Monday, January 24

Being Content While Pursuing Your Goals?

There's a sentence I've typed up, printed out, and taped to my monitor to remind myself of it daily. It reads: Anything less than daily striving to improve myself, is at best, stagnancy.

At the same time I'm very determined to live a contented life. Are these two desires at odds with one another? I don't think they have to be at all.
Even if you're not a person of faith, the apostle Paul's words carry a lot of wisdom:
"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."(Philippians 4:11–12).

In researching the state of being content, I found two quotes from Benjamin Franklin which made me go "hmmm" when I read them side by side.

He said, “Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.”

But he also said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

So I kept wondering how we're to strive to improve ourselves so we don't become stagnant, or worse, regress -- all while being contented...

Finally I had a moment...where it all came together in my head and made sense...

If you're content, you'll feel at peace with yourself and the world. You'll be confident with who you are, where you are in life, and where you plan to go. This leaves you FREE to pursue your dreams.
If you can't appreciate what you have right here and now, in this very moment, you probably won't be able to appreciate anything you achieve or attain if/when that happens. It makes sense, right?

Will Rogers once said, (and I LOVE this quote!) "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"


Yenta Mary said...

I love it!!! Absolutely, we need contentment and serenity with where we are and who we are; at the same time, we can't just sit in the same rut, but must always aspire to evolving ... :)

Kat's Out o'the Bag said...

Perfect. I just watched a small snippet from Srikumar Rao. He talks about having the ingrained ability to be happy, but the part I liked best was to 'invest in the process.'

Karen Mortensen said...

Amen and amen. Very good thoughts as usual. I really liked your last paragraph. I really think that is it. I love that Will Rogers quote too. That is pretty clever.

Karen said...

That is a great quote. The funny thing is this past week a had written how I am content, but that was as opposed to happy. I guess there are many ways to look at contentment.