Contentment is the Key to Happiness
Do you want to live with contentment instead of dissatisfaction? Here is a simple yet extremely effective way to experience contentment every single day for the rest of your life.
This, however, will need some discipline on your part so you can take this technique as a road-map and practice it on a regular and sustained basis.
What are your Values?
All of human behavior stems from thoughts that one creates in one’s mind. But where do these thoughts come from? Our thoughts stem from our beliefs and attitudes which in turn stem from our values. So, values are like the roots of a person’s personality and also his life.
The funny thing is that most people are not consciously aware of their values since they simply happen to pick many of them up from their environment and the important people in their life like parents and friends besides others during their growing up years.
Since this process happens almost involuntarily, many people don’t really like or wish to possess some of their own values but feel stuck with them since they have become so deeply ingrained into their personalities.
Getting rid of them or replacing those with better values will require effort and discipline which most people tend to avoid.
The first step of the technique for achieving contentment requires you to know each one of your values. Ask yourself what your top 10 values are and then make a list of these. Don’t expect this to be a quick affair though as it will involve some soul-searching.
Even if you write something down and then change your mind about it, refresh your list of values accordingly.
The idea is to have a list that is as representative of your real values in life as possible. Doing this activity gives you a chance to revisit your values and to replace these with values you would rather be proud to possess and represent.
Remind Yourself Everyday
After you have your values list ready, put it up somewhere in your home where it will be visible to you everyday so you will be able to remember your chosen values as a guide for your behavior and thoughts for the day.
Whenever any situation comes up on any given day, remember your top values before you respond and act in the situation. If your response is consistent with your real values, you will feel good and whenever it isn’t, you will experience inner turmoil, which could be minor or major in nature according to the degree of deviation from your actual value.
Spontaneous Living is Confused Living
Most of us live life spontaneously. We often react to situations rather than respond to them. As a result of this, our actions and behaviors are not always in alignment with our real values and desires.
When we look back and reflect about such instances, there is a deep regret at times that we can’t do anything about in the present or future. What’s more, when we live spontaneously without any inner work, we have no idea about how we’ll behave in any given situation in the future either.
On the other hand, when we respond to situations (as opposed to reacting to them) after choosing the top values we hold close to our hearts, we feel in control.
At the end of the day, there is a huge amount of contentment that we experience since we channeled our behavior and actions according to our chosen values. There is no conflict or discomfort within us but only contentment about our conduct and thoughts.
Value-based Living Helps During Challenging Times
Neena was a young mother of two who would often feel frazzled while managing her home affairs and demanding children. Her stress caused her to vent her anger out on her children whenever they acted difficult.
Whenever Neena recalled these instances of angry outbursts, she felt terrible about herself since she only wanted to love her children and not have any unpleasant experiences with them. She felt helpless and didn’t know what to do to change and control the situation since it was difficult for her to manage her kids’ never-ending demands.
She tried the values list method and after a good amount of reflection came up with her top 10 values. The first among them was love. Whenever her children became demanding and she felt stressed, she saw her top value of ‘Love’ written and instantly felt calm.
She was then able to explain things to her children in a loving and calm manner without losing her temper. To her surprise, she saw how her children understood her point and did as she asked them to.
At the end of each of her days, Neena felt an amazing amount of contentment and inner peace since she had aligned her karma with her chosen values in life.
Conclusion – Contentment is the Key to Happiness
Living life is the biggest project you will ever undertake. As it is with any project, if you use a planned and well-thought-out approach, your chances of success will increase manifold.
So it is with life, rather than living life blindly, know how you want to live and then proceed on the journey of life. Inner peace and contentment will be your companions almost automatically.