Content vs Happy
The other day I heard two people discussing the topic of being content versus being happy. What came to mind right after was: Why is it “versus”?, can it be “and”? Are Happy & Content exclusive to one another, or can they coexist? When I initially think of being happy and/or being content. I think, heck yea I want to be happy over content any day. But there are current situations in life that you may be content with and others that you may be happy with.
So I started thinking a little deeper into this about myself. Why would I say I want to be happy versus content? I then realized that those two words don’t have to be exclusive to one another. They can be, but they can also coexist. In addition to that, they may both be a part of life but they come in different phases or points in life. Logically, I thought, these two ideas or states of being don’t have to compete, they can rather work together to create a healthier, more balanced life. Some say happiness is brief and contentment is consistent. Some say that if you’re just content you’re not getting out of your comfort zone therefore not “living to the fullest”. Now as humans, other people’s perspectives can influence what we think, do and at times how we feel about certain things in our life. I say, that the definition of one’s “living to the fullest” is not standard for all people. Also, seeking brief exciting experiences to make us happy is never a bad idea. So I wonder how many people are held behind or pushed too far because of socially constructed ideas of needing to be happy over content or vise versa. I couldn’t stop but think, that in different phases in my life I’ve been both with different aspects of my life. Happiness and Contentment have to coexist for one to reach a balanced life. Almost feels like, contentment goes hand in hand with compromise, active listening and coping skills. Where, happiness goes a hand in hand with adrenaline driven experiences, meeting all personal/professional goals & self care. All of the above are a recipe for a healthy, balanced, positive & productive life; in the present & in the long run.
Interestingly enough the definition of HAPPY is: “delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing or to be happy to see a person”. It is also, characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.
The definition of CONTENT is: Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else. Satisfied is a synonym of Happy!
Labels define things and people. Labels create norms & social norms tend to make some second guess themselves and what it means to seek or reach personal growth.
What if the labels were gone? What would you be doing differently?