Ana Stevanovic

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Being content vs being grateful


A good friend told me recently: “You know, maybe my boyfriend is right. Maybe I should just relax and enjoy life instead of constantly pursuing different goals.” I thought about what she said for a while. You have been for sure faced with the same dilemma before: Being happy with what you currently have or staying hungry and going towards your wants? Logically they seem as two complete opposites, don’t they?

I always do my best to embrace the illogical in life. Sometimes that does not mean searching for a perfect answer to a question, because there are only so many, but it means the search for new and better questions. So many options there! You do not believe me? If I ask someone if they are idiot or just pretending to be one, their answers to that question would be really limited. If I ask: who are you? there is so much to answer. Searching for new roads and possibilities often proves us that there are vast Universes that are not explored. That there are roads never travelled before. Embracing “illogical” gives us new idea of what logic is, and what it can be.

Coming back to the dilemma from the beginning of the story. The question is very wrong by itself. If you are content with your life, that usually does not push you to go further. So being content is something I do not recommend for a longer period of time. But being grateful? That is so important! In order to pursue your goals and wants in a healthy and productive way, you first have to be grateful for what you currently have. What does a parent, partner, or a friend give to a person that is grateful for something? They give more of the same. Same works for the life. If you are grateful with what you have, you are going to get more from life. Being grateful does not mean being content.

So once again, it is not about enjoying current life or pursuing for better. It is about being grateful for what you have AND pursuing the new and unknown from the state of gratefulness. I am grateful that I had a chance for writing this blog. Maybe it is still not polished enough, maybe my thoughts are still not clear, and people do not enjoy them as much as I want. Being grateful is currently making me happy while it will eventually bring me to writing more and better posts. Being content will definitely not. That is the difference.

Wallace Wattles puts it the best in “The Science of Getting Rich.” –  “The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best. Therefore, it tends to become the best; it takes the form or character of the best and will receive the best.”

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