It’s the little voice that creeps up quickly to ruin your day: “They’re so lucky, if only I had, I wish, I want, I need.” No human being is immune to comparison, jealousy, envy or desire. It’s there. It will always be there because we are built with this innate nature to grow, push, move forward and pursue. It’s what propels us. It’s what makes us come alive. It’s what drives our desire to be intentional and purposeful with our lives. But if not harnessed in a healthy manner, it can be the very thing that paralyzes us from living at all.
The greatest thing we could ever do in our pursuit of living is to embrace satisfaction with who we already are, to practice gratitude for what we already have, and to find a peaceful calm for our restless hearts amidst the ever-changing shuffle.
The pursuit of contentment is a daily practice. Without it, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, will forever slip away.
Here are 20 inspiring quotes from some of the world’s deepest thought leaders. How could we doubt their truth when these people all play/ed a part in creating this momentum we call life?
- “We need much less than we think we need.” -Maya Angelou
- “Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
- “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” -Martha Washington
- “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- “At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
- “Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.” -The Apostle Paul
- “Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.” -Pearl S. Buck
- “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Socrates
- “I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.” -Walt Whitman
- “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” -Dale Carnegie
- “You will never have enough, do enough or be enough, until you see yourself today as enough.” -Cindy Keating
- “We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.” -Immanuel Kant
- “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” -Epictetus
- “Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.” -The Gospel of Luke
- “Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.” -Charles M. Schulz
- “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” -L. Frank Baum
- “For just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever.” -Lev Grossman
- “You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” -Charles H. Spurgeon
- “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.” -Ann Brashares
- “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.” -Plato
Featured photo credit: Cuba Gallery via flickr.com