How to Be Content with What You Have

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be content

be contentAfter a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is true.” – Spock

We Americans are never satisfied. We are always wanting more and more and more. Whether we want a bigger television, more cable channels, a nicer house, a fancier car, or cuter clothes, there is always something more we want.

If I asked you right now, you could probably list several items you want. I, myself, want to buy a house and a replacement vehicle for ours that has over 130,000 miles on it.

But for most of us, once we get that thing we want, we’re not satisfied. Instead, we just want more.

All of this wanting can lead to credit card debt and financial issues, especially when obtaining something doesn’t give us much satisfaction, and we just want more. A far better strategy is to be happy with what we have.

Easier said than done, I know. But practicing contentment is like lifting weights. The more you practice being content, the easier it becomes to actually BE content.

Take Stock of All that You Do Have

One way to practice contentment is to take stock of all that you do have. If you have enough food to fill your stomach every day, a roof over your head, a reliable form of transportation, and a family, you have much more than many other people in the world. Make a list of all of things you’re thankful for, and you should see most of your wanting is unnecessary because you already have enough.

Listen to Others’ Stories

Many people have gone through very difficult situations with a positive attitude. When I want to feel good about all that I have, I go to YouTube and watch Depression Era Cooking with Clara. Clara and her family survived the Great Depression. She tells stories about how they survived and how tight money was. Just listening to an episode or two makes me enormously grateful for what I have.

Volunteer

Sometimes we get stuck in our own shell and feel sorry for ourselves even though we actually have plenty. Taking the time to volunteer and helping someone in need is a great way to silence the “want” monster for awhile.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting, but if you find yourself wanting all the time and then spending more than you should, take a proactive step to curb the wanting by changing your attitude and being thankful for what you do have.

What’s your favorite strategy for feeling good about all that you do have rather than what more you want?