Be Content, but Strategic

Being happy is one of the most important things in life. You can’t wait for it because you never know how long you will be here. Unfortunately though, living happily every day is often harder to do than we prefer. The situation can get particularly sticky when you’re trying to complete big goal, get to the next level in your career, and grow personally.  There is an old, but very true, saying, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” So how do you strive for growth while still being happy with where and who you are today? As with most things, it’s extremely simple, but NOT EASY. Being both content and unsatisfied at the same time requires strategy. 

You must be strategic in choosing which facets of your life to be content with. This keeps you from resting on your laurels, and instead continually looking for your next challenge to achieve. It also keeps you grounded and grateful for the position you are in and how far you have come to get to where you are.  In my book, "Designing Your Life", I use newlyweds as an example to demonstrate my point because most of them have actually mastered this practice. When they begin their lives together, they have rarely achieved the kind of professional success they ultimately want. They may dream of owning a home, starting a family, or moving to another part of the country. However, while they work toward these mutual goals, they still enjoy the novelty of being newlywed. At no point are they not content with their current circumstances; they know they want more for their future, but they remain happy. 

So, when you get upset that your career or personal life  isn’t quite where you want it, don’t think about quitting. Rather, remember to be grateful for where you are, and take a minute to reflect on what it was like when you started. I know it can be difficult, and I oftentimes forget this myself. However, when I do remember, I am still amazed at how we can grow personally and professionally without even thinking about it!  Now, after thinking about how far you have come, what three words describe how you feel?