BY SOFO ARCHON
Contentment is what each and every human being is searching for, but most can’t seem to find it.
Of course, it’s understandable why that is so – the way we’ve learned to live since a very young age inevitably leads us to experience a state of unhappiness, meaninglessness, and emptiness. However, we don’t have to live like this until we take our last breath. As individuals, it’s in our hand to make conscious choices that will help create a more beautiful life for ourselves and the world in general.
Before we can achieve this, however, we need to understand what we’ve been doing that prevents us from finding contentment, and how we can break free from the chains of our detrimental habits. Below you’ll read six important lessons that will help you to do exactly that, thus opening the doors to the kind of life you’ve been deep down longing for.
1. Failure is better than regret
Life is short, and we should make sure not to waste it being preoccupied with things that don’t contribute to our well-being.
One of the main reasons why people miss out on life is the fear of failure. If you want to pursue your dreams, it’s very likely that you’ll encounter a lot of obstacles on your way, that you’ll stumble over some of them, and that at times you will fail to overcome them, which can be a very hurtful emotional process.
So what’s the best way to stay emotionally safe? To not try to chase your dreams at all. If you don’t ever try to succeed, you are never going to fail, right? That’s all well and good, but with the exception that you’ll sooner or later be filled with regrets, not so much about not having turned your dreams into reality, but mainly about not having given it a good try.
From today, be sure to listen to your heart and follow its guidance, no matter the difficulties you might encounter on your path, remembering that the only true failure in life is not trying at all.
2. Pain and self-growth go hand in hand
Self-growth can be tremendously painful at times, and you need to fully embrace this fact, if you are willing to create the best version of yourself.
Pain is there for a reason – to show us that something wrong is going on in our lives. It is a wake-up call, reminding us that we need to take action in order to relieve ourselves from it. Pain, therefore, helps us to find out how to overcome life’s hardships, by urging us to learn, become more intelligent, and eventually master the art of living in contentment.
Pain is a great teacher, so never forget to pay attention to the important lessons it has to teach you.
3. The past can be both a friend and a foe
The past is not here anymore and so we cannot change it, but we can always look back on it and learn from it.
In the past, every single person has made mistakes, and those mistakes are there to teach us what we need to know so as to never make them again. And, although the past can be used as a guide towards a brighter future, at the same time it can be a great burden on our shoulders, if we become emotionally attached to it, that doesn’t allow us to live to our fullest in the present.
The past belongs in the past, so no matter how many hardships you’ve gone through or how many mistakes you’ve made, don’t let them prevent you from moving forward in life. Study the past, learn from it, and then let go of it.
4. Life is impermanent
In the world, everything is changing, except change itself.
Being part of the world, we are constantly changing too. Our relationships change, our health changes, our thoughts and emotions change. The problem, however, is that most people don’t like change and do anything they can in order to prevent it.
We are so attached to the kind of life we are living – our, possessions, friends, work, and so on – that we’re tremendously afraid to let go of them when we should, even though in reality it’s not always in our control to keep them by our side. In fact, the harsh truth is that no matter how tightly we’re trying to hold on to them, sooner or later life is bound to take them away from us, and unless we embrace change and let ourselves flow with the river of life, we will always remain victims of fear.
5. Honesty keeps things simple
Most people wear a mask, showing to others a different image of who they actually are, and this immensely complicates their lives, but most just can’t see it.
When we are pretending to be someone we’re not, we are expending much of our energy trying to keep that mask on, suppressing our thoughts and emotions. Trying to conform to an image, we become locked in a self-imposed mental prison, which doesn’t allow us to live spontaneously and care-free.
In addition, lack of honesty results in messed up human relations. When we are not honest with those we come in contact with, how can we form intimate, genuine friendships or love relationships? It’s impossible, for this can only be achieved when we open up our heart and expose our innermost being to others.
6. Gratitude brings fulfillment
Buddha once said, “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
Perhaps you are not living the ideal life, but just being here and now experiencing this miracle called existence should be enough in itself to bring you contentment. Of course, I don’t mean to say that you shouldn’t try to transcend anything that prevents you from realizing your fullest potential. My point is simply that unless you learn to savor those little, everyday, ordinary yet beautiful moments that life brings on your way, you will never feel fulfilled and content.
In short, aim at a better future, but never forget to appreciate and find joy in the gifts you’ve already been offered by the universe.
There you have it – six simple yet powerful lessons that can do wonders to alter your mindset and hence your way of living. Contemplate on them, understand them, practice them, and I assure you that your life will sooner or later take a very positive direction, leading to joy, peace, and contentment.