Yes, we’ve really learned to mistrust the word but, haven’t we? Knowing this to be the case I have used the word deliberately. We can be happy and contented but . . .
You see, the problem with happiness and contentment, is once we’ve achieved it, there really isn’t much further to go is there? I suppose we could just relax and revel in our contentment, at least for a while. BUT somewhere in our mind, we must keep an awareness of how happiness, is very much a transient thing. It has to be maintained.
The secret to maintaining happiness comes to us when we understand the need for change. Even if this change is seen as something that might upset the balance, or complicate our lives, we must learn to acknowledge it
I think of happiness as being similar to the waves washing up on a beach. There are of course peaks and troughs in how we experience happiness, and the key to this, is energy. Waves are energy in motion. The energy within the wind and the movement of the tides shows itself as this. Happiness is the same in this respect. We must put the necessary energy into our lives and activities for this to then be transferred into happiness.
We can take the example of an individual who, after many years of struggle, actually found a level of happiness and contentment. Although this was the case, when nothing further was added to his life, in terms of change and variety, he became anxious and restless. He feared instigating change would upset the balance he’d found. After so many years of struggle this became a conflict of interests. He was advised to seek change, yet why would he intentionally risk the contentment, he’d found?
Trying to hang on to contentment, only investing the bear minimum of energy, is something we might attempt
As with our example – who initially dabbled in advertising a new business to a catchment area consisting of 1.8 million – unconsciously he was seeking to make the kind of change that wouldn’t rock the boat too much. It proved insufficient for his restlessness to diminish. Sometimes we need to take the bull by the horns. If we’re to understand what changes are necessary we must find where our heart really is. He was advised that advertising to a catchment area consisting of 36 million made far better sense.
Ultimately it was inevitable that such a person (a seeker) would become restless with contentment. Over time, with insufficient change and variety in life, contented stagnated into discontent. If we leave things too long, circumstances will push us into overcoming, our reticence. Far better to jump using our own initiative than be pushed by others or circumstances.
So there we are, happiness and contentment, are things we’re all seeking
Once found, this will need to be maintained through change, challenge and variety. Whether we like it or not, energy does need to be constantly invested, into our lives. How would you feel sitting in a sailboat on still water with no wind? Lovely for a while I’ll bet, but how about once you’ve finished, eating the sandwiches. Invest.