Contentment is Not a License for Complacency.

We have heard it many times…be happy with what you have. That statement is true when what we have includes some measure of comfort, security, and joy. Take any of those away and we can struggle to find the happiness that life affords. But curiously even when we have it, we can still be anxious it will not last or we may look for the next new offering to unfold.

Struggling to meet the demands of family, work, and that thing called personal well being can funnel a sense that we need to be perfectionists in all these areas of life. But how can we be? Conversely, how can we not try to be? In a society that advocates for acceleration over coasting, excellence over average and domination over deliberation, it is unacceptable to think we can be good at one thing, adequate at another, and passable at something else. We want to excel at it all because that is often what we expect of ourselves and of others.

Then there is the crowd that somehow got the memo that good enough is just that—acceptable, tolerable, and even more honest in the approach to meeting life’s demands. But how is this done? One way is to find comfort in contentment. It is not a pass to say Good Enough all the time or resign ourselves to complacency. Rather, contentment is when we see both ends of the spectrum—the perfectionism and the complacency—and reside with comfort in the middle place.

Contentment exists not in adding more fuel, but in taking away some fire. Thomas Fuller

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