For the past 20 years, I’ve had an internal struggle between wanting to improve myself, and wanting to be content.
To be honest, I haven’t completely resolved this struggle…but I’m working on it. Are you?
The battle between contentment and more rages between the synaptic connections in my mind. On one hand, the desire for more is God-given, an innate pushing of boundaries to grow, get better, get bigger. On the other, the desire for contentment is also God-given, an innate pulling away from culture and rushing and climbing and jonesing…an inner desire for peace and calm.
Thus, the 2 attributes contentment and more are actually both God-given. At the one extreme, both are beneficial. At the other, both are detrimental. Too much more…you’ve burnt yourself out. Too much contentment…you’re a lazy bum.
But are they mutually exclusive? Or is it both / and?
On contentment, Om Swami, author of Mind Full to Mindful says, “Just let me be in the present moment, that even breathing is a blessing. If I can’t be happy with what I have now, I can never be happy with whatever I may have in the future.”
On more, Manoj Arora, author of A Father’s Diary says, “When you push yourself beyond limits, you discover inner reserves, which you never thought existed earlier.”
Both author’s…spot on. But both are at odds. One preaching mindfulness and contentment. The other advising to push yourself beyond your limits.
So, can more and contentment coexist?
For me, the answer has to be yes. Yet, as with most things in life, both in moderation and balance. Far be it for me to allow my brain or muscles to atrophy in the name of contentment with where I am. And, far be it for me to ignore the now, the blessings of this moment and the peace from this breath. And, far be it for me to allow my marriage or business to stagnate as I grow comfortable with the status quo. And, far be it for me to worry so much about the future that I miss the opportunity to celebrate the wins of today.
Contentment? Yes please.
More? Yes please, that too.
But both in moderation and balance. Thus melding into one dynamic peaceful forward progress that allows the journey to be enjoyed and purposeful.
May you journey well today.