Contentment and Desire

Last week I posed the following question to a group of business people:

What do contentment and desire have in common?

To me they are both sources of great joy.


Being content with what you have accomplished brings you joy. Rightfully so. You have accomplished much in your life and you deserve to feel good about yourself and your accomplishments.


Desire brings the opportunity for learning, growth and new accomplishments. Learning new things, embracing new challenges, testing the limits of your abilities are all sources of great joy.  Desire also adds purpose to our lives and a sense of having value.

If missing…

If you’re not content with what you’ve accomplished, you experience greater and greater stress with every pursuit because you’re relying on it to provide the joy you haven’t attained. Yet, it’s not likely that these accomplishments will bring joy to you when earlier accomplishments failed to do so.

If you lack desire, you’re depriving yourself of the joys of learning and accomplishment which nourish our psyche and enhance our health and happiness. One study showed that simply giving people in assisted living communities the responsibility of taking care of a plant increased their longevity…they had purpose and a sense of value.


To me, both contentment and desire are essential to health and happiness. My good friend, Les Landes, Landes & Associates, nailed it when he said:

Desire without contentment leads to frustration.

Contentment without desire leads to stagnation.

Don’t deprive yourself of the joy you so richly deserve…make sure that both contentment and desire are part of your daily routine.

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