GET FREE SHIPPING IN THE U.S. ON ALL ORDERS OVER $75

RECENT BLOG POSTS

Always In Pursuit: 7 Ways to Be More Content

Ways to Be More Content | Guide to Contentedness | Be More Satisfied With Your Life | How to Be Happy

A few months ago I shared that our family’s theme word for the year is contentment.  After an entire lifetime of wanting to trying to fill my life with beautiful things in the hope that it would bring fulfillment, learning to simply be content with what I have is a huge shift in paradigm.

I backslide sometimes–too often, really–and I find myself getting caught up in the pursuit of wanting something new, in the trap of thinking that there is better than here, of telling myself the reason I’m not satisfied is because I don’t have X or because I haven’t achieved Y.  They are the familiar lies that keep creeping back over and over again.

Even so, slowly and painfully, through much prayer and reflection, I can still feel myself being changed, transformed, renewed.  As this process continues, and as I continue to delve deeper into God’s Word, I am finding that these seven strategies are helping me to be much more content right where I am:

1. Set your priorities

Take the time to actually write down what is most important to you, and to determine what it is you want most out of life.  Is having a bigger house, better clothes, a nicer car or the latest iPhone your ultimate goal?  If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want people to remember you for?   It is much easier to be content with what we have when we truly consider where our priorities lie.  Jesus, in Matthew 6:20-21, put it simpler still: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven….for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

2. Stop comparing

This is so easy to say and yet, unless you live in a bubble, so hard to do.  No matter what we do or who we are or how much we have, it is so tempting to see what someone else does or is or has and suddenly want that for ourselves.

As a blogger, my own biggest temptation is comparing myself to other bloggers.  I’ll see another blog that has more subscribers or Facebook fans or blog comments and think, “why are they so much bigger or better than me?”  Then I’ll read an amazingly insightful post or see a super-creative DiY project or delicious-looking recipe on another blog and think “Why couldn’t I think of that.”  But I don’t stop there.  I start questioning everything I am doing, I begin second-guessing my own path, my own content, my own worth.  Suddenly everything I do is complete crap and I might as well just quit altogether.

I am learning, slowly, that another person’s success or talent doesn’t negate my own.  I remind myself over and over of the message found in Romans 12:6:  “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.”  No two people will walk the same path, and nothing someone else has will fulfill me if I’m not already filled.  My only job is to walk my own path to the best of my abilities.

Always in pursuit: 7 ways to be more content. Must-read encouragement for finding more joy and fulfillment right where you are.

3. Change the message

Do you ever feel like modern culture is just one big advertisement, constantly telling telling us what we need to be happy or successful?  Between television, books, online media, magazines, and even billboards, it is practically impossible to escape the pressure to have more, do more, or be more.  Much of  that message involves filling our lives with things, promoting the idea that stuff will make happy.  Sometimes it is just a “motivational” message, telling us that we should simply be better.  In any case, the idea that what we have and who we are is enough is rarely–if ever–promoted.  Contentment just doesn’t sell.

I found for myself that the only real solution was to change the message, and to drastically reduce the amount of advertising and propaganda that I am exposed to.  I stopped reading blogs & magazines or watching television shows that made me feel like I what I have or who I am isn’t enough and instead focused on those that promote contentment, discipline, and other godly virtues.   “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”  (Galatians 5:22).  It takes work to block out the rest.

4. Count your blessings

Discontentment can sneak up on us so quickly, often before we even know it is happening.  Something doesn’t go exactly our way, and suddenly we are wishing the whole world was different.   I especially see this with my kids!  I have found that it helps both them and me to have daily conversations about the blessings in our lives and the things we are grateful for.

Philippians 4:4-7 reminds us to “rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!….Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I am trying (yet often failing) in my own morning devotions, to be more intentional about thanking God for what He’s done, rather than constantly coming with my own petitions.  This is still hard for me.  To be perfectly honest, my prayers can often be very self-consumed.  There is a lot I still want, but remembering all that I have does make a difference.

5. Live passionately

Where is your passion?   What do you love to do most of all?  What makes you jump out of bed in the morning, or rush home from work just so that you can have a little extra time to do it?  Is it sewing?  Crafting?  Blogging?  Speaking?  Volunteering? Starting your own business?  Raising children?  Becoming a missionary?  Whatever it is, DO IT.  Do it with abandon, do it like your life depends on it.

There is nothing in the Bible that says we should simply sit quietly by, trying not to make waves.  On the contrary, Jesus specifically said “I have come that they may have LIFE, and have it to the FULL.”  A full life is one filled with passion, and it is hard to feel discontented when you are following your dreams.

6. Find positive friends

Trying to “keep up with the Jones'” can become all-consuming if everyone you know is caught up in the same more-more-more mentality.  Unspoken competition among friends for the nicest house, most athletic kids, or biggest television (just to name a few!) not only breeds discontentment, but can cause true resentment among the people who should be your support system.

The Bible is pretty clear on this topic, saying “do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33).  A good way to make sure you’ll never be content is to surround yourself with discontented friends.  Instead, find people who are striving for the same goals.

7. Pray for change

It always, always, always comes down to prayer.  Pray for contentment, for God to truly transform your heart and satisfy your need for more, and he will.  It is only through God’s grace we are redeemed.  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”  (Matthew 7:7)

*   *   *

Do you ever struggle with discontentment?  What are your strategies for dealing with it?

Ways to Be More Content | Guide to Contentedness | Be More Satisfied With Your Life | How to Be Happy

73 Comments

  1. Bethany
    March 18 at 08:28AM

    I love this post Ruth! Contentment is my word for the year too, and I really struggle with comparing myself to others. Thanks for the tips. Love the graphic too!

    • Ruth Soukup
      March 18 at 10:27AM

      Thanks Bethany, and you’re welcome! 🙂

  2. Gail
    March 18 at 08:32AM

    Love the verses. Beautiful post.

    • Ruth Soukup
      March 18 at 10:28AM

      Thank you Gail

  3. March 18 at 09:00AM

    Thank you thank you so much for this post. I have so been struggling with some of these items daily and your post really hit home. I also love that it is written from a Christian perspective. It just seals the deal all that much more for me. Thanks again.

    • Ruth Soukup
      March 18 at 10:29AM

      Melissa, I’m so glad to hear you liked it! And you’re welcome!

  4. Kristi
    March 18 at 09:20AM

    Beautiful post… It is sometimes just so hard to keep it simple and learn that as they say, less really is more! Have a blessed day, Ruth!

    • Ruth Soukup
      March 18 at 10:29AM

      Thank you Kristi. You too!

  5. Renee
    March 18 at 10:09AM

    This was so exactly what I needed to read this morning. I spent the weekend with some very well off friends and then went home feeling jealous (yes I admit it) and totally unsatisfied with my own life. Thank you

    • Ruth Soukup
      March 18 at 10:30AM

      I struggle with the exact same problem Renee! I’m glad it was helpful to you this morning.

  6. Amy
    March 18 at 10:44AM

    Thank you so much for posting this! Great post.

  7. Terry
    March 19 at 09:06AM

    Thank you for such a wonderful and timely post! I started following your blog last year (started with the couponing site) but this is my first time leaving a comment. (Sorry it took me so long!) Your honesty and insight are always such a blessing. Thank you for sharing your talents. I have a copy of the beautiful graphic posted in my cubicle which could seriously use some Spring cleaning. 🙂

  8. Pam
    March 19 at 10:31PM

    I love this post. Thanks, for sharing it.

  9. March 20 at 07:31AM

    Great article! This is something that we as a family have been focusing on as well. In a society that keeps telling us we’re not good enough, don’t have enough, don’t do enough…it’s great to have these reminders! I recently posted a similar post on my blog: http://www.livelikenooneelse.com/how-to-be-content-with-what-you-have/

    Thanks so much for sharing this article! Love it!

    Margaret @ Live Like No One Else

  10. Robin
    March 20 at 09:41AM

    Hello Ruth! Learning to be content has been an ongoing struggle with me as well. I often find myself in a store, wanting to spend money I shouldn’t on something I don’t really need or comparing myself to someone else and what they have or have done. I just stop and recite to myself Phillippians 4:11 “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have” and that calms me.

  11. May 14 at 10:47AM

    Hi Ruth! I just discovered your blog! I love it! This post was so wonderful. Contentment is a lesson the Lord has been truly teaching me this year! Thanks for the insight!! 🙂

  12. May 27 at 02:54PM

    Wow Ruth…
    Came across your blog for the first time today via Pinterest! Excited to look around. Love this post. My husband & I have been on this journey as well this year. God has been talking to me about what real treasure is – and how my consumerism / materialism reflects where my heart really is. The biggest part is what do I want my kids to see that I treasure most… my sweater collection or people? When we really get it straight, living simply is so much easier.

    Adding LWSL to my daily reads.
    xo
    Emily

  13. Esmeralda
    June 11 at 12:26AM

    I love your blog. Great post a daily reminder.

    • Ruth Soukup
      June 12 at 07:20AM

      Thank you Esmeralda!

  14. Laura O.
    June 15 at 07:36AM

    Wow! I love that… I really have struggled with this my whole life it seems. This is amazing!

  15. Anonymous
    June 30 at 01:49AM

    Thank you!

  16. Cheryl
    July 3 at 11:28PM

    I am so grateful that God brought me to your site. We had been living a similar lifestyle (clear priorities, contentment, real joy) up until a few years ago when we moved, built a new house (most of it with our own hands), and started a new business. I have been so caught up in all the worldly things, and really missing my “old” life where my focus was on God and my family. I have been taking steps towards getting these priorities back in line, and your blog is just the encouragement I’m needing. God bless.

  17. August 2 at 03:57PM

    This is a great post-I just had a sunday school series that taught about not falling into the comparison trap and how content we can be when we decide to focus primarily on all the we have – because we always have more than we like to think.
    -Cheers to you!

    -Sandra

  18. Teresa
    August 14 at 09:27PM

    Thanks for the great post! I think that, like everyone else (and no I am not comparing myself!), I struggle at times with being content with where I am at, etc. My biggest struggle now is with my teenage son. These are lessons that I am always trying to teach him. But, with love and prayer…..

  19. August 15 at 10:38AM

    Great reminder.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  20. August 20 at 02:51PM

    I am truly inspired by a number of your posts! Thanks for your wonderful reminders of what our priorities should be. I’ve linked a few of your posts on my blog. Thank you for your continual inspiration!

  21. Kelley
    November 4 at 06:12PM

    Thanks for this post. I just stumbled across this after pinning another of your posts on clutter. I, too, have been dealing with ‘enough’ and comparison and contentment lately. I love this statement: “I am learning, slowly, that another person’s success or talent doesn’t negate my own.” I need to repeat this one to myself daily. Thanks again, for being one more voice the Lord is using to encourage me to be content and satisfied in Him.

  22. kim t.
    November 4 at 07:26PM

    Do you have a printable for your gorgeous graphic?? I would love it on my wall!

    • Ruth Soukup
      November 5 at 10:35AM

      Currently, I don’t have the graphic available in printable form. So sorry!

  23. Claudia
    November 11 at 05:30PM

    I’m so glad I found your blog, you’re such an inspiration 🙂

  24. Karen
    November 11 at 05:41PM

    How did you know that this is the whisper my soul needed today? Thank you so much!

  25. December 19 at 12:48AM

    Great words! So great that I just had to add a shout out to you in this on my own blog. Hope that’s ok! I did the trackback and gave you full credit. I came across this just when i finished writing my post so I am praying that I obeyed blog etiquette! If not, I will remove your graphic and link asap. Hopefully though it will just continue to reach others. Thank you!

  26. January 6 at 10:13PM

    I am so with you on this 🙂 Something I’m working very hard on myself. Comparing myself to others is a big challange but I remind myself of the same things (we all have our own journeys/skills/gifts ). My job is to focus on me and bettering myself and being happy for those who are successful at what they do . Thanks for sharing!

  27. January 7 at 10:41AM

    Change the message… YES, YES, YES! I’ve done exactly what you mentioned about cutting down on the “noise”. It’s sooo helpful.

  28. Susan Jaeger
    January 9 at 08:42PM

    Just found your blog – thank you so much for your honesty. Finding Contentment is my mantra for 2014, and this is certainly on my path.

  29. February 15 at 11:20PM

    Came across this on Pinterest tonight. Good timing. I was just sitting here wondering why I feel like I write beautiful blog posts but then rarely get hits and/or comments. I am guilty of comparing, thinking maybe my writing is sub par. Thanks. Good read. 🙂

  30. March 9 at 10:51PM

    All of these are spot on. #6 is so true!

  31. March 10 at 05:02PM

    Wonderful post! This is definitely a prayer of mine; to be thankful for the blessings in my life, have joy in the Lord, and to be content with where God has placed me right this minute.

    Point #5 really spoke to me. “Life to the Full” is actually the name of my blog, yet at times I’ve felt guilty for feeling passionate about earthly things. I suppose it’s all in priorities and making sure that God is always number 1 in my life. He gives us our specific passions for a reason and we can use them to bless others! I’m an avid runner and have wondered what on earth I’m supposed to do with that! Then again, it is definitely possible to bless and encourage others through anything (as long as it’s pleasing to God) we do when we are working with the Almighty God!

    Thank you for this wonderful message.

  32. Samantha
    March 31 at 03:57PM

    I found this today, when I feel like I needed it the most. I raised my 3boys and I always thought when they are grown it will be my time, I can do what I want to do. I find myself lost and un-happy. I look at others and wonder what do they do different, why are they happy and I am not. I think a lot of us think if we get something new or re-do our house that it will make us happy and at first you are happy but when the new is not new anymore then what? We go right back to not being happy. Thank you for this post it helps me on my own journey…. To be grateful and happy with who I am and what I have. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I missed my whole life.

  33. Anonymous
    April 13 at 08:46AM

    Thank You- so needed this for myself and in my parenting.

  34. June 6 at 03:34PM

    Keywords are words and phrases that prospects type into search engines such as Google,
    Yahoo and Bing as they search for the products you offer.
    You want to send as many targeted viewers as
    you can to your webpages with the idea that they will opt
    in to your list. If you are serious about wanting to make money
    online, then you need to get a good guide or access
    to a good resource that has all the information you need
    to start making money right away.

  35. June 12 at 06:04PM

    Thank you for writing this. I am sharing it on my FB because I know it is something that many struggle with.

  36. Joy Powers
    July 25 at 10:01AM

    Ruth,
    Thank you so much for this post. I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and look forward to reading it everyday. I also appreciate your openness about your depression which I have also suffered with under much of the same circumstances you did. Lately I have been comparing myself to others a lot. I am trying to focus on who I am in God’s eyes. Thank you. You are a blessing!
    Joy

  37. Corrie
    August 1 at 03:26PM

    Very well timed! Do you know if there is a printable for this anywhere?

  38. Nicole
    August 10 at 11:44PM

    Totally needed this today….Thank you for being honest and real.

  39. j
    August 21 at 11:57PM

    Funny, I was just searching Pinterest for my contentment and I stumbled upon exactly what I needed. You’re insightful post of truth. Thank you so much for sharing your struggle, it is mine. Always searching for that something and He’s right there. Hugs!

  40. August 30 at 09:03AM

    I knew that it was important to thank God for what he has already done, but it is always important to be reminded! I also have never thought about praying for contentment, but what a wonderful idea! I struggle with my blog (not wanting to get out of balance with my other responsibilities). I also don’t want to run after the wrong things with my blog. I think praying for contentment will help me to see things more clearly. Thank you for this article. PS-I bought your blogging book and am enjoying it!

  41. October 2 at 11:56PM

    Perfect post Ruth!!! It’s something I’ve wanted to write but couldn’t find the words of grace you did! I wish there was a way to share this article on my website. 🙂 It’s all so true for so many of us. I’m trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, now that the kids moved out and the dog died (don’t worry, it was several years ago). It’s making it even more difficult to be Mrs. Organized, the Time Management guru. There’s a lot more to the story, but you get the gist. LOL

  42. Julie
    October 25 at 11:24AM

    Wow, I just found your blog and I love it. What a wonderful article you have written, thank you!

  43. November 5 at 12:07PM

    I bought a brand new hp computer over a month ago. Is turning it off every night bad for the computer or should the computer be left on 24-7. I have heard both ways. Any computer techs answers would be appreciated..

  44. November 5 at 12:11PM

    I’m looking to find out as much about the online surfing community as I can. Can anyone recommend their favorite blogs, twitter handles, or sites that you find most comprehensive? Which ones are most popular? Thanks!.

  45. December 29 at 01:35PM

    Wow! My New Year’s prayer this year has been that God would change me and rid me of my discontent. Your blog is so encouraging. Thank you!

  46. Michelle
    January 11 at 09:38AM

    I have recently discovered your blog and am so excited to see your posts! They seem to be hitting the issues I am dealing with in my own life right now. It is nice to know we are not a lone in our struggles and that there are others who are going through the same things, and conquering them even though falling at times. It is such an encouragement. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  47. April 15 at 01:22PM

    Really great post. Words to live by!

  48. Jill
    May 17 at 04:02PM

    Thanks for sharing this article about you. I need it. I see a lot of people think of bigger things like big houses, jobs, etc.. I feel down since I have an authority from doctor that I had to stop working due to my eye disease. It’s very hard for me because I live in different place which I don’t like and it’s too hard for me to maintain because I’m woman. I lived in a house for 13 years but had to leave it. I tried to tell people many times how I felt in the past but no one understands and I’m not only one of other people who have eye disease and they have same frustrations. thanks again for your blog.

  49. Ally R
    May 18 at 05:47PM

    Thank you, this was great. Praying for peace and contentment. Awesome posts, keep it up! 🙂 <3

  50. Edita
    August 19 at 03:20AM

    Beautiful and inspirational post to begin the day with. I really needed those reflections as my life is in transition and sometimes it makes me feel unsecure, lost and constantly comparing myself with others. Thank you 😉

  51. Leanne
    September 6 at 03:23PM

    this really spoke to me today!!! Thank you!! 🙂

Leave a Comment

COMMENT