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The Root of All Happiness And Contentment

COMPARISONS. Your mind makes them all the time. And whether you are content or dissatisfied depends entirely on what you are comparing your life to.

The problem is, we live in a culture where advertisers are constantly giving us perfect images to compare ourselves with: people with perfect homes and cars and spouses and children, and they give us the illusion that this perfection is somehow possible.

The advertisers are taking advantage of the way our minds work naturally. You automatically and naturally compare yourself and your life to others and with your own ideals and aspirations.

Although the process of comparison happens without your active effort, it is a process you can assume control of. Like your own own breathing, it happens on its own, but you can make it do what you want at any time. All you have to do is pay attention to it.

Here's what to do: When you feel discontented, ask yourself What could be worse? And really try to think of something.

If you feel unhappy because you haven't advanced in your job as fast as you'd hoped, imagine how you'd feel if you lived in a country or a time when advancement wasn't possible. Imagine being an "untouchable" in India, sentenced to generation after generation of poverty with no chance of escape.

Try this technique and you'll recognize that in many ways you're lucky to be where you are and who you are. It's a good feeling. It's relaxing and peaceful. It won't last very long, but you can always do it again. The technique works every time.

If you think this is a technique for starry-eyed dreamers with their heads in the clouds, try reading some books that give you an idea of realities you can compare your own life with. My choices would be: Free the Children, Man's Search For Meaning, and Endurance.

If you have any questions about how to use this technique or you'd like to share with me what happened when you did, write to me at adamkhan@aol.com. I would love to hear from you. I will not put your name on a mailing list of any kind.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 23). The Root of All Happiness And Contentment, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-stuff-that-works/root-of-all-happiness-and-contentment

Last Updated: March 30, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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