Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Settling for Happiness

Ending the struggle for the next best thing and finding gratitude in what we already have. Settling for Happiness - A Simpler Grace
We are in a season of new.  You can't miss it.  Starting in October, television ads blare out why your kids should have the newest toy for Christmas and there is a mad-dash on Black Friday to be the first to own it.  Car ads say that you should upgrade from your older model to the new, shiny deluxe edition, and so we pay a hundred dollars more a month for a notch up in gas mileage.  God forbid we make it through a year without a certain electronics company telling  us why their newest phone or tablet or watch is the latest and greatest and you bet we will stand in line for hours just to get it the day it comes out...

Is it a crime to be content with what we have now?

Across the country, divorce rates are at their highest because men and women are leaving their spouses for someone younger, someone better looking, someone with a better bank account or better genes.  We upgrade our friends because the ones we have can't keep up with our lifestyles, and therefore, don't belong in our circles anymore.  We change jobs every two years when we feel there is no further advancement to be had with our current employers. We visit surgeons to change our faces and bodies because we don't look enough like the hottest celebrity...

I turned on the tv just the other night and a reality show host's voice shouts, "Next season is going to be the best season yet!"  My question is, why can't we be in our best season NOW?

Why do we feel the need to keep up with the Joneses or the Smiths... or the Kardashians?  Why do we always need to have the newest, the better, the best?  Why is it called "settling" if we are happy with where we are?

I remember a conversation I had with some friends several years ago about upgrading phones.  One friend was planning on standing in line to get the newest version and laughed at the other friend because she still had a model that was, at the time, two years old.  He couldn't understand why she wouldn't want the newest phone, with all the bells and whistles.  She explained to him that her phone worked just fine and she didn't feel the need to upgrade. Upon further questioning, he was happy with his current phone but thought the newer model would bring him more happiness...

Is there greater happiness to be found if we are already happy to begin with?

There is something to be said about someone who is content with where they are in life.  Content with what they have and who they are with.  They don't feel the need for the constant struggle to the next best thing.  They are satisfied exactly where they are.  They have settled for happiness - exactly as they have it.  They are content in their skin, with their lives, in their jobs and with the things they have around them.  

Gratitude is found in the heart of someone who appreciates where they are at this very moment and finds reasons to be happy about it now.  They live in the moment.  They don't think about the future and all the new it brings.  They look around them at their lives and appreciate all they have. Those who practice gratitude are some of the happiest folks around.  

Can we be satisfied with just being happy?

In 2016, I have resolved to settle for happiness.  To be content with the things I have and the people I surround myself with.  I have set a goal for myself to practice keeping a grateful heart and live in the moment instead of looking for the next best thing.  I will be satisfied with just being happy.

Can you settle for happiness?

The post Settling for Happiness first appeared on A Simpler Grace.  If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!

14 comments:

  1. An Attitude of Gratitude is something I struggle with but strive for. Thanks for sharing!
    - Amanda Shuman | www.carrylovedesigns.com/blog

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  2. To be honest, the title "Settling for Happiness" made me think you were saying it's a bad thing. Nobody wants to settle. But I was completely wrong. haha. I completely agree! We should totally be happy where we are. Looking toward the next best thing is a flaw so many humans have. And it's a curse. If we're looking forward to the next stage in life, when we get there, we won't be satisfied. We'll just look toward the next thing. It's a cycle that needs to stop! It's the worst to me when it comes to marriages. I hate when people trade in their marriage for the newer and better model. Like hello? You made a vow! Ok my rant is over. Thanks for posting this!

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  3. And isn't it awesome that one thing leads to another? As in, contentment leads you to gratitude which can lead you to grace which can lead you to humbleness... etc... I'd say that's a pretty positive circle to be a part of ;) Lovely post, Lecy!

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  4. Oh man, this is quite the question...I'm all for the idea of finding happiness in the here and now, with what we have, and being thankful for that! But at the same time, I am all about pushing forward with my life and the idea of achieving more and being more...it almost feels like this tug-of-war with myself..

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  5. I love this! Contentment isn't giving up or "settling". Contentment is being grateful for the life God gave you! I love it!

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  6. Very good point! There's so much to be thankful for in THIS moment. It's good to look ahead, but if you focus on the now... You're going to be SO much happier.

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  7. Gratitude is sometimes a hard thing to practice, but is never a bad thing to strive for I'm so glad you stopped by today Amanda!

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  8. Charlene, that's the exact reason I chose the title! I knew it would stir emotions in people before they even read the post. Trying to get the next best thing is an evil cycle that I wish would stop. It robs people of true happiness and contentment and I wrote this article to bring awareness to this and make people think about why they want to keep pushing forward. Thank you so much for coming by and leaving your thought-provoking comment! :)

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  9. So very true, Joy! Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving your sweet comment!

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  10. Katie, I have struggled with the same tug-of-war. Believe it or not, I've have re-written this post several times over the last six months, but only now did I feel that I was truly ready to stop running and get out of the gerbil wheel of advancement. I don't think there is a problem with wanting to better yourself and achieve your goals, but it's when you don't know why you want the new that it becomes a problem. Thanks for coming by to read today and joining the discussion!

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  11. Exactly, girl! Thanks for coming by to ready today, Tayler! :)

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  12. Nikkiana, you are spot on! Thanks for stopping by today and joining in on the discussion!

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  13. Love, love this post! I agree, why do always want more? I've been working on being content with less and seeking God more. It has done a wonderful job with keeping at peace. Not feeling anxious to go out and get the newest version of the MK bags, or wearing the next new jeans. I love this "Gratitude is found in the heart of someone who appreciates where they are."

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  14. Gema, I'm so glad you enjoyed this post! I, also, am trying to seek less "stuff" this year. Here's to a grateful 2016! :)

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