The Difference Between Happiness And Contentment

March 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

Love the article posted below.  It discusses the difference between happiness and contentment in a very clever way.  The writer, Nancy Colier, uses the simulation game The Sims as an example of how the human spirit really works.

In the game, once the player has won X amount of points, he or she is awarded Permanent Happiness. In this state the avatar wins the right to constant happiness.  Nancy notes that most players after enjoying this new status for a while, get bored, kill their avatar and start anew.

I think this observation is quite brilliant.  It shows – in a psychological way – that which we say we seek is really not quite what we think.

Achieving constant happiness with the exclusion of all other human feelings takes the zing out of life.  I’m by no means saying we need to suffer and be unhappy to enjoy life.  What I’m saying is that happiness in real life comes and goes. It is the result of something we worked towards and then achieved.  The working towards is an important element and once the excitement of the achievement passes and other situations arrive, the happiness leaves.

Happiness is powerful because it is a result of effort.  Without it, happiness is thin.

On the other hand, what can be a constant is contentment or as Nancy calls it; well-being.  That is a state that is unrelated to the ups and downs of life because contentment is based on a relationship with the self.  How well we know ourselves, how much do we listen to our true voice.  In essence it’s about how we deal with the feelings we have and not about the outside aspect that have created them.

Opportunities, situations, doors that open and close are not within our complete control, but how we deal with the feelings they create are.  That is the difference between happiness and contentment and unhappiness and contentment.

Once understanding that our ground is contentment we must then nourish it by strengthening our relationship with the self.

Please read on.

Happily Ever After?

Nancy Colier

In the online simulation game The Sims, when an avatar accomplishes all of her lifetime aspirations, she achieves “Permanent Platinum” status, otherwise known as permanent happiness. Once “Platinum,” her mood bar cannot slip below a certain level, and her environment no longer impacts her happiness. She is frozen in happiness…Continued

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