Happy vs. Content

I met up with a friend of mine earlier this week – AFW – who I haven’t seen for simply ages. Since last spring now I think about it. We used to work together about 10 years ago and we catch up every now and again. Anyway out of the blue he gets in contact. Beers? Yes love to.

Anyway – it was a rather off piste evening – in a good way. We don’t really have much in common truth be told, aside from working together in the heady t’internet days (before the dot com bubble went phutt). However we ended up nattering away nineteen to the dozen, completely setting the world to rights on the most random subjects under the sun.

Towards the end of the evening AFW asked me a question; “Was I was happy?” Without even blinking I replied, “Yes I am very content.”

And that made me stop for a second. It was only after the words came tumbling out of my mouth that I acknowledged what I’d just said. And you know what it is true – I am content. Exceptionally so.

Would I change anything? Not right now.

Happiness is something that comes and goes. It is temporary. It is about moments; excitement, fun, actions and material possessions.

Contentment is something that lasts. It’s about going with the flow, enjoying the satisfaction of work, and appreciating your life, your environment and the people around you.

Your happiness is intrinsically linked to the realization of your wants, desires, demands and needs. Contentment feels like a more natural state – more like acceptance.

If you think about what you *want* from life – you know the material stuff that we all hanker after – well it is determined by us, rather than by a situation. By altering our perspective we can affect our level of contentment as much, if not more, as we could do by changing the situation.

As the saying goes, accept the things you cannot change, have courage to change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference.

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