• Tom Robinson

Happiness fluctuates: the goal is contentment!

Updated: Feb 8

Having spent all of last year devoting hours to writing detailed posts on this blog in the hope of getting published, this year I'm only updating it as and when I feel like it!


I poured out so much information last year that I feel as though I've pretty much written mental illness out of my system!


There are however, always points to mention, since maintaining the equilibrium is a constant and never-ending endeavour!


So here's an important lesson I learnt over the weekend.








  • Happiness and contentment are different things


I had the most wonderful weekend this weekend and last night I was wondering why it was that I felt so satisfied.


I hadn't done anything particularly interesting or exciting but I just felt so good about myself.


It obviously helped that it was such a stunning day weather wise, which always makes such a difference to mood, but there was something else much deeper going on too.


I was content all weekend.


I was not happy per se.


I was content.


There is a difference... and it is important to note too.









What the hell did I do to make me so content?


Here's a list of what I did yesterday:


  • Slept eight hours

  • Worked out

  • Did the horses

  • Walked in the woods

  • Watched Nadal win the Australian Open

  • Spent time alone with no disturbances

  • Turned phone off

  • Made delicious lunch

  • Walked the dogs

  • Checked bulbs progress

  • Rolled the field

  • Baked a cake

  • Ate cake with tea

  • Read book in peace

  • Cooked

  • Exchanged voice notes with only awakened friend worth talking to!

  • Bubble bath and candles

  • Read book

  • Bed early

  • Gratitude




What is the moral of the story?


Happiness is not the goal. Happiness fluctuates, it is a mood which comes and goes. It has no permanence and it is generally derived from external sources to ourselves (basically things that we deem to make us 'happy'; relationships, material things, achievements, etc, etc.)


Contentment is something completely different.


It is a feeling of satisfaction, of being absolutely comfortable in one's own skin. It is the state of knowing that you are ok with being you. That you are friends with yourself & need no one else to make you feel that way.

It also hangs on being connected to something else external to yourself that isn't material things or other people.


It is essentially being connected to something greater than oneself whether that be God, the environment, source energy, the Buddha, nature, the sky, the universe, or whatever you want it to be.


It is about being satisfied with what you HAVE.


As soon as you desire or WANT something else you are telling yourself that you are not content with what you already HAVE. This puts you in immediate resistance against whatever it is you want AND with yourself.


I have decided to stop wanting things. I am open to getting a publisher and helping others but I am going to stop pushing the door like mad now. It is causing resistance.


It will happen when the time is right.


In the meantime I am focusing on contentment and pouring my efforts into writing my novel (which by the way I am doing because I enjoy it and for that reason alone).









Conclusion



  • There is a difference between happiness and contentment.


  • Happiness is fleeting and contentment is a more constant state.


  • We can be content with very little as long as we have our basic mental health.


  • It is about accepting myself as I am and being comfortable in my own skin.


  • It is about being satisfied with what I HAVE and not chasing what I WANT.


And most of all...


It is about focusing on what I can do and not on what I can't.

This is what those with any kind of mental or physical illness need to remember;


You must focus on what you can do (for me I lost everything to the illness and I wasn't able to derive pleasure from anything, but I did find that I could read books and it saved my life).


It is also what those who've lost all their money to illness need to remember too; focus on what you can afford to do.


You must accept the 'losses' and choose to engage in free or affordable pastimes.


Look at my list from yesterday, not many of the things I did involve spending any money. Money can't buy contentment either.


Contentment has nothing to do with external things.


This actually feels like a ground-breaking moment......


Think about it....




Thanks for reading,


Speak to you soon,

TR

www.dyingtostayalive.com



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