The Contentment Approach

When do you experience a feeling of contentment? Different people give different answers to this question. They may say some of the following things.

When I am feeling grateful for what I have been given in life … When I am walking … When I am appreciating the simple things in life … When I have completed a piece of creative work… When I am seeing things in perspective.

Contentment, like happiness, is sometimes the by-product of doing certain things. There are also several definitions of contentment. These include the following.

A feeling of quiet happiness … A feeling of deep satisfaction … A feeling of having done your best … A peaceful ease of mind.

People are more likely to feel contentment when they feel in control of events. Or when, as the saying goes, they aim to control the controllables. They may then focus on the following themes. 

Counting Their Blessings

Some people experience contentment as a by-product of counting their blessings. Different people do this in different ways. Some people mention the following things.

Counting My Blessings – The blessings I have
had in my life have included the following:

To have been adopted by loving parents … To have been given a happy childhood … To have been encouraged to build on my abilities rather than things I was not good at.

To have learned lessons from several years working in a tough job … To have been helped to find satisfying work … To have had great mentors … To have been fortunate to find an encouraging partner.

When do you sometimes count your blessings? What are the feelings you get when taking these steps? How do you then aim to build on these feelings?

Creative Work

Some people experience contentment as a by-product of completing a piece of creative work. They may do this by focusing on a specific activity that gives them positive energy.

They may being aiming to encourage a person, write an article, paint a picture, sing in a choir or do a creative project. They may be aiming to solve a problem, tackle a challenge, lead a team, shift a culture or do another activity.

Different people then follow their own approaches to achieving a feeling of contentment. Bearing in mind what they can control in the situation, some focus on the following steps.


They clarify the real results they want to achieve and translate this into a clear picture of success.


They follow their preferred way of working and find creative solutions on the way towards achieving the picture of success.

Concrete Results

They keep working until they get the desired results and have a feeling of satisfaction from achieving the picture of success.

What are the kinds of creative work you do that sometimes lead to a feeling of contentment? What are the steps you take to do such work? How can you follow these in future? What may be the benefits – both for yourself and other people?


Imagine that you want to do things that increase the likelihood of experiencing contentment. One approach is to learn from your positive history. It is to do the following exercise.


The specific times in the past when I have
experienced a feeling of contentment have been:

* When I …

* When I …

* When I …

The specific things I did right in some of these
situations – the principles I followed –
that led to a feeling of contentment were:




The specific things I can do to follow some of these
principles – plus maybe add other things – to
maybe experience contentment in the future are:  




Imagine that you may also want to learn from how other people get a feeling of contentment. Some people describe focusing on the following themes. Taking these steps can increase the likelihood of the experiencing contentment.

Positive Things – They Aim:

To be their positive self … To do things that give them positive energy … To spend time in their garden … To go for a walk … To cook nourishing food for people … To help another person … To experience the helper’s high.

Positive People – They Aim:

To learn from positive people … To clarify the principles that such people follow in their life and work … To follow these principles in their own way … To spend time with positive people … To work with positive colleagues and customers.

Positive Contribution – They Aim:

To build on their strengths … To do satisfying work … To follow strategies that work … To keep improving … To achieve their picture of success … To have a feeling of positive exhaustion … To give positive things to people during their time on the planet.

Let’s return to your own life. Imagine that you want to increase the chances of experiencing a feeling of contentment. This could be in your personal or professional life.

What can you do to increase the chances of feeling contentment? How can you translate some of these ideas into action? What may happen as a result of taking these steps?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

I experience a
feeling of contentment:

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