Being Content versus Being Happy

It is much better to be happy and work for a better future than to be content with things as they are now.Last week I wrote about how important it is that we use positive language along with our positive intent. It’s great to talk about success but if the energy of the actual words are on failure, the intent for success is defeated. This week I’m going to continue to look at how we use language. A very specific case this time, “content” as in “I am content with where I am” versus “happy.”

How Are “Content” and “Happy” Different?

We are often told that we should be content. Content with who we are, content with what we have, content in our job, content with our current circumstances. I completely disagree. I don’t think we should ever be content with anything. Happy, yes. But never content.

We generally think of the two words, “happy” and “content,” as synonyms and often use them interchangeably. I am going to show you that they are not, at least not from a personal development point of view. To me, the word “content” more closely means satisfied. It also suggests that I have reached an ending point. The project is done and I am content. It’s over. Done. Finished. Through.

“Happy” on the other hand is a state of mind that doesn’t carry any other baggage or connotations with it. It describes how you feel in the present moment only and no more. If you say that you are happy right now, it doesn’t mean that you are completely satisfied with everything, or anything, as it is in your life. It just means that you are happy. I am happy with the progress I am making, but I am nowhere near done.

If you are only talking about completing a task or a project then it’s okay sometimes to be merely content with the outcome instead of happy, though I bet you could find a reason to actually be happy if you wanted to. I’m talking here about a much bigger project, one that should never be complete. That project is you and your life. If you receive the daily quotes from Abraham/Hicks you know that they always tell you that you are never done. So you should never be content. There is always something that you can improve and more that you can do.

You'll never get it done. You cannot get it wrong. - Abraham - Hicks Click To Tweet

Most things I see on the Law of Attraction tell you that you should be happy. Your positive emotions and feelings then attract more things to feel good about. Being content with how something is on the other hand doesn’t necessarily mean that you are happy with how it has turned out. Being content sometimes feels kind of like resignation. “I can live with that. I’m not all that happy with it, but I’m content.”

Be Happy, But Never Content

There are two things to get here. One, you should never be done with your self-improvement. You should always be learning new things, setting new goals and looking for new adventures.

For example, I’m happy with where I live and it provides a lot of benefits, but I’m definitely not content with it. I want something that offers more space. I’m happy with the car that we have to drive. It gets us everywhere we need to go, and the price was very good. I’m not content with it though. I would like something a decade or two newer. The same thing goes for just about every aspect of my life – my business, my weight, my level of fitness, my relationship with my wife and children, everything. I’m not done working on any of those things.

The second thing is that we should always be happy. Okay, maybe that’s unrealistic. We should usually be happy, or at least recognize that there is always something that you can be happy about. I told you in the previous paragraph that I’m not content with where I live. We really need more space in the form of couple rooms and a closet or two. I would like to be a little farther from the road and the neighbors and I would like a garage to park the car in.

I could focus on all of the things that I would like to change or don’t have and be pretty miserable most of the time. I prefer to look at all of the great things that we have here instead. There are other kids for mine to play with. We have some very nice neighbors. We are less than fifteen minutes from where my wife works. I can look outside and see the mountains that I love to hike in. The house has kept us warm and dry through the winter. There are all sorts of things to be happy about here.

With just about everything in your life there should aspects that you would like to improve and parts that you are happy with. As I said above, the Law of Attraction says that we need to be happy, to feel good, to get in the flow, to be able to manifest the life that we desire. Allow the parts of your life that make you happy give you the energy to manifest the improvements that you want to make.

Always be happy, but never be content. Click To Tweet

Do you see the difference between being happy and being content? If you are content with something, you aren’t likely to put any energy into that area and it won’t improve. Instead, be happy with it and let that feeling be the power to manifest something better.

It’s Your Turn

That’s my two cents on the difference between being happy and content. Do you see the difference? Do you agree or disagree? I’d love to read your thoughts on the subject in a comment below. If you have a blog, be sure that CommentLuv pulls up your most recent post below your comment so that everyone can visit your website see what you are talking about. Also, I would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to click one of the buttons below to share this with your followers on social media. Thanks for taking the time.

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4 Responses to Being Content versus Being Happy

  1. I sure can see the difference between being happy and content.

    Content to me is OK, but has no energy…like someone lying on the couch watching TV.
    However, being happy carries a lot of energy. It is a great feeling all day long.

    I have to say I’m pretty happy. Something accomplished makes me happy, cooking some thing healthy, being with my husband, petting my dog…sleeping with my dog lol.

    The list can go on and on when I think of it, but happiness has to be part of my life. I have the laugh lines to prove it!

    Also laughter! There is not a day that goes by that I don’t get a belly laugh from something. A good sense of humor and keeping focused on positive things makes one happy.

    That’s my two cents!

    -Donna

    • Ben says:

      Hi Donna. Thanks for taking the time to comment, both here and on Facebook. I appreciate that. It sounds like you are doing very well. The couch is a good analogy for being content. It’s great for resting up when you are tired but eventually it gets boring and you have to get up again. I guess that’s how I see a contented life too. It gets boring and you have to find ways to make it more interesting again. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey Ben,
    I love that you have posted this, not only the subject of happy and content but that people are so not conscious of their feelings towards words. They don’t realize that words connect you to your life. I love Abraham as I have followed them for the last 12 years.
    I’m with Donna on that one about content having no energy. I feel that content is nice, but happy is closer to joy. I do feel though that content is a step up from unhappy or dissatisfied, so everything does have it’s place.
    I would rather be happy than content most of the time and like Abe says-just decide to be happy no matter what. Easier said than done, but I definitely focus in this way when life is pretty good. Sure there is things that I want and want to do, but that will be a forever thing.
    So I do what I can and be happy as much as I can because I am healthy, have a roof over my head , great friends and food. Nothing really to complain about……so I just get happy as much as I can. That’s not to deny things happen, but they pass.
    Great post Ben, love it.

    • Ben says:

      Hi Jennifer. You’re right, being content does have its place. If you’ve been sliding backwards on the emotional scale, then reaching the stable state of contentment would definitely be a good thing. Once there then you can go for the truly positive emotions. Of course things will happen, but like you said, they will pass. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

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