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?