Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Love the Life You Have

Today I am sharing some thoughts I've been having about contentment.  But first, a question: Have you read  Love the Home You Have: Simple Ways to...Embrace Your Style *Get Organized *Delight in Where You Are,



This book showed up on my Amazon account today, as a "book that I might enjoy." I have not yet read it, but the title drew me in for a closer look and the description sounds really interesting. I was delighted to realize it was written by a blogger, whose blog (The Inspired Room) I now follow! You can
take a peek at the book by clicking on the image below:



After reading the description and reviews, I decided this will be the next book I purchase to read. If you have already discovered it, I would love to hear your thoughts about it!

The author of this book, Melissa Michaels, was described on the Amazon website as "the best contentment coach you will ever meet.”  A contentment coach.  WOW. What a cool title! I just haven't been able to stop thinking about that role.

Contentment.  Isn't that what we all are seeking - trying to find it in our relationships, belongings, careers, achievements, and hobbies? Wouldn't it be nice to have someone coach us on the ways to find this? Can we actually make ourselves more content without changing our circumstances? Is contentment an attitude to be learned, or the end result of an achievement?

At first, I confused "contentment" with "settling for good enough" - but then I realized the two are really quite different.  You can continue to strive for greater perfection at something, and still be content with the process.  To be content, I think, is to be happy and at peace. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines contentment as "the state of being happy and satisfied." You can be happy even while you are still working towards a goal, if you are satisfied with your progress and your efforts.

There are many people without much wealth who are happier than others who have a lot but still want more. Why is it that one person can be thrilled to own something, but the identical item does not seem nearly as nice to someone else? The key to happiness does not seem to lie in what we have, but our perspective. 


contentment

Contentment apparently is a mindset that can be altered and developed.  It is often eroded by comparisons and self doubt. Sometimes being content is a matter of perspective. For example: Like many women, I had some self-doubts about how I looked in a bathing suit at age 30; now I would be more than content to have that younger body back! 

I think an attitude of discontent can be contagious and influenced.  It is easy to "want what the Jones have." Who hasn't felt the sudden need to buy something while shopping at the mall or looking through a stack of catalogs? Until then, that item you suddenly couldn't live without probably wasn't even on your wish list! Retail marketing is geared towards making us want things we don't have! We have to work harder at being content when observing what others have or what might be available to us, but it can be done. Being content does not mean that we will never buy anything else, but it is quite likely that when we do, our purchases will be much better selected.


catalogs, mail-order, shopping

Moments like the ones I just mentioned are when a contentment coach would really come in handy! It would be great to have someone on speed dial who could help us gain a feeling of contentment when we are feeling unhappy or dissatisfied or incomplete. 

Actually, I'd like to think that I have been a contentment coach to my kids; that I have taught them to be content with their best efforts and their achievements, and with who they are.  That I have shown them by example how to be content with what we have.  I know I haven't done it perfectly - no one is truly content all of the time - but I hope that for the most part I have provided an example of being content.

Melissa Michaels has written quite a book! I haven't even read it, yet it has inspired me to think about all of this.  I have already made quite a bit of progress decluttering my home, following the advice I mentioned a few weeks ago. I'm looking forward to being even more content with my home and my life after I read "Love the Home You Have."

What is your biggest source of discontent? 
How do you think you could feel more content?

Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of them, it would not affect the price you pay but I may receive some small compensation. All opinions expressed, however, are entirely honest and my own.


This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

18 comments :

  1. The state of contentment is easy when you maintain an attitude of gratefulness - wouldn't you agree? The more we are thankful for what we have the less we look at what we don't have. Well done Susan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol. And yes - I do agree!

      Delete
  2. This book sounds marvelous. Went and took a peek. Going back now for the purchase. :)
    I agree with Carol. An attitude of gratitude reduces the discontent lament!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pretty happy with my home, but I suspect the book will give tips that could make me even happier!

      Delete
  3. I think a feeling of contentment is so much easier to achieve some times than others, depending on what's going on in our lives. But the times when we really have to fight for contentment are the times it's so much more rewarding.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm also off to check it out. You know, I've spent my life waiting for "tomorrow" and never being content with what I had until I didn't. I was just telling my husband the other day that I can't ever remember a period in my life where I have felt more content than I do right now. I am happy where my life is and with my "lot" in it. I think Carol is right. I am grateful that I am alive, that the babies are doing good, that mom is okay so when I think what could be I know I am very lucky which leads me to feeling content.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it makes me happy to know that you are content - because Rena, you certainly deserve to be!

      Delete
  5. I definitely agree with the other ladies - it's a matter of appreciating what you have rather than hankering after all the stuff you don't need. We have so much to be grateful for and it's good to be reminded of it sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Leanne. I have been thinking a lot about that lately, as I think of the people in Nepal.

      Delete
  6. Add me to the list that thinks being grateful leads to contentment. My husband is very goal oriented, and I have to reign him in all the time, and remind him to be content with where we are at that moment. Great post Susan! I'm off to check out the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goals are okay, as long as you can figure out how to be content while achieving them. Our husbands sound a lot alike!

      Delete
  7. Gratitude and contentment are certainly related. Responsibility is the key I think. We need to accept responsibility. Not necessarily for where we are in life, but certain for where we are going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this philosophy. Yes, I agree that responsibility plays a big role.

      Delete
  8. Oh this looks like a wonderful book. Thank you for the introduction. And yes, I think that being grateful is the ticket for contentment. If you truly appreciate what you have, then you are open to contentment. As for retail cleverness, my nephew taught me quite a bit. He used to work for a famous chocolate company. They would pay top dollar in the supermarket to be placed at the end of a row, right near the cashier. As you waited in line trying to keep your eyes off the tantalizing goodies on the side, you'd look back and see these gems conveniently located on an end row. "Ah, now I NEED those ..." So clever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always just thought they put the chocolate there to make life difficult for mothers!!

      Delete
  9. Contentment and happiness come from within for the most part. You can't be happy or content until you make peace with yourself. Money certainly can't buy it. It doesn't matter how much you buy...someone else will always have more. The secret, I think, is to look at the ones who don't have as much. Then perhaps you can be content with what you have. However!!!!! I do need to do a better job of organizing my house. That would give me more inner peace and contentment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Lynn. I equate organization with a feeling of calm - which is perhaps the same as peace and contentment!

      Delete

Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!