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Less Discontentment {Day 11}

31 Days of Less & More

This is Day 11 of our 31 Days of Less & More challenge.  To read all the posts in order, start with Day 1, then visit the Overview Page to see the entire series.  

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I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them. — John Stuart Mill

Over the past ten days we’ve talked about a lot of qualities we would like to eliminate—or at least minimize—in our lives…..fear, bitterness, comparison, self-centeredness, discord, anxiety, judgment, disappointment, and greed.   But if we really stop to think about it, all these traits can probably be rolled into one over-arching theme of discontentment.

A lack of contentment with our life as it is right in this moment, with our current financial situation, possessions, career choices, abilities, friendships, family situations, and anything else we can think to complain about, is often at the root of all other problems.  We are often convinced that we are missing out, that if only we had X, life would be better.

If only I could lose that baby weight….

If only my teeth were straighter….

If only my nose wasn’t so big

If only I had better clothes….

If only I had more money….

If only I could get that that job….

If only I could go back to school….

If only my house were bigger….

If only I had a nicer car….

If only my kids would…

If only my parents hadn’t….

If only I my friends were more….

If only I were more organized….

If only….

The path of “if only” is a very slippery slope because even when we do get what we think we want, there will always be something else, just out of reach.  It’s certainly not wrong to strive or to want to set goals to make improvements in our life; but the danger comes when we think we can only be happy if and when we find that next best thing.   Eliminating discontentment from our lives starts with a daily choice to separate our happiness from our circumstances, to live our lives with an Attitude of Gratitude, and to believe that what we have and who we are is enough.

Be sure to read Edie’s corresponding post, More Gratitude

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: 

List one or two areas in your life where you feel the least content.  Do you find yourself wishing for something more, or longing for something better than what you already have?  How do you think your life would be different if you got what you were longing for?  Would you still want something more?  Now list five things you are truly grateful for in your life, then share your gratitude list with us in the comments below, or on Facebook!

 

31 Days of Less & More, Day 11:  Less Discontentment.  Join this month long, life-changing challenge to fill your life with less heartache but more joy, less stress but more peace, and less stuff but more contentment.

Finally, be sure to check out Crystal’s inspiring thoughts on Less Greed/More Generosity from  yesterday’s post.  I was so touched by what she had to say!

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Do you ever struggle with discontentment?  What 5 things are you most grateful for?

8 Comments

  1. Gerri
    October 11 at 11:55AM

    I wrote this on Edie’s post for today, but figured I would post it on yours as well.
    You two have no idea how this series is affecting me. I have been struggling the past several months with a lot of things – feeling so overwhelmed and just plain under water – letting myself be drug down and consequently buried by all this negativity – and I am normally a positive person.
    I have been seeking relief from this and these past 11 days have helped me immensely in gaining clarity and focus.
    I am driven to again take control over the only thing I have complete control over – my attitude and emotions.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    And my family (who has been taking the brunt of my depressed state) thanks you as well without even knowing what has helped me gain the ability to kick myself in the butt and re-align my thoughts and focus.
    Thank you so much for what you do – you DO make a difference.

  2. Holly
    October 11 at 12:59PM

    Oh how easily the “if onlys” take over my thoughts sometimes. Working hard today to separate my happiness from my circumstances. I am very grateful for my family, my friends, my job, my Savior, and for this series!

  3. October 12 at 03:35PM

    I just wrote a similar post and would love to have you check it out. Your blog is an inspiration for me! I would also like to recommend John Maxwell if you have not already discovered his books, they have had a huge impact on my life and”The Secret” a documentary available on Netflix.

    http://shabbychicwaldorfmama.blogspot.com/?m=1

  4. October 13 at 09:25AM

    This is an area where I struggle. We live in an apartment and I’d love to be able to move to a house, but I also know that we can’t right now and I need to be patient. A home isn’t about the physical house but about the family in it. I’m so grateful for my husband, my children, all of our health, that we have a home full of love and laughter, and for this series that causes me to recognize what really matters. Thank you!!!

  5. Kelly
    October 15 at 09:25AM

    I love this series. It is very thought provoking. Too often I focus on what is wrong rather than what is right in my life. Thanks for the clarity. I am grateful for my husband, my beautiful son, my home and garden, my family and friends and our health.

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