life perfect before you’re happy — you have everything you need to be happy right now.

The mindset of waiting for happiness is a never-ending cycle. You get a better job (yay!) and then immediately start thinking about what your next promotion will be. You get a nicer house and immediately start looking at how nice your neighbors’ houses are, or the faults in the house you have. You try to change your spouse or kids, and if that works (good luck), you’ll find other things about them that need to be changed. It keeps going, until you die.

Instead, learn that you can be content now, without any external changes. Here’s how to start:
  1. Take a moment to be grateful for something. What in your life is amazing? Even if everything seems to suck, there must be one good thing. It might simply be that you have beauty somewhere nearby, or that you are alive, or that your kids are healthy. Find something, and give thanks for that.
  2. Catch yourself thinking, “This sucks.” It’s amazing how often people think this thought. “This sucks!” “My co-worker is the worst — he sucks!” “My GF doesn’t understand me — this suuucks!” It might be in different words, but if you catch yourself thinking something like that, pause. Reverse the thinking. Find a way to be thankful for the situation. “My GF is a caring and sweet person — maybe I should give her a hug.” “My co-worker might be annoying sometimes, but he has a good heart, and maybe I should get to know him better.” “My room might be messy but at least I have a roof over my head.”
  3. Find the little things that can give you simple joys. What do you need to be happy? I love simple things, like taking a walk, spending time with a loved one, reading a book, eating some berries, drinking tea. These cost very little, and require very little, and can make me very happy. Find the simple things that give you similar happiness, and focus on those rather than what you don’t have.
  4. Find the things about yourself that you’re happy with. We tend to criticize ourselves easily, but what if we turned it around and asked, “What do I do right? What am I good at? What is loveable about me?” Make a list. Start to focus on these things rather than what you’re unhappy with.
  5. Do the same with others in your life. Instead of criticizing them, ask yourself, “What is good about this person? What do I love about them?” Make a list, and focus on these things above all else.
  6. Assume that you, others, and life are perfect. You are great, and don’t need improvement. You aren’t a piece of clay that must be shaped and molded into something better — you are already perfect. Other people are also just as perfect, and don’t need improvement. You just need to appreciate them for who they are. The moment we are living in is not a stepping stone to something better — it is exactly wonderful, and we have already arrived at the perfect moment.


P.S.: It will do to lots of good to us if we start living with what we have and just live with the movement...