Can we ever really be content?
I think as humans we never stop chasing desire. We have this unquenchable thirst for the things that we can’t have, or can… but absolutely do not need.
It would seem that the moment we are lucky enough to obtain the things we want most, desire evolves and revolutionises our definitions of happy.
I always had three big financial goals. The first was to save enough for a house, then for a new car and then for a wedding, that is of course, if a certain someone ever did decided to put a ring on it (ahem…still waiting).
Well, I’m now 24 and I’ve built the house, I’ve bought the car and I’ve saved for the hypothetical-wedding (as there’s no shiny diamond yet). And I thought that by achieving these goals of mine I would happily fall asleep each night, utterly content with life and all it entailed.
But lately, I somehow find myself awake in the early hours of the morning, chasing new desires in my mind.
And I am astounded by myself and my all-too-human flaw in wanting for more. I feel that this makes me greedy and I’m so uncomfortable with the feeling. How can I want more? Why isn’t what I have enough?
I simply can’t fathom how I can feel so helpless for the people in the world with far less than me, yet crave trivial things such as new couch cushions and a fiddle leaf fig tree. It’s obsurd to me that I can in one state of mind, know I am privileged to have the things I have and yet in the other throw that notion to the wind in search of decor matching tea towels.
I’m left to wonder whether these materialistic traits are avoidable or simply embedded into the very fabric of our beings as humans.
Because I would very much like to turn down the dial on the wants, and focus solely on the needs. And with every attempt at this, I’m finding I’m walking a very find line between the both.
It’s easy to walk into a shop and get a little hazy on what exactly constitutes a ‘need’. Especially when you walk away from a ‘want’ with all the best intentions, only to arrive back twenty minutes later convinced that it simply must be a ‘need’ in disguise due to the fact that you’ve been unable to stop thinking about it since you first laid eyes on it.
Trust me, I have been there.
But I think it simply comes down to this. The difference between need and want is functionality, and a little more self control than you ever think you have left in you at the time.
Could you function without it? Can you do all that you need to do this week without it? No? Then it’s a need. Everything else earns the title of a want, and gets to stay put on the shelf while you pat yourself on the back for leaving it there. Seriously, good job!
It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sometimes get the things want. It just is important to know the difference. And just when the right time is to endulge in the wants.
So, I’m trying my best to stop chasing the wants in the early hours for a little while and instead turn my focus to trying to harness a little more contentness in the things that I have got. Because I think sometimes that’s where happiness truely stems from – being content with your empire exactly the way it is.
I’m opting for functionality. And hoping to embrace a little more gratitude over gluttony on my travels. I’m aiming for contentment in every way possible. It doesn’t mean I stop chasing dreams, or moving forward in my life – I have too much on the bucket list for that! It just means a revolutionary act of finding comfort in what I’ve achieved so far, and striving for the things that will only add value to my life.
It’s okay to have a wants list, just don’t let it dictate your happiness, because I can promise you that a long lasting happiness simply can’t be bought.
Be more with less.