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When we pursue happiness, we flee from contentment

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

"While we pursue happiness we flee from contentment." - Hasidic Proverb

 

Are you guilty of fleeing from contentment?  Find ways to be content today, with what you have!  


What do Your Dreams Say About You?
In looking at your bucket list, you may notice some common themes. Do you love a certain hobby?  Want to spend more time reading?  Do you want to learn something new? Your list may also give you some insight into what is currently lacking in your life. If 50% of your list is comprised places you want to travel, it might be time for a vacation.

What Do You Really Want?
Your dreams can provide some valuable personal insight. With each the top 25 items on your bucket list, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do you want it?
  • What will it provide for you?
  • Is this something that society says is important, or one that you personally value?
  • Is it consistent with your values and family mission statement?
  • Would you want this if nobody saw or heard about it?
  • Do any of your goals contradict each other?


Finding Contentment Today
Let’s analyze the traveling example again. What do you get out of traveling? Is it a break from routine? Is it uninterrupted time with your family? Or, do you like to experience new cultures? Is there any way you can replicate those feelings without leaving your city (or even your home)?

Analyzing why you want these things will help you find contentment in the here and now. If traveling gives you time with your family where you’re unburdened by the demands of daily life, you may be able to replicate that simply by getting a hotel room in a nearby city vs. going on an expensive vacation. If you’re into new cultures and experiences, simply going to more ethnic eateries in your own town can help satisfy those cravings. If it’s your dream to write a book one day, start by keeping a journal. Doing some of the little things today that provide you with what you’re really searching for can help you peacefully pursue your dreams.

In her book Quantum Success, Sandra Anne Taylor defines the Law of Paradoxical Intent:

“The Law of Paradoxical Intent points out the underlying paradox of personal achievement: You can get what you want by knowing that you don’t need it to be happy! It forces you to shift your focus from a desperate intention to a peaceful pursuit. Never send out energy that you’re willing to wait to be happy – just that you’re willing to wait for the goal. Needing a particular achievement before you can live with peace and joy creates a desperate energy that’s absolute poison to the resonance of success, so be clear about your intentions and fearless in your motivations. Pursue your goals because you want them to enhance an already happy life, not because you’ll be miserable without them.”

Assignment: With the insight that you've gathered, think of ways to get what you want out of life today, without spending money or leaving your own town. Write down some of your ideas.  I’ve included a .pdf worksheet HERE to make it easy for you to analyze your bucket list items.

 

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Here is another great related read: The Secret to Happiness is to Stop Caring

 

"We Need to Stop Caring

That doesn’t mean we stop trying to achieve our goals or striving for personal growth. It just means that we no longer base our happiness on fleeting, semi-permanent things.

There are obviously some situations where not caring may have serious negative consequences (see paying your rent). Excessive caring, however, is likely to make you miserable.

The reason caring too much can be detrimental to your health, is you’re so focused on the future. Your identity is too attached to outcomes. If something does, or doesn’t go your way, it will likely have an enduring effect on your mood for the rest of the day.

Instead, we should base our happiness on permanent things. Things that don’t change. Desires that don’t shift from moment to moment. We choose to find our happiness in living. In life itself. In fact, we don’t even need to “find” happiness. We can be happiness."

post #2 of 25

I really want a more exciting life...but I just get too lazy.  I see so many opportunities to get out of the house--fun things--but I can never make myself commit.  This is what I need to overcome.  There is nothing I really want or need right now except for a more fulfilling life.

post #3 of 25

There are plenty of free things I can do with my girls in my town to spend more quality time together. 

post #4 of 25

There are a lot of things on my list that don't require anything but effort on my part.  Some themes in my list are travel, self-improvement, frugality, spirituality, caring for the environment/simple living, and (of course) family relationships.  Pretty evenly divided between those things.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane View Post

I really want a more exciting life...but I just get too lazy.  I see so many opportunities to get out of the house--fun things--but I can never make myself commit.  This is what I need to overcome.  There is nothing I really want or need right now except for a more fulfilling life.



I think we all fall into that trap sometimes.  Inertia keeps us doing what we're comfortable doing.  Did you put together a bucket list?  Is there anything special that sparks your engine?  Think of EASY ways to get started.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim View Post



I think we all fall into that trap sometimes.  Inertia keeps us doing what we're comfortable doing.  Did you put together a bucket list?  Is there anything special that sparks your engine?  Think of EASY ways to get started.


I have and a lot of the things on my list are to socialize more (take a variety of classes) and just get out of the house!

 

post #7 of 25

When hubby and I remember the best times in our lives, the moments that were filled with tranquility, safety, quiet and no commitments. We've had so many people depend on us for so many years (we're the sandwich generation), escaping from it all is our vision of the ideal. We're very nearly hermits. Poor DD, our little social butterfly; she would be miserable. But she likes the tranquility, too. She just also wants access to other people.

 

Funny, but travel frequently comes into the picture for us, not because of the mechanics of travel (airports, crowds, traffic) but because it affords us an opportunity to "get away from it all" even more. Waking up to a sunrise in the Italian olive growing region, taking siestas in Spain, eating dinner on a patio in a French countryside restaurant with 4 tables, hiking to the farthest stretch of the Great Wall in China, exploring a hidden waterfall in New Zealand - these are the travels that make up our dreams.

 

For now, we're concentrating on making HOME our most tranquil haven then we'll work outward from there. Right now we're in a tiny apartment so peace and quiet seems far too far away. The desire for peace is so real in all of us, we can almost taste it.

 

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookie2 View Post

 

For now, we're concentrating on making HOME our most tranquil haven then we'll work outward from there. Right now we're in a tiny apartment so peace and quiet seems far too far away. The desire for peace is so real in all of us, we can almost taste it.

 



We feel this way too.  One of my goals is to make home more of a haven in which to escape daily routine.  For me, that means devoting more time to reducing clutter, keeping it clean and tidy.  Since I work from home, I also need to figure out how to separate my work environment from my home environment.

post #9 of 25

It reveled more that I am content.  My top goals seam to center among the same things.  Financial Security, Better Health for my family and activities that make my relationship with my friends and family stronger.

 

I run at an insane schedule and I seam to be happy with it.  My Schedule for next week, Having friends over, going over to friends homes (Twice) Knitting group, HOA Meeting, Library program, Girl Scout meeting, Going to the Y and Bunco.  I have had periods where I didn't have so much going on and in those times I retreated into wasting time on the internet trying to get some social interaction that wasn't going on in my real life. 

 

I guess the other thing it touched on is I need to make more time for my creative outlet. I need to take more time to take care of my health. So its time to get my craft room back to the shape where I can walk into it. Also find some walking buddies, get those bikes fixed this year, go out and go hiking come on I live an hour from Mt Rainer no excuses

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ember15 View Post

It reveled more that I am content.  My top goals seam to center among the same things.  Financial Security, Better Health for my family and activities that make my relationship with my friends and family stronger.

 

I run at an insane schedule and I seam to be happy with it.  My Schedule for next week, Having friends over, going over to friends homes (Twice) Knitting group, HOA Meeting, Library program, Girl Scout meeting, Going to the Y and Bunco.  I have had periods where I didn't have so much going on and in those times I retreated into wasting time on the internet trying to get some social interaction that wasn't going on in my real life. 

 

I guess the other thing it touched on is I need to make more time for my creative outlet. I need to take more time to take care of my health. So its time to get my craft room back to the shape where I can walk into it. Also find some walking buddies, get those bikes fixed this year, go out and go hiking come on I live an hour from Mt Rainer no excuses


I think you and I need to meet in the middle to come to a balance in our lives.  I'm so at the other extreme--not having those things to go to anymore now that my girls are older--that I crave it!  

 

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