Self-content is the true Happiness

Self Content is true HappinessRecently someone posted a question. He said that he has achieved everything he wanted from life, but still he is not happy. The answer to this lies behind the question “Where do you search for happiness?” In this article, I would like to elaborate little more on this issue. Let us begin with the words of this great philosopher.

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.

                                                       -Socrates

 

Socrates was a great philosopher of his time, who made people understand the meaning of ethics in life. He focused mainly on the core human values that lead our lives. Such intentions of his clearly reflect in each of his writings that one would come across. An example of the same can be seen in the above line said by Socrates.

One who has achieved self-content is richest in the true sense, for self-contentment requires winning over your own desires, ambitions and passions which mainly drive most of our lives today. Most of us look for riches and wealth in material objects. Such ideology of ours forces us to strive and struggle for achieving that wealth in the hope to filling up the emptiness in our lives. In that pursuit, entire life passes away and then we ask the question, “Why am I still sad?”

Then we understand that it is too late. Those who are brave enough will start implementing the learning even at that stage. But most of us fail to do so and find ourselves with nothing. So what went wrong? Where are the roots of this unhappiness and disappointment? The answer to this is our thinking and that is what I intend to target through this article.

Our desires are never ending and keep growing with our “so-called” achievements. But these achievements are not the cause of these growing desires. The cause is our wrong thinking. And the roots of this wrong thinking lie at the core idea of being happy. We believe that we can be happy if we achieve everything we want in life. It is not only the case with the person who posted the question mentioned at the beginning here, but most of us move ahead with this ideology.

Increasing desires increase our uneasinessWhen we run behind achieving material wealth, that excitement, those ambitions are actually acting as a fuel to the anxiety within us. To be precise, it can be considered equivalent to sitting on a hot plate. Sitting on a hot plate makes you uneasy and restless. We feel the heat within us. In such a situation, how can one feel that happiness or joy that he/she is looking for? Our desires and passions are like a hot plate. By no means can it provide you happiness and joy. It will only increase in intensity and eventually make you restless, fearful and full of uneasiness. You will actually feel its heat within you.

When this happens, we understand that the happiness that we perceived out of our passions and desires are a delusion. Now you need to compare this scenario with someone who has overcome his/her desires. Overcoming desires is being contented.

 

Human Nature is Like a Water DropletSelf-contentment is the nature of human being. You can take an example of a drop of water. As per science and even if you observe closely, a water droplet has a nature of compacting itself into the smallest possible circle of its own. Until then, it remains restless and keeps rolling around. Same is the nature of a human being or in general any living being.

Self-content is our true nature. Until we attain that state, we remain restless and keep rolling or looking around for the truth. Self-content is that truth where we need to settle down to. When we compact ourselves to that level, we relax and that uneasiness vanishes.

This is what Socrates has mentioned as quoted at the beginning in this article. Self-content is the wealth of our own nature. When we attain that wealth, then we become richest in the true sense. To attain this wealth, we need to overcome our passions and our desires.

We require that we keep performing our duties with integrity, and accept and stay contented with whatever we have. Whether one attains material wealth or whether one has to stay with a limited amount, he who is content in either case is the richest and this is what Socrates says. When you feel contented in this sense, you free yourself from the fear of losing that material wealth. You develop the quality of acceptance and you learn to stay within yourself and that is when you achieve true happiness.

Now, to overcome our passions and our desires, we need to put our thinking on the right track. Think on the lines of the examples of hot plate and water droplet. Comparison between these scenarios puts our thinking on the right track. After that what is left is our self-will to improve on those lines.

The whole world is there to advise us but until we ourselves develop that will-power, things will not change. We are independent to do that. Achieving this state is not easy. But it is neither impossible. With inspiration from people like Socrates and other individuals, and also with conscious efforts, we can overcome our desires and move towards that change.

Do post your views on this. We all are incomplete in some sense, but what makes a difference is our will and our effort to attain completeness.

Related posts:

I have achieved everything that I want in life, but I still feel that I am not happy.

How much money do we need to stay happy?

 

About the Author asknrj

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8 comments
Amina says June 11, 2014

It’s ironic that you say Socrates, it was indeed the prophet of islam, Muhammad who had said, “Riches does not mean having a great amount of property; real wealth is self-contentment.”

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Amina says June 11, 2014

Good article though, very true.

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Amina says June 11, 2014

My question is, a lot of spiritual people tend to neglect material totally, is this self-contenment or denial of what is good and needed? What is the right balance? and what does controlling ones desires mean?

Does it mean we should not try to achieve good things?

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    asknrj says June 28, 2015

    Those who neglect material out of self-will, in their case, this denial is out of realization of the fact that happiness cannot be earned through material possessions. That would be a temporary one.

    Now, coming to what is the right balance? Balance is to realize one’s own duty towards those who are related to us and who are dependent on us and accordingly striving in order to fulfill their needs. One cannot run away from that responsibility even if it demands earning material possessions.

    Secondly, what is need and want? Need is having the necessary resources in adequate amount as required. Want is already having the necessary resources in adequate amount and yet asking for or running behind some more out of greed. That becomes desires.

    So to balance is to realize self responsibility and working on that and staying content with what has been achieved. In this manner, one succeeds in striving for his related ones and even is self-content for himself and thus at peace.

    Reply
      Farhad says September 16, 2015

      the contentment actually should be done and happen for a good reason and strong impulse. generally people in this respect fall in to categories: firstly: needs driven. meaning they are driven by their needs in this life and they strive to fulfill their needs and because the needs are endless they will feel unhappy. because the man desire exceeded far a way his physical capacities. hence, the desires would never be satisfied. man has very limited capacity for food, sex, power, fame and so on, but his desire require him more and more. at this point i agree with the writer that there is a problem with the way of thinking but the writer has not addressed how to avoid it and to rectify this mistake. or what to do? the problem is we as human being should first figure out what is our needs in this mortal life? do we just have material needs which must be fulfilled or we has been created from two main parts and each part has its own needs. surely we have been created from body as physic and soul or spirit. the needs of spirit usually are neglected and without which man would never reach a balance. the needs of our soul could just be properly addressed by the creator through his authentic revelation. so please if you want to believe in a religion you must could prove the authenticity of its revealed book to be able follow it convincingly and the only way of proving the reliability of a revealed book is that it must be miracle.
      the second: second group are those who driven by their soul and their creator guidance and have not limitless goal in this life but their real life starts after death and this live just viewed as temporary and mortal and as SOCERATE believe it is just like a shadow of the real life which start after death and death is only like a bridge which connect them to it.

      Reply
Bill says August 27, 2016

Not a bad article however Socrates never said this

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