Last Updated on December 20, 2022
Are you sick of chasing contentment through the next purchase, vacation, or career move? Are you tired of feeling like there is something more out there to make your life better? If so, it’s time for a new approach.
Learning to be content with what you have can not only make you happier in life but also help break negative cycles that keep you from achieving true joy and satisfaction.
But before we dive into how this strategy works, let’s identify why striving for “more” sometimes gets us nowhere—because chances are if you’re reading this blog post today then at least part of these experiences will resonate with you.
Why Do We Always Want More?
Many of us tend to fall into the trap of always wanting more. It could be anything from more money, to a new promotion or shopping for items we don’t really need in order to attain the good life. This is normal, as human beings are wired to seek out pleasure and avoid pain.
At first, it’s tempting and exciting – a chance to experience something new or improve in some way. But beneath that initial feeling is often the desire to fill an inner void that no physical item can fulfill.
We obsess over acquiring things because engaging in this type of activity distracts us from our true feelings and emotions, numbing us from having to look internally and accept our authentic selves.
It’s important to recognize the importance of learning how to be content with what you have; when we focus on our struggles instead of everything we already possess, it takes a toll on our mental health and sense of worth.
Learning how to be content with what you already have takes practice and dedication – something worth striving for if we want to feel truly happy from within.
Look Within Before Gazing Out
Understanding and being content with ourselves requires us to take a serious look at what we have, both physically and emotionally. We need to take an inward look at our motivations, frustrations, and our self-image.
Why are we looking for something from outside sources? What are we really trying to fill with all the wants that consume us? We need to explore those tricky yet vital questions: what is it that’s causing us to put a hundred percent of our focus on things that are out of our control? What motivates us, frustrates us, and shapes our perception of ourselves?
Questions like these can help reveal what’s driving our often relentless pursuit of happiness, and why nothing, it seems, brings lasting satisfaction.
Once we take an honest inventory of ourselves, we may see a pattern in our behavior or mindset that points toward what’s resolving this disparity. Most of all, recognizing our strengths and weaknesses allows us to stop looking outwardly, which then enables us to focus on valuing the things we already have.
We can begin working on understanding why it exists for us and in turn learning how to appreciate the good things in life instead.
If you feel stuck in a cycle of wanting more, start by taking a moment to explore yourself. Looking inward can be both disconcerting and comforting—but it’s worth it in the end when you start getting closer to feeling content with who you are and what you already have right now.
Don’t underestimate the power of reflection—our inner wisdom is full of answers if only we pause long enough to listen.
5 Ways to Find Balance, Contentment, and Joy in Life
1 | Be Grateful, Every Day
Living in a world that constantly pushes us to want more is never easy. Achieving financial, career and material success has become a priority for most, but true contentment can only be found when we appreciate the small things, and learn to be grateful for what we already have.
Taking the time to recognize our blessings and be thankful for them daily helps us to maintain balance in our lives. Instead of chasing success that might not bring us happiness, we shift our focus onto appreciating the important moments and people which make up our day-to-day life.
Practicing gratitude is a powerful tool for discovering how to be genuinely content with what we have because it allows us to recognize that the most meaningful experiences are often those that don’t require anything more than giving thanks.
Taking a few minutes each day for reflection on what you are grateful for can bring about gratitude and contentment even in challenging situations.
So, if you want to learn how to be content with what you have, try starting out your day with a short time of reflection, and being grateful at that very moment for specific things in your life right now (yes, name them and really ponder them). You might be surprised at the difference it makes in the rest of your day when you consistently practice gratitude.
2 | Accept Yourself for Where You are in Life
You don’t need to do everything that everyone else is doing or chase after all the latest trends. Taking a pause, and being content with where we are in life can be incredibly liberating.
By accepting yourself despite your various flaws and imperfections, you will start to find balance and contentment in life. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula – it’s a journey of exploration and understanding your internal self and how it connects with the world around you.
You owe it to yourself to be kind, supportive, and open-minded about where you’re at right now. That includes providing yourself with daily self care for your body, mind, and spirit.
When we learn how to be comfortable with our present selves, this will bring about a much-needed balance in our lives and minds. It may sound simple – but it’s not easy – and yet, it could be the key you need to unlock a happier version of yourself.
So take time for yourself – relax your expectations and explore who you are at this moment in time; it will help you become truly content and find satisfaction with what you have.
3 | Quit Comparing – Everything
Comparing ourselves, our stuff, and our families to others is a slippery slope that only leads to discontentment. Unfortunately, in today’s society, it can be tempting to compare what we have or who we are to others. You know how it goes: the nicer house, the luxury car, the wardrobe, and on it goes.
But when we do this, it prevents us from truly living with joy and contentment. We rob ourselves of precious moments of fulfillment by constantly projecting other people’s lives onto our own.
Instead, practice learning to live by looking not sideways or outwardly but inwardly – only then will your true feelings of contentment come through.
You can start small: Consciously appreciate the long drives with friends or even the quiet evenings at home with a good book; savor those simple little moments and let them teach you how to be happy with what you have.
Learning how to be grateful for what you currently possess, and stop comparing to others, can ultimately help lead you toward being content with your life.
4 | Enjoy the Simple Things
We all have dreams and aspirations, but learning to be content with what we have is one of the most important tasks in life. Experiencing deep moments of joy and contentment requires us to take the time to enjoy the simple blessings in our lives.
Appreciating the small joys helps us stay grounded and not get too caught up in striving for bigger, better things. Imagine a life where you take time to savor your morning coffee, or the way the sunlight looks when it hits your kitchen table, or how a hug feels when your best friend gives it to you.
Contentment lies in being able to shift our thoughts from what’s absent to what’s present—and understanding that each moment can be enjoyable if we learn to appreciate it in its simple form.
Being grateful for what you have and where you are not just mentally, but through mindful practice like writing gratitude lists or talking them out loud can help keep our focus right where it needs to be when we’re feeling less than satisfied.
So instead of always striving for ‘more’, remember that truly enjoying the little things will bring about bigger joys for your life as a whole.
5 | Create New Avenues of Experiences
Learning how to be content with what you have starts by recognizing that having something new can help create balance and satisfaction in your life. It’s not about having more, it’s about creating meaningful experiences.
Look for new things to learn from an online course, a podcast, or a book; and find ways to practice those new skills by taking classes, volunteering at a local organization, or starting a side project.
When we create something tangible from the knowledge we gain and the experiences we have, it can lead to more satisfaction with what we already have. Contentment comes from sauntering through the world around us with eyes wide open and saying yes to more opportunities for growth!
How are Your Heart, and Your Faith?
Living a faith-based life can be an incredibly helpful tool in learning how to find balance, inner peace, and contentment in our lives. Carefully balancing what we have or don’t have instead of succumbing to the instinct to always yearn for more helps us appreciate everything already around us, and live a happier life.
If we focus on what God has already given us, we can slowly learn to let go of any burdensome sense of entitlement that comes with our society today and look to Him for guidance, understanding, and love.
Furthermore, it helps create an attitude of gratitude which is necessary to show contentment with what life brings you. While there may be moments of anxiety or fear when things seem unfair, trust in God’s plan for your life can help keep things in perspective and remain grateful for whatever ends up coming your way.
Contentment is perhaps one of the greatest sources of happiness in life. When we are content with what we have, we turn our gaze inward and appreciate all that life has to offer. Learning to be happy with what you have means to let go of expectations, express gratitude, and take a moment to acknowledge the abundance already in your life.
It is a journey that requires self-reflection, gratitude, and a better understanding of yourself — both your strengths and weaknesses.
I trust you’ve gained some insight into how learning to be content with what you have can bring peace, joy, and fulfillment into your life. So take a deep breath, let go of everything for just a minute or two, and consider what you can do right now, today, to find contentment with where you are and what you have.