The other day I stumbled across a post on Facebook from a good friend of mine. It was a simple status update, not like most of the ones that come flooding across my screen annoying me to no end, trending memes and such. It was simple, to the point, and text only. It read, “Be content.”

Many of my readers will be familiar with the fact that I am always a principle-oriented person, and so my writings reflect that. I always talk about how there’s a time for everything. This post made me think about how many spiritual teachers talk about how important it is to known when to be content, and how right there are about this. Contentment is a beautiful thing if you know when and how to apply it. But it also made me think about something else. How wrong it could be as well.

The first thing I thought about when I read those words, “be content,” was “No f%$#@! way! I am absolutely NOT content. I have so many things that I want to do and achieve, contentment will only hold me back.” So I kind of wanted to outline this whole line of thinking for you guys here because I think it will be super useful.

So What’s The Secret?
There is a time to be content…and a time NOT to be content. Knowing when to be which, is the key.

When you are starving and haven’t eaten in days, it’s not a good idea to be content. This just leads to death. It’s a good idea to be HUNGRY in this state, because based on where you are at this point in life, it’s the best thing for you. Now on the other hand, if you have already eaten twice or three times for the day, it’s probably a good time to say hey, you know what I’m good… I’m content. There is a time and a place for this as well. This is why goal-setting is so important. Because if you don’t even know what satisfied looks like, how will you know it when you get there? Knowing what your goals are and what being satisfied looks and feels like to you, will help you to know when you’ve reached it.

It’s like Blackjack. There’s a strategy to knowing WHEN to say hit or hold, and that’s the key.

If you’re content prior to hitting all of your personal goals or things that are conducive to your own personal growth, then this isn’t really a good thing. But you are the only pne who can decide this. By the same token, if you have more than enough in life but still haven’t found out how to be content with what you have, this too can be a problem.

Or perhaps another example is meditation. It’s absolutely a good thing… for certain things. But sitting in a dark room with a candle listening to flute music probably isn’t a good idea if your house is burning down, your newborn kid is crying in the other room of hunger or, well…you get the idea. There are times when sitting down doing nothing makes absolutely no sense, and contentment is like that as well.

Let me know what you guys think. Has there ever been a time when you could say honestly that contentment or satisfaction maybe wasn’t the best thing? That drive and hunger would have served you better? Likewise, has there ever been a time when you had more than enough, and would have benefited from learning how to be content? I’d love to hear about it.

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