Being Content with Your Life Right Now
Some days it can be hard to be content with our lives. Our house feels too small, our hips look too big, or our bank account seems empty. We look at the lives of our friends and coworkers and think, "Wow, they have it all together. I wish I could have what they have." We fall into the trap of scrolling through Instagram and comparing our daily grind to the highlight reel of someone else. And in the midst of the comparison game, contentment dies and the joy we could be experiencing this very moment burns out.
Feeling satisfied in this world is a struggle. We are surrounded by a culture manipulating us into thinking we don't have enough. Or, worse yet, we aren't enough. We aren't thin enough, pretty enough, rich enough, athletic enough -- it's what we see every day through all avenues of media. In a world driven by comparison to those who are lucky to be labeled "enough", we find ourselves in the never ending climb to be someone worthy for the rest of the world to revere.
Bettering ourselves and setting goals is a good thing. Self improvement is not wrong. We should want to be better versions of ourselves than we were yesterday. But we cannot forget the importance of who we are now. The journey to where we are going is more important than the destination. Because the destination is forever changing. Our goals change. Circumstances change. Once we reach the destination, there's probably something better around the next corner.
So how do we find contentment in the present while still pressing toward our goals?
Don't be fooled by social media.
I read an article the other day about taking the perfect selfie. Don't judge. I was bored and wanted to know why other people could look so great in a photo but I look like death warmed over (prime example of the comparison game). But as I read the article, the advice all these high profile actresses and fitness stars gave were the following:
The truth behind other people's perfect selfies was such a relief. Their selfies could take hours to perfect! And I was comparing my two second snapshot to that?
I know this seems like a foolish example, but remember this when the next picture perfect life pops up on your news feed. The picture may look perfect, but the process to make it was long and hard. No one life is easy. Everyone faces insecurities and tough times. Don't let the highlight reels on social media make you think you're any less than someone else.
Take pleasure in simplicity.
She's going to Hawaii, his job paid for a two week excursion in Europe, and I'm stuck at home cooking dinner and walking the dog.
Sound familiar? We've all had those feelings when we see others traveling the globe or receiving opportunities we can only dream about. But that doesn't mean those people are having a good time. Just because someone is visiting an exotic island or living a different lifestyle than yours doesn't mean they are happy. They could be having the worst time of their lives dealing with lost luggage or delayed flights, and you just had the greatest evening playing with your dog at the park.
Simplicity isn't boring. A simple life doesn't mean you haven't accomplished anything. Simplicity means you have time to connect with your surroundings and make special memories out of ordinary moments.
Work on yourself.
Contentment, when it comes down to it, is a heart issue. It's a choice. You can choose to be content, or you can choose to compare ourselves to the rest of the world and never feel like you are enough.
Choosing contentment over comparison takes work. But it's totally doable! All you have to do is work on yourself. Develop a habit of searching for things to be grateful for everyday. Read personal development books that help you better yourself. Spend time in a hobby you enjoy. Volunteer in your community--there's no better way to realize how blessed you are once you see the needs of others. Take actions every day to alter your mindset and focus on the importance your life holds in the world.
Did you know, not one person in this world has the same heartbeat as you? Wow! That makes you so unique and special. No one else can be you. So live life to the march of your unique heartbeat, cheer others on in their march, and take time to be thankful that you were chosen specifically for this journey--YOUR journey.