Being content can be difficult for people who are called to a higher purpose. It’s hard to be satisfied when there is so much more to obtain. But, like any other high-level mindset, being content is a mental muscle and can be strengthened with practice.
In this article we share 5 ways you can practice being content while still working diligently towards being better and fulfilling your calling. It is possible to live in contentment and desire more at the same time.
1.Take nothing for granted –
Everything you have is a gift. Too often we don’t realize how great we have it until something is taken away. There is nothing ordinary about your life, your friends, your family, breathing, they are all gifts from God. In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s so easy to lose sight of all the blessings and focus on the problems. When you wake up and you are tempted to dwell on what’s wrong in your life, the job you don’t like, or how life’s not fair – turn that around. Instead, make a habit to wake up and notice the little things. Let the first words out of your mouth be, “Thank you Lord for allowing me to wake up another day, thank you for the sunrise, the trees, and the birds. This seems so simple, but in the blink of an eye everything in your life could change. It’s so important to not take anything for granted. When you are thankful for every little thing in your life, contentment comes much easier.
2.Enjoy every moment –
Life is made up of moments and to say they fly by is an understatement. In life, you have no rewinds. There is no option to get a moment back that is left behind, so take time to soak up as many of them as you possibly can. There is no way to know what lies ahead, all you have is now. Enjoy the present and bask in what is happening right now. It can be very tempting to always keep looking ahead to the next best thing or the bigger ideas you want to accomplish but train yourself to stay in the moment and recognize the great things happening right here and now.
3.Think long term –
One thing that can easily steal your peace is allowing yourself to believe that you should be further along than where you are. It’s like a long road trip, instead of recognizing how far you’ve already come, you focus on how far there is to go. Remember, your life and your success are not a sprint, it’s a marathon. If you keep working towards your higher calling and purpose one step at a time, you will get there. Even if like knocks you back, three steps forward and two steps back will still get you where you ultimately want to go, it just takes time. There is this idea of failing forward, and it makes so much sense. It’s the idea that in every failure, you learn and grow. You move forward with more wisdom because of the failure, and so you “fail forward”. Think of your life in long term. What’s the goal and prize at the end – the big picture. You aren’t going to get it all at once, so be content now and keep the excitement for what is to come.
4.Seek excellence not perfectionism –
The idea of being perfect or that everything must be perfect, is like an anchor. It holds you down and limits your growth. Instead of perfect, strive for excellence. Perfection shuns feedback, but excellence seeks it out. Excellence is focused on internal personal development and the idea of getting better each day. The thought that there is a perfect time, a perfect place, or a perfect solution is a trap. Start where you are and with what you have. If you are diligent in your learning and work to improve little by little, you will have times of excellence.
5.Do something hard –
Are you caught in your comfort zone? It can be so tempting to stay in a place that’s familiar and keep the same routine day in and day out. Instead, challenge yourself to do something that feels difficult. Maybe there is something you know you should do, but you don’t because it seems too hard. This battle that happens in your mind of knowing what you should do but not doing it, causes mental stress. It zaps your contentment. Maybe you need to complete your education, write a book, run a 5K, learn a new strategy, or even change careers. Any of these things can feel too hard and overwhelming. What you must remember is success begets success. Once you realize you can accomplish even the hardest things, it propels you forward. You can do hard things!
Content is defined as a state of peaceful happiness. It celebrates the good in your life while you’re processing or working through things that may not be so good. In other words, you decide to be content, even though life’s not, nor will it ever be perfect. When you choose being content, it doesn’t mean you are choosing to accept mediocrity. It’s the opposite. It means you are maintaining a high-level mindset of enjoying your journey while working diligently to get to a better place.
Kim Martin, Founder of I’ve Decided, INC