What You Know

I touched on this in the last post, but contentment is based on what you know. Your level of contentment is a relative thing, subject to change. For example, if you live in a 600-sq. ft. apartment, you might find an upgrade to a 1500-sq. ft. house to be heavenly. If you’re used to a 12,000-sq. ft. mansion in the Hamptons, the downgrade might be horrible.

With either case, though, the house is still just the house. It hasn’t changed. It still has the same yard, same rooms, same siding, same everything.

If you’re deciding whether or not to make a change, it might help to view what you’re looking for objectively first. You might find that you’re setting your goals too low. That house, for example, might be a great next step, but would it be big enough to raise four kids in? The same applies to your job. The promotion might be great, but is it where you want to end your career?

We have a tendency to do one of two things: shoot for the moon and get frustrated when we don’t get it or shoot for something too low. Instead, we should have a high, but reachable, target with several intermediate, smaller goals along the way. Each step will feel like a huge accomplishment and give an increased feeling of contentedness, but a high goal will keep you from saying, “This is as good as I deserve or as I’ll ever get.”

Another important thing with goal-setting is to remember where you’ve come from. Keeping your past successes in mind will help you deal with failures more easily and remind you that you have indeed made progress. My wife had to remind me of that this morning about my journey toward self-confidence. I was down on myself and she reminded me how far I’ve come in terms of both being a writer and in my confidence.

Lastly, remember that while forging ahead is a wonderful thing, it is not where our value comes from. Our value is set in stone, regardless of whether we succeed beyond our wildest dreams or completely fail. If your changes line up with God’s will, however, you cannot help but accomplish His purpose in your life.

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