4. Quit tying contentment to stuff.
Having more stuff does not bring contentment. This is something that a lot of people need to learn. Many people seem to think that once they have a certain something that they will then suddenly be content. They constantly chase after the one thing that they can buy that will bring them happiness. Perhaps it is the new I-phone that just went on the market or it could be as simple as having the latest movie on dvd. These bring temporary contentment and then you are out to find the next thing that will make you happy.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not against having things. I am just saying that we make too many emotion tied purchases. The phrase “You can’t buy happiness” is very true.
Right now having more stuff would mean that I would have to work full time. I don’t want to do that at all as I like the freedom that I have by being home and being my own boss. It took me awhile but I now embrace the belief that contentment does come from within yourself.
5. Quit looking at what others have or own. They may not own it after all.
Yes, you may feel a little envious when you see a new car that a friend has just purchased and you would love to have the same car, but is the car payment worth it? Do you really think that when you drive a new car down the street that everyone walking down the street stops to say “what a cool car, that lady sure is successful and smart and pretty and makes wise choices and makes a lot of money and so on.” I pass many new cars every day and I never think these things. Usually I am thinking “please pull over and let me get by.” I am an impatient driver.
Think about this the next time you want what someone else has. What difference would it make in my life to go out and purchase what that person has? Would it suddenly bring me happiness and contentment or would it make me miserable because of what it cost me? Do I really need it? Would I be happier with more money in the bank and not having the stress of another debt payment?
Back when I worked at the law firm, we handled a lot of different cases. It was the divorce cases that were interesting because each party had to file a Financial Affidavit listing all of their assets and liabilities. It was very eye opening to see the debt listed. It was not unusual to see multiple credit cards maxed out in the thousands of dollars. Next up was the mortgage and the car payments. I often wondered if the thousands of dollars of items that were purchased on credit was a great trade off to the marriage. Does anyone ever say “I am so happy that we have all of this credit card debt and I am happy because of it?” I don’t think so.
Finally, to wrap all of this up, the bottom line is this: Contentment comes from relationships. It is the people in our lives that bring contentment, would that we cherished them as much as we should.
Sit down now and make a choice to invest in relationships. I firmly believe that if you are happy with your relationships – spouse, children, other family, and friends that you will be happier and more content beyond anything money can buy.