Being content over being happy.
I have this screenshot of a quote stored in my gallery that says, “Even more than happy, I hope you are content.”
And I have been thinking about this particular quote a lot lately. Probably it is a reflection of how my life has turned out and the evolution of my perspective on it.
But there is so much truth in the fact that being content is something of far greater value than being happy.
Now speaking from the perspective of a 28-year-old, my life should only revolve around endless needs and wants that lead me to the path of happiness, which is a never-ending quest. Any 28-year-old will have a laundry list of wants to show the world their happiness.
But as fate would have it, I am more of an unconventional individual who keeps challenging the norms of society, and more so, my own beliefs. Till four years back, I, too, was on the quest for endless happiness, and believe me, even when my happiness scored a full 100 on a scale, I was pretty much lagging behind in contentment.
As naïve as I was, I believed I would one day be content when I would be truly happy. And back then, I truly had a lot of tick boxes of happiness—be it a good upgrade in my career, a perfect goal weight, traveling to new destinations, or simply blowing up my salary on anything and everything without a care in the world.
On paper, I had it all—but no contentment.
The key to happiness, I learnt much later—the true essence of being one with ourselves—is to be content with what we have.
When I changed my filter of viewing my life, I realised I was not chasing my happiness—I was chasing the happiness I should have had because everyone else my age had it. I was in a race of “who is happier,” and trust me, it was draining.
The moment I stopped leading my life like everyone else, I started to feel content. It was unsettling, at first, to be absolutely comfortable with my own version of life. But nearly about two years into this practice and I believe I have never been happier.
The magic remedy here was to simply stop viewing myself as a homogeneous entity with society.
I am my own person with my own life decisions, and that is what I should always aim to better.
Chasing superficial happiness will not, ever, give contentment.
Being absolutely at peace with our choices and our lives is what contentment is truly about. And one day, contentment transforms itself into happiness, and that version of joy is pure bliss.