Oftentimes people busy their schedules, load up their calenders, and overload their lives with plans. People are constantly striving and seeking for more in life. How often do we dream about the future and miss what is right in front of us? It is not terrible to look forward to the exciting events in life that are ahead, but when these thoughts start to dominate your mind, they can become dangerous.
I am headed to university next year. The thought of moving away and starting my next stage in life can be both exciting and intimidating. If I am not careful I can let these thoughts absorb all of my attention and thoughts. In spending my life anticipating and worrying about the future I am blinded from the beauty in my life right now. Each stage of life you are in has its own blessings hidden within it. If you take the time to be still and breathe you may be surprised to discover all you miss in life. Each day we live and every breath that we breathe are gifts. We need to live with this truth secure in our minds.
As humans we not only remain fixated on the future, but we long for the past, the way our life once was. Often I am guilty of this as well. I sometimes wish I could go back to when I was a child, living carefree, without an ounce of stress in my body or mind. Childhood is a treasured time in life, but what ever stage you are at now is just as precious. When people remember the past they often glorify it, forgetting all the negative experiences and only remembering the positive ones. Each part of our lives has its benefits and its downfalls. Finding contentment is about choosing to focus on the parts of life we are thankful for, rather than obsessing over the areas we would like to change.
I believe that contentment is a personal choice, rather than a result of desired circumstances. If you let your desires determine whether or not you are happy in life, you will be on an eternal search for something that does not exsist. It is interesting to think about how many times those who have the least are the most content in life. Our wealth and material comforts make us ungrateful, and hungry for more. People cannot find contentment in a stage of life, nor in success, nor money. Contentment is found from within. Every person can feel content in their life if they only take the time to quite themselves and choose to see the light in life.
Don Herold once said, “Unhappiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it.” Sometimes we do not even know what truly makes us happy, so we endlessly chase after empty pursuits. If you believe that contentment and happiness can be earned or purchased, you will forever be discontent. Contentment is a decision each individual must chose to pursue. Look inside yourself and ponder all the treasures your life already has.
Today and forever I encourage you to choose contentment.