As we all pass through life looking at people and materialistic things around us, we often tend to look at people above us and desire to be like them. Contentment is one of the most important prerequisites for happiness in life, and, unfortunately, many of us don’t have it.
We have a good car that meets our needs, but we always want a nicer, more expensive one – a Mercedes or a Jaguar perhaps. We have a nice house, but we always want a bigger, fancier, more expensive one. More jewelry, fancier clothes, a boat. The list goes on. We always think about more rather than thanking god for what we already have.
My mother always use to say three words to apply in our daily life.
These are here (used in Gujarati language)
“Chalse” (This is ok with me),“Favse” (I will adjust with this) , “Bhavse” (I will like this – food)
If you apply these three magical words in your daily life, you will always be thankful to God.
Contentment is Antidote to Anxiety
The concept of being content is a very important asset in our daily life. If one is content, he will live in peace, harmony and happiness. These qualities can’t be purchased or acquired through wealth or fame. If a person is not content, he will inevitably drive himself crazy. He will do his best to satisfy his needs, but never ever will he be happy or satisfied. He will never have peace of mind and he may continue to live in anxiety and have mental disturbances.
Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.
Contentment is the neuro-physiological experience of satisfaction and being at ease in one’s situation. It is said that a man complained about his old shoes until he saw a man who had no feet.
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.
Here are four steps to develop contentment in your life.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others. When you compare your life with someone else’s, the only place it can lead is toward discontentment. There will always be people who appear to be better off than you, but you don’t know their real circumstances.
A good rule for developing contentment is to always look at the people who have less than us, not the ones who have more.
2. Be grateful for who you are and what you have. Learning to be content requires that you stop any “when and then” thinking – “When I am ___________, then I’ll be happy.” (You fill in the blank.)
The reason we fall into this trap is that we may actually be content for a little while but it won’t last. But, more than likely, someone else or something else will come along and drain the contentment from your life.
But listen, you are unique. God created you to be like nobody else, so why would you want to be anyone else. God is perfect, and you were his perfect choice to be you. Understanding that is a huge step toward being content with your life.
And then look at all the things God has given you. So often we allow what we don’t have to so dominate our focus that we forget the many wonderful things we already have, not only material blessing, but far more important things, such as family and friends.
3. Give yourself to others. If you will begin giving yourself to others, sharing what things you do have, sharing your time and your talents, you will find yourself learning to be content. Helping others will give you an appreciation for what you have and who you are, but more importantly, you will find yourself growing content. Why? Because God designed us to serve and share with others, and until we do that, we will feel great discontent.
4. Focus on things with eternal value. The real secret to becoming content is to focus on the things that have eternal value.
Think about the things in your life: What will last forever? What will last at least for your lifetime? What will last a few short years, or months, or days? Based on eternal value, what things are most important in your life? Where – and with whom – should you put your most time and energy?
By re-organizing your life around eternal priorities, you’ll find yourself growing in contentment as you live according to God’s design and purpose.
Prophet Muhammed (saws) said, “Riches does not mean having a great amount of property; real wealth is self-contentment.”
Sahih Bukhari (Book 81, Chapter 15)