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How to be content without being complacent

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

How to be content without being complacent

Scott Miker

In previous articles (How to Achieve Any Goal, Content not Complacent, and Entitlement) I have talked about the different between contentment and complacency.  Contentment is a confident move towards improvement without feeling as though you need more to be happy.  Complacency is a hopeless mindset that leaves you feeling as though there isn’t any benefit to working towards improvement.

But understanding the difference between the two isn’t enough to truly be content.  You also have to work hard and put in place the right systems and habits. 

If you haven’t been working on improving the systems and habits in your life, then realize it will likely take time to shift from being complacent to being content.  It doesn’t happen overnight in an instant.  Rather, it is a long, slow process of ever-improving steps that lead you towards contentment.

The first thing that needs to happen is to get the body right.  This just means that we have processes in place for our health, exercise, relaxation etc. that we can utilize when we need them. 

The next thing that needs to happen is that we have things in place mentally.  We have to have enough hope to keep going.  We have to be able to handle adversity and calm the frantic voice inside our head so we can breathe and relax. 

The body and mind parts are connected and usually only happen when we have a good understanding of the various systems that play a crucial factor in our ability to handle stress and remain calm, while still moving towards improvement.  There are countless books on meditation, exercise habits, etc. that can help here. 

But what this doesn’t mean is that everything is perfect.  It isn’t about the perfect job, perfect relationship, perfect body, perfect bank account etc.  Perfection isn’t the key here. 

The key is progress.  As you start to make progress you start to build confidence.  As you build confidence you realize that you have control over many aspects of your life that you thought were out of control. 

Contentment is more about the journey than the destination.  As you start to realize the value in the journey you start to shift from feeling as though you have to hold off on happiness until X happens.  Instead you start to realize that you have all that you really need and will keep working to get even better.  You stop craving more for more’s sake and instead feel that what is here is enough. 

It is certainly a different way of living from the constant barrage of marketing that we all encounter in our daily lives.  Marketers want you to feel as though you are incomplete without their product or that you need more of their product to be happy.  But once you realize that you don’t need anything more than what you currently have right now you free yourself from the negative mantra of more. 

While this all seems very new agey or out there, the reality is that by taking the systems and habits approach towards improvement you can start to make progress towards your goals while remaining happy and content.  This is how you transform from being complacent to being content.