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How to Get Enough and Finally Be Content

by Charly Mann

How much is enough? How much money and love do you need to be satisfied? How many vacation days, friends, music albums, books, and TV channels would it take to make you happy? How much information do you need to make rational decisions? When is enough really enough to make you end a bad relationship?

Humans seem to be rarely satisfied with what they have. But what is enough? Why do we always want more? I have had a loving family, close friends, an incredible home, an abundance of material possessions, and no real financial concerns, yet for a long time I seemed to be incapable of being satisfied.  I think this was because life offers an abundance of opportunities to grow and learn. I think if it weren’t for feeling dissatisfied humans would not innovate or improve their lives.

While I have strong desire to keep improving my life and learn more, I have also become quite content and have significantly rid myself of material desires. Materially I have been rich and I have been very poor, and I have found equal joy in both conditions. I believe that to a large extent contentment is an intellectual choice we make, however I am nowhere close to having an enlightened enough state of mind to be in a constant state of bliss. I am simply content not being fully satisfied with my faults and knowledge, and I am perpetually excited about making progress in these areas everyday.

Contentment for me means living my life to the fullest now instead of waiting for some event, amount of money, person, or thing to finally make it perfect. I find that people who live their lives like this keep repeating this cycle. They finally get something they really want and have a temporary thrill at the achievement, but invariably are soon dissatisfied again because of some other thing they need to make their life complete. This is an addictive delusion that most of us are hooked on; however there will never be that "one" last thing that will be enough. The only cure for this is to teach your mind that you are content with your life, and do not need any more money, things, or acceptance from others to make life great. It may seem difficult to quench worldly desire, but it is a habit you can actually learn and it will result in the realization that wanting more has been one of your greatest hindrances to becoming happy.

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Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
Charly Mann

About Me

Ever since I was very young I have been intrigued with how one could live happily ever after like the characters I read about in fairy tales. As a child I noticed most of the adults I was exposed to were often anxious and angry, and only a very few seemed to be calm and happy. By the time I was a teenager I was scouring philosophy and psychology books looking for instructions on how to have a marvelous life. I also began questioning scores of adults I would encounter about their philosophy on life and what they thought one needed to do to be perfectly contented. In 1967, at the age of 17, I started a daily journal that compiled all the information I acquired that day on the subject. Today that journal includes three dozen large notebooks and more than 3,400 pages on my hard drive.

I have had a marvelous life thus far - most of it incredibly happy, healthy, and successful. Since 1968 I have also tracked how happy and successful I was in the previous year. Through the end of 2013, each year has been significantly better than the year before. I believe much of this can be attributed on what I learned and implemented in my own life about achieving good health, success, and happiness. As I mature and learn more my methodology for making my life great has changed a lot. I achieved enormous financial success before I was 25, which contributed greatly to my enjoyment of life for almost a decade, but even before I was 30 I found that there were things far more important than wealth that made my life great and I keep discovering more. I have had financial independence since I was very young, but almost all the joys and pleasure I now derive from life are free or cost very little.

On Uplifting Visions I share insights that I have gained from my own experience, observation, and a life of research on attaining happiness, health, and success.

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