Image by Avi Chomotovski from Pixabay 

In the following article, I would like to throw light on the difference between the terms- contentment and happiness which are often confused as synonyms and used interchangeably. Though this doesn't make a big difference in our day-to-day conversations but if one wishes to live life to its fullest, it's necessary to be aware of their true meanings. 

In simple words, happiness refers to a state of being happy, feeling pleased and satisfied with your life with nothing much to complain or worry about. On the other hand, contentment refers to a state of bliss, a deeper feeling of gratitude and satisfaction that transcends the allure of the materialistic world. Happiness is believed to be temporary whereas contentment is considered stable. Your state of happiness is affected when you are forced to face the challenges thrown by life at you while once you have reached the state of contentment, these everyday hardships will hardly have any effect on you.

Now, coming back to the question proposed by this article in the beginning, What do we actually need to look for, happiness or contentment? What do we really desire? Happiness or Contentment?

Undoubtedly, happiness is what we are generally seeking, whether consciously or unconsciously. There's no lie that all of us love to bask in the feeling of happiness, which is accompanied by feelings of pride, belongingness, and enjoyment. Most of us, consider ourselves truly happy when we have absolutely nothing to worry about. 

But is it really possible? Speaking from my personal experience, No! Can you remember when was the last time you were happy and felt like it was your peak moment of happiness? Surely, all of you will have one or another experience to share. But are you still living in that moment of euphoria or is that a talk of the past? I can bet that your answer will be no. 

This is because, as stated above, happiness isn't permanent. I haven't met anyone yet who is genuinely happy all the time. It is simply impossible because life always has an equal share of joys and sorrows to offer. Thus, what we learn over time is to compromise half-heartedly with our circumstances and continue to live happily. But this isn't the case with contentment, there is no place for compromises once you have reached the stage of contentment. 

Contentment is a long-lasting, deeper feeling of peace and calmness. It is the peaceful realisation that we are whole and complete just the way we are, an acceptance of the fact that all emotions, ranging from happiness to sadness, from excitement to disappointment, from joy to sorrow are temporary and just different emotions we are bound to experience at different phases of our life.

When you are contented, your desperate search for happiness in the outer world comes to an end. Whatever life offers you, you accept it with open arms.

So, in my answer to my original question, I will choose contentment over happiness. 

"The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment" - Doug Larson 

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