by Leo Babauta
What is contentment? For me, it’s really about being happy with who you are. Which I wasn’t for many years, and I think most people are not.
In my life, I’ve learned to be better at the skill of contentment. I am happy with my life. I am happy with myself. I’m happy with where I am professionally, and I don’t seek to add more readers or pageviews or income. I’m happy wherever I am.
Many might say, “Sure, you can say that now that you’ve reached a certain level of success,” but I think that’s wrong. Many people who achieve success don’t find contentment, and are always driven to want more and are unhappy with themselves. Many people who are poor or don’t have a “successful” career have found contentment.
And what’s more, I think finding contentment has actually driven any success that I’ve found — it helped me get out of debt, it helped me change my habits, it has made me a better husband, father, friend and collaborator — perhaps even a better writer.
Worst of all, with the attitude of “you can be content because you’re successful,” is that people who say this are dismissing the path of contentment … when it’s something they can do right now. Not later, when they reach certain goals or a certain level of financial success. Now.
Ask yourself if you’re content right now. If not, when do you want to be content? What’s stopping you?