In today’s society, it seems that everyone is chasing happiness. We are constantly told that we need to be happy in order to be content. However, this is not necessarily true. While happiness is certainly a valuable emotion, it is not the only thing that matters in life.
In fact, for many people, happiness is quite fleeting. It comes and goes as life circumstances change. Contentment, on the other hand, is a much more lasting state of mind.
And it is something that anyone can choose to cultivate regardless of their circumstances.
Let’s discuss the difference between the two…
What is Happiness?
To me, happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, satisfaction, gratification, and well-being. Joe Rogan said it best when he said: “The key to happiness isn’t having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.”
In other words, true happiness comes from within. It comes from appreciating what you have and making the most of every moment. It’s not about chasing after material possessions or constantly striving for more. Instead, it’s about finding peace of mind and being content with what you have.
When you can do that, happiness will find you.
However, men must understand that happiness is subjective because what makes one person happy might not make another person happy. For example, some people find happiness in material things while other people find happiness in experiences.
Additionally, some people find happiness in alone time while others find happiness in socializing. Happiness is also at times fleeting because it can depend on circumstances that are out of our control.
For example, we might be happy when we get a promotion at work but then lose our job shortly after. Or, we might be happy when we meet someone special but then they might move away.
Happiness is unique to each individual and can be influenced by factors that are beyond our control, which is why it can be so difficult to maintain a state of happiness.
What is Contentment
So what exactly is contentment? According to dictionary.com, it is “a peaceful state of satisfaction.” This means that even when life is tough and challenging, a person who is content can still find a sense of satisfaction and peace. They can see the positives in life and appreciate what they have, even amid the pain.
So basically, contentment boils down to acceptance of your lot in life. That doesn’t mean you give up on setting goals. It doesn’t mean you give up on being a better person or earning more money. What it does mean is you don’t allow the lack of these things to drag you down.
You can be content with your job right now even if you are working towards a promotion. You can be content with having one child, even if you are trying for another.
Happiness is often subjective, whereas contentment remains consistent despite what life throws your way. Happiness is an emotion that doesn’t stick around for long, but true contentment does.
Contentment is all in your mindset. As a positive person, it’s easier to find things to celebrate. It’s easier to feel grateful for the meal on your table. As a negative person, it’s easier to look at a plate with a sigh, wishing it was something else.
Why is this important for men? Because we are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we need to be happy to be successful.
We are told that we need to have the perfect job, the perfect body, and the perfect life in order to be content. However, this could not be further from the truth. While these things may bring happiness, they will not necessarily lead to lasting contentment.
The most contented people are often those who have accepted the things they cannot change and focus on being the best they can be. They work on being the best husband, the best father, the best friend, and the best version of themselves. And as a result, they can find contentment even in the midst of difficult circumstances.
So if you are a man who is chasing after happiness, I encourage you to instead search for contentment. It is a much more lasting state of mind that will lead to true satisfaction in life.
If you don’t feel content, work on changing your mindset and try to be more positive in general. Practicing gratitude is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.