Happiness Vs Contentment

There are plenty of things in life that bring me contentment, my children’s success, volunteering in my community, fellowship – but what really is the difference between contentment and happiness? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines contented as a feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation. Happiness is defined as a state of well-being and contentment. Because contentment is used to define happiness, is happiness a secondary condition of contentment?

Searching for the temporary emotion of happiness, and since I regularly write on the topics of wealth and health I decided spending frivolously is out. I rationalized chocolate and all of its wonderful “feel good” side effects are out too, as we all know the harmful effects of sugar; or worse yet, the effects of artificial sweeteners. No, I must dig deeper still to find the true meaning of happiness.

As I packed my bags and looked at the brochure on my journey to happiness I liked what Martin Seligman, PhD, said, “The good life consists of the roots that lead to flow. It consists of first knowing what your signature strengths are and then recrafting your life to use them more – recrafting your work, your romance, your friendships, your leisure, and your parenting to deploy the things you’re best at. What you get out of that is not the giggles; what you get is flow, and the more you deploy your highest strengths the more flow you get in life.”

I understood what Dr. Seligman was saying. By recognizing our individual strengths, we use those to excel. It is to our own personal advantage we use these gifts in a positive direction by repurposing their use in our lives. I am a writer.

When a letter needs to be written, I’m the one who writes it. I have repositioned my career to write more, which I enjoy. I write notes to put in the kid’s lunch boxes, I write my own party invitations and flyers and I especially enjoy writing letters to school faculty or our local newspaper. My husband is an excellent cook. He cooks the majority of our meals and does the shopping for such. He enjoys it. He packs the kids lunches and always cooks when we entertain at our home. In these two examples, we have found our strengths and realigned our home to make best use of these talents.

Take a look at your own personal strengths, what you are truly good at, not what you enjoy the most – and use these gifts to your advantage. This will free you up to do more of the things you enjoy. Go ahead, pack your own bags and select a destination that will give you a temporary state of the “giggles”.

Talk to you soon,

Happy Girl

Source by Judie Mackie

 


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