The Contentment Trap

I was raised with the mantra: “Be thankful for what you have got.”

I still live by that, and it is evident to anyone who has shared a meal with us, as our dinner is always preceded by our daily gratitude.

However, as I have journeyed through life I have come to realize that having gratitude is not to be confused with settling and being “Content” with life. Content is so very vanilla, a cop out and akin to idling along in your comfort zone. Blah, content does not inspire me. So many people I speak to every single day are content and don’t want for anything more. REALLY??? What went wrong? Who stole your dreams?

I was one of these people, CONTENT, I had goals yes, small safe goals that I could easily tick off my bucket list and give myself a little Noddy badge along with my A for effort. The reality; I was not content at all, in fact I was very far from living a happy or inspired life.

I had a good job, a beautiful house, loving family, friends. You know, just like almost everyone else. I was thankful for what I had and I had worked to get there, but the living was no longer there. I was content and that led to a slow death. Every year my dreams got a little smaller. My goals a little safer. I had a career and kids to think about, I could no longer afford to take risk. I had to play safe, look after myself, protect my investments. All those unexciting adult things that we opt into rather willingly. Well at least I did, and maybe I am just an outlier. Maybe you are content and that makes you happy. For me, I was dying slowly inside.

Truth be told, I can see right though the stories that people tell themselves. Not because I have some special gift, but due to the fact that I am not all that different from you. In fact, I am possibly the average of the average people. Nothing remarkable here, and yet here I am postulating that I possibly know something about you that you might not even see or care to look at. Of course, you would not want to look at it because once you see it, it cannot be unseen. Then you must either, take action or accept that you will just be content with giving up on those grand dreams that were within your reach before you gave up on them and played it safe. Ouch, did I just say that you bet I did, I still feel the sting of opportunities missed because I was too scared to take action.

Some years back Tania was reflecting on something and she mentioned that very often people are afraid of being the crab that chooses to escape from the crab bucket. We let people hold us back and find comfort being surrounded by all the other crabs.

Not me, I got to the point where I was done. Completely done. Mentally and physically broken. Through that though I saw an opportunity, a gap to get out and say “to hell with being content”, I saw a blank slate, a space to write out a new story, a story of my choosing where I could be my own hero. I chose to be the intrepid adventurer. I no longer needed to be content. I could ask for more, I could choose a different path. I could throw caution to the wind and follow my dream secure in the knowledge that the pursuit of my dreams would be far more fulfilling than grazing with the flock.

I had always dreamt of real wealth, I always wanted to explore the world, dig deep into the path of enlightenment that runs to the left of main stream society, hang out with highly successful people who cared about my well-being, help other people along their own journey, I wanted a perfect marriage with a partner who not only understood me but loved me unconditionally, and that is hardly scratching the surface of my list.

I am not ashamed to say that I am going flat out to tick off every single item on my list. I am committed to living this one life on my own terms and to make sure that I tread gently along the way and respect the journey of others. As for me, I am leaving no stone unturned, no dream will be left to chance, no excuse for not showing up.

I am becoming immune to the naysayers, every time I reach other milestone on my journey my belief grows, I know that we are all capable of achieving the dreams that were born within our hearts, it takes courage and a bit of a thick skin. I must sometimes swim against the current, and there are days when all I want to do is go back to that old feeling of contentment, but then I remember how far I have come. How close I am to the next milestone. How much fun I have had along the way and how many times I have allowed myself to dream big and achieve those dreams. There is nothing that would make me go back. I am not who I was a few years ago.

I reckon that it is not only okay to want to win at life and to realize all your dreams, it is a requirement of each one of us. We owe it to ourselves and to the legacy that we leave behind to never ever give up on living that life that we always dreamt would be ours.

About Dylan Murray

just an ordinary chap on a mission to enjoy life, and live to my full potential. I am a father of three and a friend to many. I live and work in a little piece of paradise we like to call The Kowie. I have a keen sense of adventure and I enjoy the outdoors. I share my life and adventures with Tania, who is my Soul Mate, Lover, Companion and fellow Adventurer. Together we are creating our legacy and loving this journey called life.
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