Are you content?

Wouldn't it be nice to answer yes to that question? If you don’t, let me answer it for you, yes it is. Most of the time I feel like I exist in a state of stupid happy contented bliss. Not all the time obviously, but a lot. More than average I suspect. And no, I don’t achieve that state through drugs. I get there naturally. Here is how I do it.

I set aside time every day to reflect on who I am, what I want, why I want it, what I already have and more. I use my quiet reflection time to think about the people I live who I am really glad they are in my life, and what all is good in my life and the fact that yeah, despite it all, I am pretty happy and content. Life isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. Call it meditation if you like, but I am a firm believer that if you don’t take time to reflect, you won’t find time to be content.

Another thing I do is I define success in a personal way as opposed to a material way. What I mean by this is that if you define success by having a certain job, or a certain amount of money or a certain object, you are never going to be content. Those are things. They don’t bring happiness. If, instead, you define success by whether or not you are living up to your potential as a human being and/or whether you have good relationships, those are things you can accomplish regardless of what else you have going on.

The final thing I do to achieve contentment is to actively and intentionally practice compassion. When we are thinking of ourselves and focused on our wants and needs, which are many, we isolate ourselves within our own heads. However, when we consider other people with compassion, we not only behave better, we also feel connected to other people. The way to get rid of that feeling of being alone in the universe is to feel compassion. It’s the reason every major religion and philosophy throughout history teaches compassion.

So there you have it. Reflect on happiness, make personal happiness your goal, and practice compassion with everyone you meet.  

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