Growing up, my parents often share this philosophy with us, “with contentment brings happiness”. From young, they instilled and taught my sister and myself the fact that there are many external possessions in this world but only with contentment in ourselves then one will be happy with where they are in Life. They demonstrated and live that philosophy out in their daily behaviours and interactions with others, which makes it easy for us to believe, and eventually build this philosophy in our Life.
However, I do not think many families, companies or societies may agree with this saying. There is always this constant search to be better, to climb higher up the social ladder, to be bigger, to command more power, riches and fame. With the addition of social media such as Instagram, we have carefully curated posts in our feed—posts that are probably staged just to let their viewers ‘see’ how perfect their Life is, to (unconsciously/consciously) feed people with ideas that “hey, if you travel to these countries, to buy these clothes and branded goods, then maybe you will be as happy as I am in this picture!”. Minds, especially younger ones, may take to these readily without giving it much reflection and may be taking part in a rat race which they do not even know of. The thrill and happiness one gets from shopping can probably only lasts you that long before another shinier and better product comes along. Human greed is something which cannot be satisfied. It’s dangerous to place your Own Happiness into the hands of others.
Learn to be content with what you have, to give Thanks to the Universe for all the good things that it has placed in your Life, to be appreciative of the little moments in Life… that is what will bring you contentment.
To be contented is not to be complacent. Rather, it is an acceptance of where you are in your current state. There’s no need to place too much of an emphasis and emotional attachment to a place/thing/position which you are in the process of getting. If it comes, it comes. If it goes, it goes. I’m a firm believer of the thought that If I’m Ready, It Will Come To Me.
Building appreciation and gratitude is a habit that can be cultivated. I find this small exercise really helps.
Before going to bed every night, list down 5 things (or generally just people in your Life) that happened today that you’re grateful for. It could be as something small as getting a seat on the public transport, or to be able to provide help to a friend, or even just finding time to watch your favourite serial drama. Once you’ve listed it down, read through your list and find this wave of contentment washing over you. Keep this feeling of gratitude in your heart. When the going gets tough on some days, go through the different things that you had jotted down that you are thankful for. Sit back and observe how this feeling of Goodness washes over the bad.
Today, I am thankful for:
- To find a bill buried in my pile of books; managed to pay it before deadline
- My dad. He sliced a plate of apples for me while I was doing my work.
- To find time to complete this blog entry
- The rain that stopped when I was just going to alight from the bus.
- The air-con that is keeping me cool in this humid weather
Love & Light, Kaiwen April Weekend YTT Batch