You should probably ignore this post: The Case for Contentment

Not everyone needs to be ambitious. Not everyone needs to start 10 businesses, write 10 blogs, and double their income every year. It is most dignifying to enjoy a full life with contentment, rather than optimization. In fact, you should ignore this social media post and get back to enjoying what brings you fulfillment.

I’m naturally a high-energy person. I switch my attention often. I start more projects than I finish.

Social media creates virality to please our interests. We look to others as an ideal of what we should strive to be. So, I follow the ones doing too much to get inspiration and motivation. I saw success as optimizing life: do the most things in the most efficient amount of time.

But for me, this is a dangerous spiral. Social media cares about clicks and attention, not about providing fulfillment. So, I feel self-conscious about not doing enough when my energy runs out. I disparage myself when I’m selfish, lazy, or resting in contentment. Then I feel worse about not optimizing every second. Is this feeling of disappointment my purpose in life?

We don’t see the ones who don’t post on social media.

What are they up to? Are they happier? They may be resting in their contentment. At the end of the day, self-acceptance provides more fulfillment than optimization. I realized it’s not necessary to push my tendency of action toward its conclusion. Resting is good. In fact, it may be better for me.

This has changed my approach to life. I spend my attention in the present, keeping in mind the future and learning from the past. I pay attention to my health. I simplify my goals. I change my behavior based on my current state, not what I think I need to do. I accept myself when I’m feeling selfish, lazy, and content. As a result, this means turning off the noise of social media to ignore the siren’s call to do more, more, more.

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