Even in our “must have now” society, financial contentment is possible

Let's face it finding financial contentment in today’s culture is not easy. Most of us have been trying to keep up with the Khumalos…or even outdoing them.  And with modern advertising and social media, it is becoming even more difficult to be content with what we have.

Sometimes, I  feel stuck when I see my friends buying new houses, new cars and even income properties; they appear to be advancing in ways that I am not. And this is hard to take in sometimes. It feels like all my hard work is going  down the drain and I have nothing to show for it.

And it doesn't help that the world is constantly bombarding us with messages designed to stir up a sense of dissatisfaction.

We are trained to believe that the cure for discontent and unhappiness is to purchase something. But material things never address or cure the root of our discontentment. They only clutter our space and empty our bank accounts.

When you don't have all that you need, the issue is usually black and white—you either have it or you don’t. In affluence, the issue is much more subtle, because anxieties and worries are not usually related to the lack of things but rather the loss of things. In essence, most affluent people fear they might lose the material things they have acquired.

So if money is not the cure for discontentment, what is contentment and how is it attained?

Contentment is a lack of vision, lack of discipline, or lack of initiative. I don't mean I'm content with a bad situation remaining bad. I don't mean laziness or complacency.  For me contentment is being satisfied  and having the ability to embrace what is with satisfaction while still fulfilling my needs to achieve my personal best.

And I'm learning to be better at the skill of contentment.

I've learned that contentment doesn’t just happen. It requires a lot of effort meaning I have to actively choose to focus on all that the good that I have been given. And to savor life fully, moment to moment, without experiencing the mental and emotional suffering of longing for something else.

 Sometimes on our financial journey, we spend more time complaining about what we don’t have than the many good things we do have. We focus on our problems, our lack, our suffering rather than focus on gratitude and joy for the amazing blessings we've been given in our lives.

I hear all kinds of financial stories, many of them difficult and filled with pain. And to be honest, it is a very hard thing to walk in gratitude when you are financially stressed. It is much more natural to focus and speak about the stress and hardships, and complain that you don't have enough.

When you find yourself longing, thinking deeply about the bad stuff, stop yourself and intentionally choose something or someone you are grateful for and dwell on positive thoughts about this. Allow yourself to soak all the goodness in your life.

Sometimes it's hard to enjoy the simplicity of life.  But when you remove the rushing, the striving, the chaos, you also remove e the over spending, the image building, the credit card bills.  A simple life is what we get when we remove the chaos that prevents us from achieving contentment.

Living simply means we remove the distraction so we can live with more purpose and more peace.

Today, choose contentment as a way of life rather than constantly longing for your fix of happiness. And when you do, you find that you engage in things that are more meaningful, things that give your life meaning.

Even in our “must have now” society, financial contentment is possible.

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