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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

‘Learn’ to be content by appreciating what you have

Being content with what you have comes with a sense of gratitude, with a deeper understanding of Life.

We recently met a very successful, young, corporate executive, who, in his late 20s, heads a business division for a large MNC. This is the job he always wanted and loves. Yet, he confessed, that he ‘may not be happy’: “I find something missing in Life. It is nothing material. I have everything money can buy. But I am missing inner peace – is that what you call contentment?”

I don’t find the young man’s feeling alien. I have been there in his place and I have felt like him. In my late 20s I have globetrotted continents and lived out of the finest hotels but I have yearned for being with my family. And when I found the time to spend with my family I have felt insecure that if I am not ‘visibly’ working hard at my job, I may lose it. So, contentment – the sense of fullness, completeness with what you have – may appear elusive. But, over the years, I have learnt that it is important to learn to be content. Contentment is not something that will arrive subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. It will come when you are appreciative of what is, of what you have. It comes from gratitude.

Urdu poet Nida Fazli saab (1938~2016) says it so beautifully:

“Kabhi Kisiko Mukammal Jahaan Nahi Milta,
Kahin Zamin Toh Kahin Asmaan Nahin Milta!”

It basically means you are never going to get a complete, a perfect 10 on 10 in Life at any time. Something, somewhere, sometime is going to be unstuck. And while trying to fix that department in your Life, while trying to mend that situation, you have to find your inner peace by being grateful for what you have. Life is never going to help you here. You have to help yourself. And only you must do it – no one else can do it for you!

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