It is hard to be content. In Western society, we are driven to always work harder, strive, and reach for me. It doesn’t matter if what we seek are material, social, or internal. We are simply to get more, be more, live better. No wonder the western mind is so scattered and suffering.
I admit I have problems being content. I always want to do better and be better. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it can create suffering if it goes too far. Somethings are unattainable. When I think about the fact I will die, all the striving for wealth and other things looks so worthless. I consider all the things I already have and the world around me. I feel content.
Lack of contentment is really just a sign of an undisciplined mind. The greatest irony is how people work so hard for a happy good life only to shorten it. The happy good life is right in front of you. A mind that moves from impulse to impulse is unable to see what it already possesses. It falls prey to every advertising pull and whim. In many regards, the weight problem in the United States is a result of this lack of mental discipline and contentment with what we possess. We just don’t know when to be satisfied. A disciplined mind is simply aware of itself and reality. It knows it will die, and the only thing it really owns are its actions and thoughts. This realization allows the mind to be content with the good things it already possesses.
Unless we decide to be content, we will never be content. Everything in life decays, breaks, and dies. If we base our contentment on the external, it will be short lived. It will break too! Rather, we should learn to be aware of our mind and satisfied with the present moment. That way even when we do strive for self or economic improvement we can be happy with what we achieve at the moment. With contentment and awareness we will then be able to naturally touch our true peaceful nature.