Here’s a question for this week’s 48 Days Podcast:
Do I need to take time off from trying to improve my situation and just learn to be happy with what I have? I am 34 and have a good job that pays well. But it seems that I am always unhappy with my situation. I have read or listened to every self-help book out there and I have wanted a change for years and do nothing about it. Essentially I am a “thousandaire” that desperately wants to be a ‘millionaire’ but just seems lost in how to do that… am I causing myself unnecessary stress? Should I just focus on being happy with what I have for a year and relax??
Wow – I love the way you frame your question. Should you be “happy?” Yes. Does that mean you do nothing to move forward – No.
In the Bible the Apostle Paul talked about being content regardless of your situation. A lot of people have used that verse as an excuse for doing nothing to improve their own life or to increase their ability to help others. Being content and being complacent are two different things.
Kay Warren (wife of Rick Warren – Purpose Driven Life) has just released a new book titled Choose Joy – Because Happiness Isn’t Enough. Being content or just “happy” can get you through the day, but are not conditions you want to stay in.
Thomas Edison said, “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.” Only when are you unhappy or discontented will you want to solve the problem, improve the situation and change it for the better. So when you are discontent or unhappy, don’t just look for an escape or a pill to make you feel better. Say to yourself, This discontentment is opening the door for me to:
- take a fresh look at my skills and experience
- explore new applications for my work, hobbies and community involvement
- create a clear plan for what my life will be five years from now
- be intentional about my use of my 168 hours a week
Don’t ignore that subtle sense of unrest you are describing. It may be the motivating key to finding the work and life you love. Ralph Waldo Emerson talked about this concept—the “divine discontent.” It is my belief that the angst you are experiencing is tied to your spiritual well being and the identification of those inner gifts and talents that need to be used for you to feel fulfilled. And with perfect alignment of your talents and passions – guess what? More money tends to show up in unexpected ways.
Don’t ignore your unrest and divine discontent. It may be God’s way of nudging you to a higher level of success – and joy.
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