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Contentment and Satisfaction


How much is enough? In conversations, I participate in, and in books that I read, I frequently hear someone say, I want to improve, I want to get better, where will we go next. Another term is let’s build a culture of continuous improvement.

Who could disagree with that? I want to get better at what I do. In all of the areas of my life. My marriage, parenting, health, and leadership.

This week I paused for a second and thought to myself, is striving for constant growth the only option? Is it possible to pursue being content, thankful, and satisfied? Do I have room in my life for it? Does our culture have enough space to consider it?

For instance, there are limits to growth. Take your height, for example. I am currently 6’4. I have been this height since I was 18. Imagine if I would keep growing at the same pace? Right now, I would be over 12 feet tall. That would create a few problems in my life, I couldn’t drive in a car or walk around in my home. In fact, where would I get clothes? So I am content with my height and glad that I am not getting better or improving in that area.

As I think more about it if I am always focused on getting better and better, who am I helping? Who am I sacrificing for? For instance, at work, is it possible to allow someone else to pursue a project or opportunity that you could do, but you don’t because it creates an avenue for another person to experience victory? I read so much about the harmful effects of chronic stress.

Chronic stress usually is tied to more. Rarely do I read about chronic stress being linked to being content or satisfied. I know in my inner being when I think of being content or happy, I tie it to being lazy, I get afraid that if I were to slow down, bad things would happen. For instance, I would lose everything, end up homeless, broke, and destitute. So I read more, listen more, grind more get up earlier, go to sleep later, drink energy drinks, and work harder.

Why because I need to get better. I need to make an impact. This is that way I am supposed to think, right? This is what the books say? This is what people around me say. Get better . Improve. Look for something to change. Is this the only way? I am beginning to think differently. Just a bit.

It’s just a thought. It is something I am curious about. In a world of busy and constant striving for more, is it possible or acceptable to be content, thankful, and satisfied?

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