I always thought contentment was a state that one reaches. A specific point, marked on a line, that we can achieve after pursuing that goal over a period.
As a result of my definition and understanding, I think feeling content has evaded me for extensive time periods in my life because I was also stretching for that just-out-of-reach point on the line.
I recently had an epiphany though: I am incredibly happy and content with my life just as it is. I don't need to work more, be more ambitious or earn more money. I don't need to buy more things, travel more or take more holidays.
In the same breath, I want to experience different things, work on different things, work in new ways, improve or evolve what I already have and continue my personal development and journey. There is curiosity and ambition in that mindset, yet I'm not striving to change my status quo, which frees me from a never-ending pursuit of "more".
Instead, I now see contentment as a framework within which my life happens, and I get to experience it. The boundaries of the framework are marked by the things and people that I value most in my life.
I don't need more of a framework; it is already great today. That framework will shift and evolve alongside the seasons of my life, but that won't change the fundamentals or my core values.