Seeking Contentment in Life

I am putting this up front as a disclaimer: I’m 36 years old and certainly don’t feel like “I’ve figured life out” yet. In fact, I think if we ever reach the point where we think we’ve figured “it” all out, that’s when we’re in trouble, for in that moment, we’ve stopped learning. We can always strive to do better; that whole journey versus the destination thing.
So, below are just a few thoughts I’ve come to the conclusion to over the years as to what leads to a content life, at least for me. I can only speak for myself, after all, and my journey. I just thought I’d share them with you.
(And trust me, I often don’t follow my own advice!)
1. Lower your expectations, both of yourself and of others.
Don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted to in a day. We often have unrealistic expectations of what we can accomplish in a day, but perhaps underestimate just how much we do, in fact, accomplish in a lifetime. Accomplishment is not measured by the huge successes that draw in everyone’s attention. It’s often the little moments that add up to meaning much more.
The expectations you hold of yourself you will often hold on others, but this is ridiculous to do when you really stop and think about it. Not everyone is like you. Everyone has their own unique talents and gifts to bring to the world. Not expecting much from others can, in turn, lead to some really pleasant surprises when someone does do something you weren’t expecting!
2. Let go of bitterness, anger, worry, or any type of negativity.
It will eat you alive if you let it. That’s the key: You are letting it. You are choosing to allow negativity to live rent free in your head. Worrying about something doesn’t change it. Choosing to focus on everything that’s going wrong forces you to miss many things that are going right.
3. Don’t live your life trying to please others or trying to get them to like you.
Simple fact: Not everyone will like you, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t please everyone. You can choose to surround yourself with people who will lift you up, instead of tear you down. The sooner you realize that you cannot please everyone, the better. Getting angry and holding onto it because you feel someone has wronged you does not allow you to move on. Be yourself, and if someone really loves you, they will love you for who you are, not who you pretend to be. Fake people have fake relationships.contentment
4. Don’t compare yourself to others.
This is the source of so much unhappiness. There is nothing to be gained from this and only so much to lose. Ask yourself what you’re doing with what you already have, instead of trying to acquire more.
5. Pray.
Have a relationship with a Higher Power. You don’t have to be religious, but I do believe that faith battles fear.
6. Create your own family with who you choose to be friends with.
If you’re blessed with a wonderful family, consider that a bonus, but not everyone has this. Your close friends can be your family you weren’t born into, if nothing else. You don’t get to choose your family, but do can choose your friends. Make them good ones.
7. Have an open mind in regards to those who are different from you.
Much animosity between people comes from not truly understanding the other party. Try to learn why they believe differently, and even if you can’t agree, realize that there is never a need for hatred. Wish them well on their way and in life. Choose to live your life by your standards and try not to judge someone who may choose to live differently. We don’t all find meaning in the same things, and I believe God has the power to use what’s given to each person in a unique way for the greater good.
8. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
Choose kindness whenever you can and keep your mouth shut. Criticize and nagging only tears down. You don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life, and often those who shut others out the most are the ones who need a friend the most.
9. Forgive.
Do this for your benefit as much as for the other person.
10. Laugh and have a sense of humor.
Don’t take life too seriously, and never lose the child within you. Things don’t have to be perfect, but they can be wonderful.
11. Look at every opportunity as a chance to learn something.
Even the bad experiences can teach us something, even if it’s not to make the same mistake!
12. Love.
It speaks for itself. True love is unselfish, unconditional, and from God. Strive for that.

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#contentment #happiness #seeking #life


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