Why is contentment a major virtue while pursuing success?
That was it. That was the advice that my mentor gave a guy who wanted to commit suicide by jumping off of a well-known bridge to a well-known city one night two weeks ago. The guy, a business-man, had lost his business and his family in the process of trying to keep his business. Both were gone.
“Contentment is as pivotal a virtue as courage for achieving your goals” my mentor said monotonously with steely assured eyes. “It doesn’t only bellow ‘Enough!’ like people think. It continually assesses ‘I have enough‘…. for any task or situation at hand. It eases your mind. And if your mind is at ease, creativity can be accessed.”
“Be enough.” “Be enough for your family, your situation. Be enough for yourself.”
The collegiate athletic season has begun and most athletes have ‘success’ on their minds. They’re going to be this kind of player or that kind of player. What I’ve found is that sometimes when athletes are practicing and they don’t see the image that they have for themselves, they begin on a frustration/lack of confidence downward spiral.
When you have a goal in mind, it’s always good to know what it looks like. But after that party you have to get back to reality. You are not there yet. You would like to be, but just imagining it doesn’t bring the finished product to you.
What a quality like contentment gives you is proper focus on what you have and how you are going to use it on the step that you’re on. Contentment blocks out the external voices that say you’re no good and buries your attention on what you have for now.
If you have already written out your goals, trust that the steps will get you there. Then be content that you are on step number 1.
Contentment reduces the debilitating mind-set disease of comparing with others. And that lowers your stress levels and increases your concentration so you can use it on what you have.
In the scriptures (Judges chapter 6:11-16), even Gideon was caught up with comparisons (vs. 15)…he lacked confidence because of it. But God had to show Gideon what he already had but didn’t pay attention to – he was a person of capable strength (vs. 12).
Gideon didn’t realize that in the face of harsh circumstances, he found a way to preserve his grain(vs. 11) while others harvests were being stolen. And had he had his confidence he could use that same courageous strategic mindset to find a way out of the predicament the entire nation was in. He had what it took to save the nation.
Contentment will reveal who you really are. Be enough.