You read it everywhere. Be content so you can be happy, so you can be calm and free and still. Be content so you won’t be so stressed. Be content so you’ll be a better father or husband or son.
I’ve tried to be content for my entire life, but a bigger part of me wants – and has always wanted – better and bigger and more. Improvement has always been a stronger pull than contentment. Is that wrong? (read: ease is the enemy)
Am I wrong?
Should I be fighting daily to be content with my life or should I listen to what SEEMS to be my soul begging me to improve?
Contentment seems to be at odds with ambition, and there can’t be anything wrong with the desire to improve, is there?
“To feel ambition,” as Steven Pressfield said, “and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.” As is the pull in the opposite direction – that voice that hesitates, that pushes it further into the future, that procrastinates.
And yet, we really do need some contentment, or we’ll live without joy and peace. Thus comes a simple idea. (read: yes you should be hard on yourself)
Be content with what you’re doing, not with who you are or what you’ve created thus far.
What About What You Have?
This is where most in our modern, consumer-driven society struggle, with what we have. But, what we want – or much of what we want – is nothing more than status signaling.
The Rolex, the Dodge Ram 3500 Longhorn edition, the ranch, they’re all – or at least to some degree, especially the watch – about status.
Wealth, or to become wealthy, requires that you do not improve or increase your lifestyle as you earn more. Contentment with what you have is a must, necessary for peace, hapiness, and even wealth creation and prosperity.
If you’re trying to become wealthy–a good and honorable thing–your focus should be on wealth creation and product creation or becoming the best at something, not on looking wealthy or acquiring new things.
That should be a given, a known truth, this, however, isn’t the contentment l’m talking about…
Being Content for the Ambitious.
To not be content with who you are or what you’ve done, always be pulled by the future you want to create and let that influence your actions in the present, but…. (read: how to figure out what you really want from life)
Be content with what you’ have, with where you presently are, and with what you’re doing– the last is the most important because it’s under our control for the most part.
Being content with what you’re doing as an ambitious fella ensures that you’re doing what you should be doing.
It also forces you to stay in the moment and it allows you to do your test in that moment.
One must choose wisely what he does with his time so as to ensure its the best use of his time (gets him closest to his ideal, his dream). Once the choice is made, be content and work or play or do whatever you’ve chosen to do with the peace that certainty and contentment brings. Too often we wish we were elsewhere, and then get there, and realize we should have enjoyed and appreciated where we were, even done better when we were there. (read: no one is coming, the truth about motivation)
Where you are right now is important because it shapes where you will be, for good or for bad, and the future is formed by decisions in the present.
Know the future you want to create and make the decisions that will shape it and make it so..
After those decisions are made be nimble but be contently present as well.
Contentment vs Ambition
They shouldn’t be at odds with one another. They should aid one another-especially contentment of the present aiding the ambition for the future. If you’re not at peace with your choices, wipe your past clean and make better choirs. Make choices you will be content with, happy with, and proud of.
This means you really do have to wipe your past clean, kill it, and start anew. (read: kill your ‘self’)
You are where you are opposed to be in this moment. It’s your duty to appreciate it and to make the best of it.