I read a survey that revealed over half of all Americans would choose a new line of work if they had the chance. It’s amazing to think that every single day millions of people in our country spend their most productive hours at a job they wish they could change!
This statistic makes us ask the question, “WHY?” Is it because there are very few jobs that are truly satisfying and rewarding? Is it because they like the job but dislike the management or the people they work with? This is no doubt true in some cases because relationships on the job are such a big factor in how you feel about going to work each day.
But, I believe there is another important factor to consider: many people who are unhappy with their work are also discontented with other areas of their life as well. There are a lot of people who are living day to day with a general feeling of dissatisfaction in almost everything. Maybe you know someone who is never quite satisfied. Maybe you feel that way. If so, how can you better understand why you feel discontented?
Discontentment is usually due to the feeling that something is missing or not good enough. Therefore, when a person is discontented with their life or circumstances they often look to acquire or accomplish things they believe will make them happy. Some people buy things, while others may decide to start a new relationship, move to a new city or try to secure a new job. These are not necessarily bad things to pursue in life, however, it’s important to know that they will never provide the real and lasting contentment people long for.
Real contentment and happiness are not a byproduct of material possessions or ideal life circumstances, but rather from what you possess on the inside. It comes from being thankful for what you DO have: the joy of meaningful relationships with friends, family and God as well as pursuing purposeful work and utilizing your gifts, talents and abilities to serve others. If you have a place to live, clothes to keep you warm and enough food each day, you are among the wealthy people of the world.
Honestly, it can be hard to remember that when you hear our culture shout out that what you need is to have everything you want right now. I challenge you to look around in your home, in your driveway, in your closet, at your credit card statement and see if anything you see has achieved the fulfillment of your deepest desires.
Someone once said, “Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.” Thankfulness = Happiness!
If you want to experience more contentment and happiness in your life, begin the process from the inside out. When you are truly contented because of what you possess on the inside, you will find that the things on the outside have less impact on your sense of satisfaction, and as your attitude improves, your circumstances often improve as well! Once you have internal contentment, you can begin to evaluate specific situations and circumstances that may need to change, but you will be better equipped to determine what changes you really want to make.
And the other bonus? You will likely save a lot of money when you realize it can’t buy happiness or contentment!
Live, Work and Relate Well!