What really matters to you? Is it the quantum or the contentment?
Apparently, we are in a perpetual mode to acquire. We acquire and then keep on acquiring. It’s a never-ending thing. The desire to acquire just keeps coming on and eventually drags us, and then drowns us.
Contentment is the exact opposite. It questions the acquirer and that which is acquired. Leading us to search for answers. And, it is this quest which reveals it.
It is an inward virtue that is acquired after conquering the outward. The quantity is for the world, while contentment is for the self.
The English dictionary describes contentment as “a state of happiness and satisfaction“. Wikipedia elaborates it as “a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind“.
I feel it is an essential virtue for an overall state of balance in life. It encompasses both satisfaction and happiness and is much stronger and stable compared to either of them.
Only a when a person who is contended, is able to infuse others with a similar sense of joy and peace practically.
Most people think being contended is like giving up, stop looking, getting defeated, being unambitious and more such terrible ideas. On the contrary, it is what drives you to change, only with a serious question attached to it, Why? It clarifies the reason and sets right the approach in attaining it.
We often confuse our life goals with contentment. While achieving a goal is set in the future, contentment is all about the present.
It is wrong to assume that contended people are unambitious and mostly a defeated lot.
Take for example the desire to reduce weight. Why should a person who is contended need such a change? Let it be the way it is. Actually, it is a wrong way to look at it. Reducing weight may be needed for health reasons to remain fit. However, feeling bad about your own-self and getting depressed or unhappy will definitely take you far from achieving it.
When we ask: are you satisfied/happy? Many would simply jump to Yes. But we do need to ask further, what are you satisfied with? What are you happy for? And further, why are you satisfied/happy? Since nobody really comes and asks us these questions, we conveniently bunk them and just carry on. Only if we do stop and ponder, spend some time in contemplation will we find the answers.
We will always feel miserable if we keep looking for our happiness on the outside of us.
Between quantum and contentment, it is the quantum of contentment which finally stays.