Contentment can be a magical space. When you are truly content, you are not competing with anyone. You are purely you – pure bliss!
However, contentment can be a double-edged sword. For example, for me, the space of “total contentment” generates so much more energy that I am compelled to attempt newer adventures.
On the other hand, contentment can lead to complacency. Would you be happy if your favorite sportsperson loses interest in the final match saying “I am content being a runner-up?” What if the leader of your country or your organization said, “let us take it easy guys, let us be content with our previous laurels and let us not try anything new ?” What if you were hugely talented but are sleepwalking through life? Then contentment can be a disease.
My work often takes me to very strong people – and, they do not want clapping from me – they want me to be ruthlessly frank, identify their biggest pain points and then help resolve them. The best of champions keep working on their flaws so they can scale newer heights.
Contentment is good if it allows you to focus on your own ideas instead of worrying about what others are doing. Contentment can be dangerous if lulls you into mediocrity.
Last word to Leon Richard Kass, an American physician, scientist and educator best known as proponent of liberal education via the “Great Books” who said:
“If you have easy self-contentment, you might have a very, very cheap source of happiness.”
The modern society is designed to destroy the individual (and not just the climate and natural resources).
Try this experiment. Hop on to a metro / subway train or enter a office and start a conversation (or take the easy route of eavesdropping). I end-up discovering that most people are not even aware that they are slave to a lifestyle defined by others. All their “struggles” are leading to blind alleys – because even the “struggles” are not purely their own. For example, even in this era of almost infinite diverse opportunities, kids are told to pursue streams that have “more scope” and “more money”. Growing up, the common thinking is to jump to a job with the biggest “pay package” or seek a business that is “most profitable”.
If you (and / or people around you) are perpetuating the same thinking in your own life and your kids’ lives, time to take a pause.
Why not ask yourself (and your kids and colleagues):
What truly interests you?
What work would give you purest joy, empowering meaning and truest satisfaction?
How can your work create maximum beneficial impact around you?
If there are no ready answers found, then the simplest question is: When would YOU start doing your own independent thinking? Why not attack the status quo, stand up and wage a war (if that is what is required) to start living freely and independently on your own terms?
We are in an unknown and wondrously inexplicable universe.
As humans, we know almost nothing. 99.99% of our knowledge is simply a set of labels and categories, and, at best, a collection of humongous amount of almost meaningless data.
For example, can we measure gravity? Yes. Do we know what is the source of gravity? No.
You do not know who you are.
You do not know where you are.
You do not know why you are here.
Truly realizing this can free you from most of your seeming barriers, constraints and struggles. Most of us end up rushing into things or dragging ourselves out from one thing to another. True awareness of your “comprehensive ignorance” can lead you to explore what is really important to you.
Your MIND has INVENTED a few LABELS (say humble/confident lawyer/doctor) as a REACTION to deal with life.
You have absolutely NO IDEA as to who you REALLY ARE.
Biologically, we are all animals having bodies which shall inevitably perish. The brain or the mind DELUDES us into BUILDING our own unique identities based on how we RESPOND to social structures around us.
You THINK you are a summary of various labels based on your personality and profession?
There is NO IDENTITY except WHAT your MIND has INVENTED as a continuous series of REACTIONS to deal with people and situations.
Question: HOW MUCH of your identity is based purely your OWN choice?
Hope can delude you into inaction. Or, you are hopeful because the current reality seems HOPELESS.
Look at the Source of the thought. The MIND focuses on demonstrating and proving your ROOT REALITY.
Hope can mask inadequate efforts, energy and ingenuity required to achieve big goals. Watch your brain very carefully. When you say you have hope then either you might get slack or you might be DEFINING the current situation as HOPELESS.
The WHY of a thought is important. The Source of the thought is critical…. because the MIND focuses on demonstrating and proving your ROOT REALITY.
Committing to guarantee a result is better than being lamely hopeful.