By: Cheryl Ann Mwende

Often, you’ve been told to be content and grateful for what you have. You might have even heard that contentment is the key to happiness. But have you ever asked yourself what contentment is exactly?

Contentment is being happy with who you are, what you have and where you are. It’s appreciating the position you’re in at any given point of your life. Contentment doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t desire other things, it simply means that you respect and are satisfied with your present situation and are hopeful that the odds will turn out for the best.

When you are content you are peaceful, which is a key ingredient to personal growth and improvement. We all want fancy cars, big houses and more money but we fail to realize that the moment we achieve one thing the race for the next thing starts. However, this should not stop one from chasing their dreams and aspirations as contentment can again be found at the accomplishment of ones dreams.

Happiness can’t be chased but with contentment comes happiness. You’re able to let go of the pain of not being able to be at a place you’d wished to be in a given timeline and appreciate where you are in your journey. Chasing happiness may lead to unhealthy relations and habits. For instance, there’s a time when I wasn’t always content, and always went out of my way to maintain unnecessary relationships because I was afraid to lose people. Later, I learnt that the real ones will always stay no matter what and whoever stayed was content of the mutual relationship values. Always be grateful for what you have instead of spending most of your time thinking of what you can’t have, such positive thoughts can make your life a lot more beautiful.

Life comes with all ups and downs, tears and smiles, success and failures but what makes us survive all this is hope, hope for a better tomorrow, hope to do better and hope to try harder next time. How often do you spare a minute to just sit back, relax and be grateful for all that you have achieved? This should be done as often as we check our mobile phones. The beauty of life is not all about beautiful faces, luxurious cars or even six figure salaries, it all goes down to a beautiful mind and a grateful heart.

Lastly, a bad attitude is like a puncture, you can’t go anywhere unless you change it. Many things in life depend on the approach you have towards them. The way you choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. When you are content you may not desire things that exceed your needs, you stop comparing yourself to others, and understand that no situation is permanent and that life is not a race it’s all about being happy. As Oprah Winfrey once said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Focus on all the things in your life that make you happy, then you will be happy every day.