Notable Quotable: Contentment

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking the world belongs to you.”  ~ Lao Tzu (Laozi)

The A-Z craziness is behind us now and we’re getting back to normal programming. As such, I’m returning to my weekly series Notable Quotables. I found some fabulous quotes during the A-Z Challenge. Today’s quote was found at Whispers of Worth, a blog about the quest for simplicity.

I love this quote. To me it’s so powerful. How content would we all be if we could simply be satisfied with what we have? I know, for me, I’ve spent a lifetime of acquisitional climbing. I’d get a good job but then I’d want a better one, one that would put me in a position of higher earning potential, and then I’d get that but would soon find that I viewed it solely as a stepping stone to yet another better position. I owned a condo but that wasn’t enough. I needed a house (it’s just me). Now I dream of an even bigger house, on a bigger lot of land. I have a great SUV now, one that has been very good to me but wouldn’t it be so nice to have a newer one? And it never seems to end. There’s always something more that I’m striving for…and oftentimes my head swims in discouragement because I’m not there yet … and getting there seems so far off.

The line in the quote that really spoke to me was this: “Rejoice in the way things are.”

Yes! Yes! YES!!! It struck me that that may just be the answer, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow I’ve been chasing all these years. Rejoice in the way things are. How much more simple can it get?!

“When you realize there is nothing lacking the world belongs to you.” Wow! Can it actually be that simple? Can I just wake up one morning and say I am happy with all that I have, I don’t need anything else, I’m fine just the way I am and everything in my world is as it should be, perfect? Can I wake up tomorrow morning and say that?

Lao Tzu had it goin’ on. These are some wise words. I’m going to pin this up on my mirror so I can jolt myself back to reality when I start drifting off into my world of wants. Because this indeed is reality. We are not lacking. We’re fine with what we have. The world belongs to us. Let us rejoice in that!

Can I wake up tomorrow and say those words and actually believe them? Can you? Will you?

“Be-content-with-what-you-have-rejoice-in-the-way-things-are.-When-you-realize-there-is-nothing-lacking-the-whole-world-belongs-to-you.”

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Notable Quotable: Contentment

  1. Hi, Michele!

    These are wise words indeed. In the early 80s, I learned this principle in the “est Training,” (Werner) Erhard Seminars Training. They taught me that “whatever is going on in your life right now… is ‘it’ – so groove on it.” The est messages: “This is it, right here, right now” so “Be here now.” It’s okay to strive and try to better yourself, but if there is little or no joy in that journey, then you need to make an adjustment – “reframe” the way you have come to think about your life. When you consider the devastating poverty many people around the world endure, what you and I have amounts to an embarrassment of riches.

    Thank you, dear friend Michele!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well said! I remember the est movement. That was a long time ago…
      I like the line “so groove on it.” I always say “It is what it is.”
      And you’re so right: I never really thought about it like that but yes, we do have an embarrassment of riches compared to so many others. I better quit complaining!! 🙂

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  2. That’s a quote more people should definitely read. 🙂 Some are never satisfied with their lot in life, it seems. Bigger, newer, more doesn’t necessarily lead to contentment. I drive a 2005 Ford Focus wagon. It’s in great shape and gets me where I need to go. Our house is a little old bungalow and very cozy. It’s all a matter of perspective, I think. We’re not living in the lap of luxury, but we are, for the most part, contented. There are so many people much worse off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You said it: it’s all a matter of perspective and I think that’s exactly what this quote is saying. I just have to keep telling myself that I’m okay the way I am. I can so get caught up with the more more more sometimes that I have to stop the madness. This quote really spoke to me.
      Thanks for coming by Debbie!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I tend to be essentially content in the here and now, but I believe absolute contentment can lead to complacency which is not a place that I ever want to be. I don’t want to kill myself for the ownership of stuff–I have no desire to be a slave to the material world even though in many respects I am (e.g.–home ownership). But I do want to aspire to self-betterment and improving my state of being so I live in comfort and even in some level of luxury and having things that I enjoy having. I think it’s when you rely on the “stuff” to make you happy, or even the experiences, then you are anchoring yourself in the ephemeral which can lead to great despair if you lose any of those things.

    I might say “Rejoice in what you have and be thankful if you get a bit more.”

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen! If we keep our expectations in check, we won’t be disappointed. I like that: don’t expect or yearn for the extras but just be thankful when they come. I’m happy to hear that you’re generally content. That’s a nice state of mind to be in.
      Thanks for coming by… And thanks for the tweet! 🙂

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  4. This is a powerful quote for sure!! I want to wake up and “rejoice in the way things are”. I think it has to be intentional. And I will have to work very hard to achieve that! Thank you for the kick in the pants you gave me today. I am going to sit here and chew on this for a bit!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad the quote had the same effect on your as it did for me. Now the trick is to get up in the mornings and repeat the mantra. You are so right: it has to be intentional. And out of sight, out of mind which is why I’m going to post the quote on my bathroom mirror where I can see it every single morning. It will also help with daily gratitude.
      Thanks for stopping by Paula

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  5. I do cherish what I have and I know I don’t need more…but …smiling there, I would love to travel, I would love to get some old wall paper down especially since our one cat is already helping us with that, and create something pretty. We just did the bedroom (still not done) and there is more to go:) I guess….that’s a no then. There are things I would love to give away…as long as my hubby doesn’t see that since he likes to keep everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol. Funny, although it’s really not, that the cat is helping you take down the wallpaper! They have some beautiful wallpapers out there today.
      Good to hear that you cherish what you have and are basically satisfied. That’s half the battle right there!
      Thanks for stopping by Birgit!

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  6. I love my cozy little house. It’s much better than a mansion. Mansions are hard to clean. My car is a ’99 with plenty of scratches, but it runs. The one thing I long for is to travel. It’s not working out for more than one reason. It’s hard to accept sometimes.

    Love,
    Janie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cozy is good! And so is a car that gets you to where you need to go. I’m glad that you are in a contented place. That’s more than half the battle in life…

      Thanks for coming by Janie.
      XOXO

      Like

  7. Oh to be able to wake up tomorrow morning and truly be content with what we have and where we are – that’s something I aspire to but so far I haven’t found that total peace of mind. I’m still a work in progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you paradoxically get the message here. 🙂
      Getting more comments on one’s blog requires a lot of work. Takes time to build up a following and you have to spend a lot of time visiting and commenting on other blogs. That’s one thing that bugged me about the A-Z, which I’ll comment on in my Reflections post.
      Have a great weekend Daniel!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that quotation! It seems so easy, all we need do is to live in the moment and enjoy it. Not always easy but I find when I do this I am much happier. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    • Absolutely! It is definitely easier said than done but may we have more days where we live in the moment than not. Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great Sunday

      Like

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