What is contentment?

Well, it is a mental state of comfort..of peace…of no disturbance…of no agitation…no anger…no irritation!!

We all desire contentment.

We all have felt contented at some points in time…like when we have passed a major exam..we have got a coveted promotion…we bought a nice car…purchased a lovely home…the list goes on…

We wish this feeling of contentment was permanent.

Alas, this state of mental comfort soon vanishes…


I certainly have passed the exam..i am promoted…I still have the nice car..i stay in that same beautiful home

And still ..the mood is not the same..!

The reason?

My classmate has got 3 % more marks than me…a new, much smarter model of car in the same price range has just been introduced..the property prices have dropped now and I feel cheated having paid higher price for my house!!

Or even more subtle reasons:

My Facebook entries on my new house pictures did not receive a single “Like” !!

My colleague did not have a large enough heart to congratulate me..!!

In this scenario that we all live in, where is a chance for a lasting contentment?

Is it not obvious that we are missing some very important aspect of life ?.. some really significant ‘missing dimension’?

Let us not bring religion or any philosophical aspect in analysing this conundrum..

Let us just look at this in logical way:

The contentment refers to my “inside”…while the promotion/the car/the house/the praise or the lack of it ..are all “outside” to me

I am trying to control my Inside, based on stimuli from Outside..over which I have no control!!

Isn’t it stupid to allow this to happen?

From childhood, we have been trained to be happy or sorrowful based on “outside”. If as a child, I bow down to the guests, my parents shower love on me..if I refuse to do so, I am scolded..if I get higher marks than my neighbour, I get chocolates…if I fail,you know what…

In light of this conditioning  of our minds,  we  have a highly challenging task in front of us…

To unlearn to depend on the outside happenings for our internal state !

This is a complex world..things can go my way..they may not go my way

I need to train my mind to be balanced

With a faith in my inner self.

Going deeper ,you will find that Contentment is a state of fullness and self-acceptance and also an incredible state of wisdom. The mind is not searching, looking , wanting!!

We see so many happy people , with resources not even half of what we have..and still smiling !!

In my bachelor days, my friends and I used to get tiffins for lunch and dinner from a very cultured local family. Their income may be 25 % of mine at that time..the whole family of 5 worked very hard…and still whenever i visited them , I saw them joking and laughing..with engaging hobbies in music and art! Whenever I was down , I used to visit them and feel charged up!!

We do see such people around us..

Let us emaulate them..

Life gives so many lessons outside the classroom!








5 thoughts on “Contentment

    • Jagdish Shah
      Jagdish Shah says:

      that’s indeed a great news ,you have shared Nikhilbhai!

      this is , perhaps ,a pointer to what a contented life can lead you to!

      60 years of wedding is not such a common event , after all !

      i will certainly congratulate them!

  1. Vikas Shirodkar says:

    You reminded me of the famous Rin ad….Teri Saadi Meri Saadi se dated kaise??
    As HR I have seen so many people who were miserable due to such comparison. Never happy with what they had n forever cherry picking n feeling smaller, lower, unhappy in comparison
    In Psychology we were taught the concept of Locus of Control
    If the locus of control is internal then you are in control but if the locus of control shifts to external circs or events , one is always in a catch up mode

    The secret to be happy is not to look outside, be self sufficient n as you say be content

    Good blog to remind people to rethink their priorities

    • Jagdish Shah
      Jagdish Shah says:

      Thanks VS!

      As an HR person ,you have had an opportunity to observe the behaviour pattern of employees from a vantage point. Hence your comment on ‘contentment’ carries a special weightage. Often, you had to bear the brunt of the discontented employees !. In the process, you also had a chance to assuage the hurt feelings of the lot , counsel them and bring them back to their normal and productive state of mind . You have done this very well during your tenures and that is how you have won hearts of many !

      The concept of “Locus of Control” is exactly what we are talking about.

      the issue, however, is to put that understanding in to practice.

      that is where some unique examples of people around us can help us.

      if you see Nikhilbhai’s comments above, you will know that the couple i was referring to in my blog is now going to celebrate 60 th wedding anniversary!!..a blessed couple..a contented couple..!

      Thanks again for your insightful comments

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