Be Happy, But Never Satisfied

Image Credit: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash


Be happy where you are with what you have, all the while continuing to pursue the things you want.

It's such a short quote, but it says so much.

We should be happy right now with what we have. But we shouldn't rest on our laurels; we should keep striving for what we want.

But we should be happy.

Why is this important? The "be happy" part?

Because we'll never stop wanting new things.

Our definition of happiness keeps changing, so the goalposts keep moving. 

That means we'll never arrive "there" - the magical place where we're totally happy with what we have with no desire for anything more.

It's perfectly okay that we keep wanting more because that's just human nature; once we've acquired or achieved one thing, we look up and say "Right, what's next?"

But that's why we have to learn how to be happy in the process of acquisition and achievement; because we're always in the process of acquiring or achieving something. If we don't allow ourselves to enjoy what we have while pursuing more, then we'll literally never be happy.

Do you see what I mean? This wanting, this acquiring and achieving, it's who we are.

We never arrive at the place where we stop wanting something more, so we have to allow ourselves to be happy right now, without whatever the next thing is we say we must have in order to be happy.

If we can't be happy without it, then we won't be happy with it because when we get it, we'll already be looking at the next thing without having paused to enjoy what we just got.

Also - IMPORTANT - the journey is actually the fun part.

Pursuing things is what makes life fun and interesting. It's not the accomplishment of the goal, it's the journey that makes it all worthwhile.


But the accomplishment is only one moment; you walk across the stage or cross the finish line. That's only a moment in time in the grand scheme of your life.

But you became a different person on the journey to that stage, that finish line, and that's what's important: who did you become because of the journey?

Life isn't about the finish lines you want to cross, but about what journeys you wish to embark on and who you want to become as a result of the process.

For a long time, I couldn't wrap my head around this idea, and lived in a permanent state of dissatisfaction because I thought "If I let myself be happy with what I have, is that like settling? Does it mean that I'm just going to stop trying?"

No. Be happy with what you have WHILE happily pursuing more / different / better.

Being happy in the process of getting to the things we want - because we never stop wanting - is the key to contentment.

At some point we have to say to ourselves "I'm happy right now even though I want more, and I acknowledge that no matter what I accomplish I will always want more, so I will be happy with what I have now, while I purse all the other things I want."

The alternative is to live life believing that happiness is just around the corner, only to find a new corner every time we round the previous one, which means that we never just get to be happy.

And then we end up totally exasperated and pleading with the Universe, asking "When do I finally get to be happy huh? WHEN?"

Well, now is a good time.

You will never get all your ducks in a row. You'll never have all your t's crossed and i's dotted at the same time. (And if you manage, it will be only for the briefest moment.)

So sit amidst the messy imperfection of your life and just be happy; be happy with everything that you have, and then go ahead and get more.

Image Credit: Stock Food


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