Contentment Contains Your Life-Passion
Rick Forbus, PhD
Contentment holds you securely to your life passion. Of course, that means one must first know what their life passion is. It is difficult to be content until life passion is indentified, clarified and pursued.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
I find that people search and search for contentment only to find that it is elusive. Why is this intangible, mysterious and inanimate object called contentment, so difficult to capture? Since I am not an expert in your contentment pursuits I can only speak to how it has been with mine.
To describe the journey I have been on towards finding and keeping contentment, I must start with a definition of what contentment may seemingly look like when we find it. Contentment can be described as:
o Living in your passion
I have landed on several plateaus of contentment in my pursuits. As transparent and as vulnerable as this article may seem to you, its honesty is a part of what my discovery has revealed. One of the first plateaus was education. It seemed my upbringing strongly expected that I get an education. This of course is a good thing, but I related a degree from a university as also holding some form of contentment for me as well.
Later success became the plateau to ascend. All of success’s necessary ingredients took a lot of time and effort. The effort contained elements of expended talent, skills, emotional investment and time. Success is a good thing. However, I related success as some form of this elusive contentment I was aspiring for.
Next, popularity and being well-known in my success circles became a plateau to climb. Name branding and marketability were in my sights and I began to posture myself to get invited to speak and train in front of a lot of people. But, like the other plateaus, contentment was like a ghost in the night vanishing quickly from my grip.
Later in my life, actually, rather recently, a coach helped me to strip away all my former views of contentment and take a step back. He asked me a profound question. He asked, “Why are you on the planet?” In a subsequent session he wanted to know if I had ever clarified my life’s passion or my ultimate domain of accomplishment. He was trying to get me to see a preferred future for me to live in. What happened was that when I began to see that preferred future, that domain of accomplishment, I could begin to see my contentment. The pursuit continues but has become more of a refining process than an expedition.
Here’s what happened for me as I made some discoveries.
1. Education was important but without a clear life passion it was mere window dressing for something greater.
2. Success was nice and brought an element of security but had no real purpose to serve the passion.
3. Popularity and having name recognition brought about some billable opportunities but really only facilitated a certain financial predictability.
Here is something to consider: contentment anchors you to your life passion. Contentment is found all along the journey to your life’s passion. The reason this is true is because when you are headed toward that domain of accomplishment, your life’s passion, you are content just getting there. If you are not content getting there then you are headed in the wrong direction.
Contentment is not about what you are doing or about what you are having; it is about what you are being. I have found that when I am being what I am supposed to be, then contentment is all around me. A few years back it was about making enough money to have a “place” in the mountains to get away from some of what I was doing. Now, it looks more like freedom than a “place” to go. The mountains are still great and a change in scenery is wonderful but being content changes the perspective.
A man became envious of his friends because they had larger and more luxurious homes. So he listed his house with a real estate firm, planning to sell it and to purchase a more impressive home. Shortly afterward, as he was reading the classified section of the newspaper, he saw an ad for a house that seemed just right. He promptly called the realtor and said, ‘A house described in today’s paper is exactly what I’m looking for. I would like to go through it as soon as possible!” The agent asked him several questions about it and then replied, ‘But sir, that’s your house you’re describing.”
I hope you can have a coach, spouse or a friend to help you find your life’s passion. Until you discover that, contentment will be elusive. Contentment is about who you are and what you are being and becoming. It is less about what you have, are doing and accomplishing. Of course, that is just my opinion.
No person can ever be happy until he has learned to enjoy what he has and not to worry over what he does not have. I had no shoes and complained until I met a man who had no feet. Discontentment makes rich men poor, while contentment makes poor men rich.
Why not this week begin to list your passions, your dreams and your inner thoughts concerning why you are on the planet. Who do you want to become? What do you what to be so that others are changed for the better?
There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment. Indian Guru
When should you start on this new journey? Do you have an accountability partner to see you through to your contentment? Are there trappings keeping you from seeing your domain of accomplishment clearly? If time, people and money were not objects of distraction and obstacles what would you be today? That’s right, not what would you be doing, but what would you be becoming? Contentment is found in the middle of you becoming what you are on the planet for.
A contented man is one who enjoys the scenery along the detours.
Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have.
Executive coach – firstname.lastname@example.org