Helping Creative People Create

Contentment

by glen

I have been given some great opportunities over the past six years. First there’s this blog, which has (somehow) grown steadily over the years, despite my best efforts to abandon it. There’s LifeRemix, a network I co-founded in 2007 that has grown incredibly without any real work on my part and which I’ve sorely neglected. Then there’s Gentlemint, which we started almost exactly a year ago, which has seen millions of people.

And yet…

And yet I’m constantly looking to start new things. (Sometimes getting into a new field or switching things up is a good thing.) This was part of the impetus for starting [6 to 30]: instead of looking outward for the Next Big Thing, I’m working hard on the things I already have.

To me the most overlooked aspect of contentment has nothing to do with being satisfied with what you already have, but finding joy with what you already have. This was the real “aha!” moment earlier this year for me. I’m certainly grateful for what I’ve been given, but I hadn’t recently found joy in what I’d been given. Why was I drawn to these projects in the first place? What about them inspired me and, most importantly, what do I need to do to get back to becoming inspired again?

Thanksgiving is traditionally when people pause to gather with family and enjoy each other’s company (while stuffing ourselves with things that will ensure we pass out on the living room floor soon after). The holiday season reminds me of the things that I do have: a beautiful wife and daughter, great families, friends who I truly enjoy their company, and on and on and on.

And I consistently find joy in all of those things.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

HappyYogis November 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I totally get stuck in that cycle too! It’s so easy to always be in “what’s next mode” but “what is” is pretty great too :) There’s a need for both.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Reply

Glen Stansberry November 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

There’s definitely a need for both, great point.

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Peter Ewin Hall November 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I wrote something on my blog a while back about reconnecting. Sometimes we let important things like hobbies that we get a buzz from fall by the wayside in our busy lives. Reconnecting to these things can be a great step to restoring a sense of purpose in life. Reconnecting to lost friends who really know us can also be a great help. We should also be thankful for those good things and brilliant people that we have remained connected with.

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Glen Stansberry November 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Peter, great points. 

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MicroSourcing December 6, 2012 at 2:03 am

Reconnecting is something we need to do more often because we tend to take for granted the many reasons for contentment in our personal and professional lives. 

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McGillycuddy December 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Just regular bar soap is amazing. Uncomplicated, and a wonderful agent with water to cleanse. The same is true with air. Breathing fresh air, and exhaling.

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A. Chris February 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm

You are a pretty smart cookie Glen.  I’ve always thought that contentment and peace trumped “happy” any day.  Happy isn’t sustainable.  Contentment can be.

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Glen Stansberry February 2, 2013 at 9:06 am

Thanks :)

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Dean Cassidy February 14, 2013 at 12:48 am

I wish I could say that I can enjoy the things that I already have, but I’m like you — constantly on the look out for a next big thing. It doesn’t matter how well my current project is doing, because as long as I feel that I’ve done all the basic part to establish it — maintaining is not my job. Therefore, I just try to come up with new ideas to entertain myself, otherwise I get bored with whatever I’m doing.

I see this as a problem that I don’t know how to fix. There’s no way I can get to those six digit/seven digit numbers jumping from project to project.

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Steven Blake February 15, 2013 at 8:49 am

A great observation and such a simple way to improve life.  Since i started the habit of starting the day with gratitude for all I have it has steadily increased all those things not just by appreciating them but also adding to them.

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Andrew K. February 22, 2013 at 11:34 pm

You know every post on here so far (I’m new) has opened my eyes to something new.

Thanks Glen. Keep up the writing.

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rod April 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

thanks. This perked me up and made me look around and think for a moment.

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Glen Stansberry April 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Glad to hear it Rod :)

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