“Contentment is the only real wealth” – Alfred Nobel
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about contentment and desire.
You see, for the first time in my adult life I can say that I genuinely feel content. I’m happy. I’m in the best shape of my life, making enough money to be very comfortable, have a beautiful wife and am expecting my first child.
I also live in a tropical paradise.
I began to wonder – What more do I need? Why am I still driven to make more money, lift more in the gym and push further? Could it be that I am causing myself any unhappiness and discontent by being obsessed with always achieving more?
The question deserved more thought. Here’s what I came up with.
Contentment Is Best
If I had to choose between the two things – I’d choose contentment. After all, isn’t the end game of all striving and trying to better yourself to be happier? If I had to choose between a life of never ending achievement yet being discontent or a life of mediocre achievement yet being content, I would choose contentment any day.
Contentment is the greatest wealth, an ancient proverb says. I reckon that is probably true. But do we really have to choose?
I don’t think so. I believe that the two are not mutually exclusive and you can have a life filled with growth and achievement while being content at the same time.
How To Grow Endlessly Yet Remain Content
They key thing here is to not be striving for more out of some sense of lack or feeling not good enough.
You have to realize you already are enough, but you are going to keep on growing and achieving because it’s a fun game which you enjoy playing.
This will do several things.
Firstly it will make you happier, which is the whole point of any form of doing anything.
Secondly it will take away the seriousness and mental suffering of striving. You’ll add that extra 10kg on the bench not out of some sense of existential struggle, but because you love bodybuilding and you want to achieve more. You’ll look in the mirror and say “I look great and I’m happy with what I have achieved, but I bet I could look even better with 10kg more of lean muscle”.
You’ll look at your bank balance and think “Not bad! I’ve come a long way and I’m grateful for this, but I bet I could play the game a little smarter and add a few zeros, just for shits and giggles”.
You’ll approach your new business ventures and undertakings with a playful attitude. Not a stupid playful attitude, because that will get you eaten alive, but an attitude that is free from outcome dependence. You can still put your heart and soul into it and work 20 hours a day at it, but you’ll do so with a spirit of competition and degree of playfulness rather than a need to survive.
In other words, you’ll drop fear based drives and taking action from a place of not feeling that you are enough.
Instead, you’ll create, strive and act from a place of feeling abundance. You’ll feel in your core that you have enough and even if you don’t succeed it will be OK, that there’ll be some kind of lesson in it for you and you’ll still be the man anyway.
Unintended Consequences Of This Attitude
When you approach life like this – from a place of contentment and playfulness, you ironically mutiply your chances of success by a long way.
People want to be around and do business with fun spirited, happy people. It is attractive and you will attract people who also have this spirit. You’ll also be more likely to take risks, knowing the outcome has no bearing on who you are as a person. When you lose, you’re still enough.
The gym won’t seem like a burden, or something you have to do because you made a vow or because you want to survive and out compete anyone. It will therefore be a pleasure to go to the gym and you will do it more often without having to force yourself as a result. The only reason I go to the gym is because it feels good and it feels great to look great. I used to go because I wasn’t happy with how I looked and I wanted to get bigger – not anymore.
Women will also respond positively to this attitude. Before I settled down with Mrs. Freedom I had an abundance of beautful women in my life. They adored me because I had zero needy attachment to them and was always open and honest with them. They could sense I didn’t need them in any way and I was always fun to be around, and they were attracted to this. It will also work for you. Stop giving a sh*t if she will someday leave you, because there are plenty more women out there for you to meet and have fun with. Ironically, when you take this attitude she won’t go anywhere, anytime soon.
To Sum It All Up
You can strive, create, work and hustle until you are blue in the face. No matter what you achieve it will never be enough until you decide “This is enough”.
When you reach that point, you don’t have to stop. You can keep striving, creating, working and hustling until the day you take your last breath, roll over and die, but you can do it from a different inner space.
It’s a lot more fun to do all of this from a place of contentment and curiosity to see how far you can go rather than feeling a need or lack.
Trust me and try it. Decide you are already good enough but you’re going to keep truckin’ just to see how far you can go.
You’ll be surprised how this improves your effectiveness, efficiency and overall sense of satisfaction with life.
What do you think? Would you choose contentment or achievement if you had to choose? Do you believe we can have both?
Desire. Decide. Persist.