3 Steps That Lead You To Contentment

by Brooke Obie, DistrictDiva

“What will make you happy?” That’s the question a young pastor began his sermon with recently. He gave us a few moments to think and I began typing away on my iPad a short list of things that would do the trick; a steady income, benefits, a book deal, a life God would be pleased with…But the pastor didn’t wait for the congregation to finish our thoughts. “If you have an answer to that question,” he interrupted, “you will never be happy.”

It was shocking to hear out loud, bu the truth often is. He’s right: as long as we believe there is something we don’t already have that can make us “happy,” we’ll always feel the discontentment ache. And an ill-content life is a miserable one.

So let’s all stop driving ourselves to misery in pursuit of happiness. Instead, here are three steps that will change your perspective and lead to a new life of contentment.

1. Manage Your Expectations. Thank back to every problem you’ve ever had with another person. Likely, you expected a person to behave a certain way, that person fell short of the expectation, and conflict was born. But what if you dropped the expectations you’ve placed on other people in the past? What if you could acknowledge that- though there is a way you’d like for others to treat you- people don’t always behave the way we want them to. People can only behave as well as their individual circumstances and character allow. When we appropriately adjust our expectations of people, we’re in for a lot less disappointment and conflict.

That goes for us, as well. We can easily fall short of unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves and become very disappointed when life reveals that we aren’t who we thought we should be. When we accept each other’s limitations – and our own- we free ourselves to be human, make mistakes and grow from them.

2. Give Generously. The root of discontentment is a desire for more, whether it’s stuff, money, love, affection or praise. But if we can take the things we desire and learn to generously give those things away, we break the power insatiable desire has over us and free ourselves to be content in the present.

While it may be easier to give to a stranger, we can really retain our brain to be content by giving to those who play an active role in our daily lives- especially those people you may not particularly care for. Seek those people out and offer them something as simple as a compliment. Focus on their positive attributes, dig deep and sincerely praise them for something they do well. Many difficult people are still human and just want to be valued like anyone else. When you remain positive in your thinking and interaction with them, you may find those harsh exteriors melting away.

But even if they never change, when you focus on the good in difficult personalities, you’ll find your your life to be much more tolerable and perhaps even pleasant.

3. Practice the Art of Gratitude. When life isn’t going as expected, it can be very difficult to find things to be grateful for. That’s why the practice of gratitude is an art that we all have to work at constantly. Tell yourself, Today, I’m going to find three positive things in my life that I’m thankful for. Watch and see: in no time, you’ll lose count and begin to recognize a shift in your mood along with your perspective.

While you’re counting your many blessings, also begin to play closer attention to the people in your life. Make sure you express your gratitude often to these people for even the smallest things that they do to positively impact your life. Your act of appreciation can only brighten their day but also your own outlook on life.

Learning to be content despite circumstances, setbacks and disappointments can be both painful and difficult- breaking bad habits usually are. But be patient with yourself, accept he process and find your joy right here in the present.

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About Yvonne I. Wilson (793 Articles)
Yvonne I. Wilson is known for her prolific, dynamic leadership style with over twenty years in the healthcare industry. She is a trailblazer and a catalyst for change; a positive thinker and someone who is very passionate and optimistic about life. She is mantled as an end-time Apostolic Prophet with an extraordinary spirit of discernment, an exceptionally strong prophetic and healing anointing and a unique gift in prophetic intercessory prayer as she navigates through the realm of the spirit and as she ministers to the nations. With the Agape love of God and His undeniable purpose for which He has called her, God has given her a Prophetic Deliverance Ministry to bring deliverance to His people, to heal the wounded, rejected and emotionally scarred/broken in spirit, to break barriers, old paradigms and false teachings and to rebuild, establish and plant the things of God.

3 Comments on 3 Steps That Lead You To Contentment

  1. Extremely useful and very encouraging post. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Hi Kalley: Thanks to Brooke Obie – this post spoke directly to me also and so applicable to the varying challenges that I face at the moment. Recently, I had to stop and evaluate my own self, wondering if I had set the bar of expectations too high for myself and for others. But like you, I have come to the conclusion to stop trying to get things done on my own terms. God has a plan and it is bigger than all that we will ever face. He wants us to turn it all over to Him, and He being in direct control, it will work out to our advantage in due season as long as we faint not.

  3. This is all good stuff! I find that managing expectations is very important for me. When I stop trying to get things done on my term and my way, I can fully appreciate the assistance or help that I do get. It's a way to keep myself in check.

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