“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
― Oprah Winfrey
[The first recognized Black American philanthropist and famous talk show hostess. Dealing with hardships in early life, Oprah was quick to realize true happiness lies in what she possesses now.]
Researches reveal that people happy with the present ultimately get what they want while those focusing on what they don’t have, never get the desired. People accepting life with high spirit always have the motivation to go further setting realistic goals and expectations, which get fulfilled in the near future.
Being happy with what you have means that you accept life as it comes without raving and ranting. Attaining self contentment is the greatest boon in life. A self contended person values what he has now and has the power to estimate what he can have in the future, which undeniably is a great realization. Not everybody can climb Mt Everest. Not everybody can become Bill Gates; however, being happy with the present and working toward a better future is the best way to live a highly satisfying life.
We will definitely be on the wrong page to assume that life is always perfect for a self contented person; nonetheless, his positive outlook for greater benefits gives him the power to be happy with his present possessions. In doing so, he can reserve his energy for better causes of life.
Self contentment follows the way you view things and situations. A happy mind gives birth to constructive thoughts. Valuing the present moment enables a person to fix his goals. He designs his life accordingly. The story below states that striving for more is good as it keeps one motivated but definitely not at the cost of present happiness.
“How can you even think of living a good life if you don’t have enough resources to fulfill the necessities and look beyond? I need a better job and bigger house to keep my family comfortable,” Keith said.
Keith and Jeff who had been friends met after a long time. Keith was a bit down worried about his future and thought that Jeff could suggest him a way out.
“Keith, what you said makes sense but you must not forget that there are always two sides of the coin. It is true that you have to be a good provider to your family but there are other important things in life my friend,” Jeff said.
Keith sighed and said, “What could be more important than being a good provider to your family? That’s what gives you inner peace, doesn’t that, Jeff?”
“Oh, it’s difficult to convince you Keith,” Jeff said.
“Ok. Let’s have some coffee,” Keith said and took off in a moment.
A few minutes later Keith came back with two cups of coffee along with a couple of biscuits. As soon as he put the tray on the table, Jeff noticed that there were two different cups on the tray. One was made of plastic and the other one looked really cool and expensive.
“I only found these two cups clean. Take this one,” Keith offered the crystal made cup to Jeff.
“See, this is how you look at your life and this is the reason why you are always troubled about one or the other thing,” Jeff said.
“What do you mean? Is there anything wrong with the cups?” Keith asked.
“Keith, it’s not the cup but it’s the coffee that matters. Does that crystal cup add extra taste to the coffee? Does that plastic cup change the taste? It hardly makes any difference. The coffee symbolizes our life and the cups here denote other aspects like money, house or the job. It does not matter whether you live in a big house or a small one. It is the love in your family that makes it a home. Even those who live in posh bungalows and drive a limousine have exactly the same life and at times even worse. It’s just the way you look at your life. “
“True but some people have it all,” Keith argued.
“See, how you are spoiling your happiness. You will always feel disappointed when you compare your life with others. You are a unique individual, Keith. You are not even aware of even a single aspect of other’s lives. Focus on your life Keith and learn to love what you have since you always have enough to be happy all your life,” Jeff said as he picked up the plastic cup.
“Hmm, the coffee tastes great, Keith. How does your coffee taste?” Jeff said.
Never chase the illusion of ‘perfect life’
Nobody can define a perfect life. It differs with the person and the perspective. Perfect life is an illusory term. You might have an enormous crave for wealth and envy your multimillionaire neighbor with a crippled son. On the other hand, that affluent man might be envious of your life that revolves around your healthy kids and family. The present state of happiness can only drive us toward better life in the future. Dissatisfaction with the present steals your wholehearted efforts to fight and win!
Strengthen your thoughts to create happiness
It is not necessary to have more to be happy as those who have a lot actually have their share of troubles too. Life does not offer everything as per our desire. We need to put efforts to achieve the desirable but without undervaluing our present possessions. What you have at this moment is much more valuable than what you do not have.
You have more. You have enough:
Be thankful for what you have since what you have is enough to keep you happy all your life. We must acknowledge the fact that a simple life that has many valuable relationships makes you successful and happy rather than having a big pile of money. Rightly says Maya Angelou, “We need much less than we think we need.”
Avoid nurturing lethal misconceptions
One can’t be too sure of a person’s happiness seeing him apparently rolling in material wealth. A rich person may have hidden grief and sorrows not visible to all. Moreover, the richness and success of a person can be easily gauged but the pain and sweat that went to achieve those are understandable for few. Therefore, wasting time in despairing over other’s material possessions and comparing does not provide the space for the growth of constructive thoughts. Such misconceptions land in jealousy which is destructive. Value your relationships and health which you possess now and enjoy a great life today. These aspects are far more important than material wealth.
Get out of the worry and anxiety trap
Human mind has a natural inclination to get into worry and anxiety trap. Worried mind cannot develop clarity in thoughts and consequently erroneous actions keep hindering the path toward a great life. Determined persons, however, have the power not to get into this trap but relax and plan better living strategies. Worrying is a psychological dysfunction that does only harm and nothing good, neither it helps to find the right solution to problems. So don’t worry be happy.