Contentment: How to find happiness in life

Have we forgotten to live the moment?

After waking up this morning, I walked out to the garden to pick some fresh raspberries for my breakfast cereal. As usual, one thing led to another, and once the berries were harvested, the beans and snow peas followed. I was amazed how much the zucchini and the tomatoes had grown overnight – a miracle! I am not one of these persons who were born with a green thumb. But while I was connected with nature, contemplating life, a sudden sense of contentment overcame me. I had planted all of this and now I could reap the benefits.

I had been working for the corporate world for many years and very rarely had I felt such a sense of achievement. Maybe once a year after a good appraisal, when I received the odd bonus, left the office to go on vacation or handed in my resignation. These were rare moments. Now, while I was wandering around the garden, listening to the birds chirp, I realized that it’s not the material things in life that bring true pleasure, it’s the small moments that we tend to overlook. Maybe this is the reason, why so many people feel that there is something missing in life these days. While rushing around multitasking, we quite often forget to stop and smell the roses.

I once read an interesting story: In a small Mediterranean fishing village, a fisherman was sitting at the harbour, gazing out to sea, contemplating life. A vacationing manager walked by and started chatting to the fisherman: “Beautiful day, isn’t it. But, why aren’t you out fishing”? “Well Sir, I’ve already brought in my catch for the day. Now I can just sit here and relax”, the fisherman replied. The manager suggested: “Why don’t you go out again? Then you could earn double and in a year’s time you could buy a second boat. After two years, you could even buy some more boats and before you know it, you could have your very own fishing fleet. You could hire people to do the fishing and retire early. And then, you could sit here and look out to sea”. The fisherman shook his head and said: “But Sir, isn’t this exactly what I am doing right now”?

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia | Source

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Comments 15 comments

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

Contentment is making the most of what you have while enjoying life. We often are always looking to enrich our lives with what we don't have, often putting ourselves in debt. We need to learn to enjoy our life with what we can afford. Putting our hats where our hand can reach. Loving the person you have and not wishing for someone you can't have. Contentment is a choice, if you don't choose to be then you will never be happy.

I realized that I may never have the perfect man so I chose to love the one I was with. As it turns out he's perfect for me! I was always trying to live a certain lifestyle, growing up in a little luxury kinda spoiled me. I had no money of my own, so that made it difficult. I learned the hard way through debt and frustration.

I am sorry for ranting on like this. Thanks for sharing.

novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 5 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada Author

Cardisa, you are absolutely right in every aspect. We often reach out for things that we can't achieve and think that we are unhappy, in the meantime we walk right past the good things in life. Thanks for your insightful comment.

Bobri Dobri profile image

Bobri Dobri 5 years ago from Oklahoma

So true! Thanks for reminding. I have recently moved to quiet place to watch pine forest and tiny creek from my windows.. It just makes me happy to listen birds not cars!

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I love the fisherman story. Your Hub is excellent. I thought I would get to visit Nova Scotia in August for the first time but my plans fell through. I have long wanted to get a feel for the place and see it.

SanneL profile image

SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

After a long, stressful and difficult life, I now live a life, just like the fisherman in a small Mediterranean fishing village.

Fortunately I got older. With age comes wisdom and inner peace. I have learned to take time and be grateful for the small moments in life.

Each and every day, I now live by one of my favorite quotes: Cherish each hour of this day for it can never return.

Thank you for sharing this very awakening and moving article! I hope from this hub, people will realize that living is a gift we have to cherish.

novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 5 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada Author

Sannel, thank you very much for your comment. It's nice to see that other people have also discovered the small things in life and cherish every moment.And strange enough when you have this kind of attitude, aging is no longer worrying.

fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

What a nice story! Our life is now, with a look at the future and one at the past, but now. Now we have to look out the sea and relax, make the things we want, enjoy our precious life with its magic.

Thank you!

Gracefulwriter profile image

Gracefulwriter 5 years ago from Northern Virginia

I am like-minded with you. I am currently on a quest to achieve a life that I love. I followed the crowd for 50 yrs and I'm determined to clear my own path for the next 50. With God's help, I believe it can get done. It's not always easy (financially), but it's worthwhile. Lovely hub.

novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 5 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada Author

Gracefulwriter. I'm glad you liked my hub. Good luck on your quest. I'm sure that you'll get a lot of joy out of it. Just walk through the world with open eyes you see the beauty which is so often ignored. You might also like my hub

It shows that you don't need a lot o money to lead a happy life.

Gracefulwriter profile image

Gracefulwriter 5 years ago from Northern Virginia

Good, my hub is tracking my goal of going from Welfare2Well-off. I'm having a good life w/o a lot of money; it's just hard when so many are having a great lif w/ a lot of money. I have to contstantly recalibrate my mind & choices.

novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 5 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada Author

Money alone doesn't make you happy. Just think of all the super rich celebrities. Just think about Whitney Houston. She was rich, talented and beautiful, but happy she wasn't. Also, if you had all the money in the world to buy anything you wanted, would you still appreciate it? For me it's far more rewarding saving for something and then finally getting it.

lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

I love this story! Oh how we humans try to complicate things in the name of success. Enjoyed this and it is a nice reminder to stop and smell the roses.

novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 4 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada Author

Irc, I read an interesting article about contentment in a magazine yesterday. A wise buddhist said that you cannot reach contentment with material things as you will always want more. He suggests that people should meditate for at least 20 minutes a day. For me, walking around the garden & connecting with nature or just sitting on my favourite deck chair with a coffee and looking out on the lake is meditation. We are all so busy rushing around these days and that little break of 20 minutes definitely makes a huge difference.

carolp profile image

carolp 4 years ago from Switzerland

Contentment of the things we have, achievements and the nature that surrounds us is the key to happiness. Thanks for sharing.

novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 4 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada Author

Carol, thanks for reading and for sharing your appreciation. It's nice to meet like-minded people.

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