I was hanging out with a few friends the other day. We were relaxing and chatting about whatever came to mind. At one point, one of my friends asked this question: Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Immediately my mind started to make a list. I began to think about my goals in the various areas of my life. Where did I want to be with my job and my writing? How much money did I want to make? Where did I want to be with my relationships? I started to think about what I wanted my family to look like. I thought about marriage and kids. Where did I want to be in regard to my physical health? Etc.
As my mind was racing through my list of goals, my friend said something that stopped me in my tracks. He said, “I think I just want to be content with myself.”
I started to think through my list again, and I realized that the various things were on the list because at some level, I thought they would make me happy. I would be content if… [fill in the blank].
But sometimes I wonder if that’s a lie, and we have bought into it hook, line, and sinker. Sure, I think it’s okay to have goals and pursue them. But I wonder if focusing all our energy on the things we don’t have, and doing a lot of striving after those things actually works against the goal of contentment.
Maybe contentment comes from accepting ourselves for who we are, both the good and the bad, and resting in the fact that we are loved.
Discussion: Where do you want to be in 10 years? How does contentment fit into the picture?