Fall, especially November, is my favorite season of the year. The weather starts to cool off, tree leaves change colors, the sweet aroma of pumpkin spice is in the air, and of course the celebration of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season for me and my family, and our Thanksgiving tradition is to have a formal sit-down dinner where we not only enjoy the food and conversations, but also take our time to go around the table to reflect on the year past and give our thanks. Thanksgiving allows me to slow down and start my year-end reflection.
2022 has been quite a year for the world; the lift of the pandemic restrictions, the uncertainty of our economy, financial turmoil caused by inflation, the roller coaster rides of the stock markets, tension and war among countries, and the passing of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Queen Elizabeth II.
2022 has also been quite a year for me personally. The main highlights included a major, thankfully a smooth transition of my out-of-state move, two health scares with a good recovery each time, and the privilege of walking alongside of my coaching clients whom I supported and guided to reach their goals and successes. As you’re reading this blog post, I’d decided to give thanks to my friends and family by spending this Thanksgiving with them in person in Asia.
It might be hard for some of you to give thanks for the difficult challenges you had to face in 2022. Feeling content has helped me appreciate some curveballs life throws at me, so I’d like to encourage you to focus on “contentment,” because contentment can still exist in the midst of great difficulties.
What is contentment?
How do you define contentment? One definition says, “a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed.” Many people say contentment is “to be happy with what you have.” I personally always end it with a few more words afterward, “to be happy with what you have, and have not.” When you solely focus on what you have, human nature usually leads you down to the path of desiring even more or being envious of others. The reality is that life will come with unreached goals, missed opportunities, and a list of “should’ve(s),” and if you can take a honest and balanced look at life, appreciate both what you have and have not, you will have a much better chance to be content with the current condition you are in. Isn’t it true when it’s a perfect condition, nothing more or less needs to be added onto it?
The world is filled with noises that distract you, competitiveness that enlarges your view of what you lack, or emotional stimuli that make you dissatisfied with the relationships you are working on. So, how many of you can truly say you are content? Or do you even strive for contentment?
What takes away your contentment?
Here are four factors that may take away your sense of appreciation and contentment. I encourage you to pay attention and be aware of the possible influences, so that as you move forward in life and especially during this season, you may celebrate this Thanksgiving with a sense of gratitude, positivity and contentment.
Have you ever felt good about yourself and your achievements until you see what others have done, then that moment of pride and joy was instantly snatched out of you and replaced with disappointment and discouragement? Stop comparing yourself to others; rather, compare yourself to your old self and take a note of your own accomplishments.
Greed destroys contentment. Greed focuses your desire on getting more which makes you overlook and leave behind what you have and have achieved. Take a pause from time to time to appreciate what you have, may it be friends, family, material possessions, good health or freedom!
3. Worries and fear
Worries and fear mostly come from the unknowns of the future. They fire up your desire and desperation to control the future instead of living in the present. Yes, we all need to plan for the future; however, finding that balance between living and loving one day at a time and planning for the future is an art you must master. No one can relive yesterday nor fore-live tomorrow. So, cherish and be thankful for today first, then handle tomorrow’s challenges with a full heart tomorrow.
4. I, me, myself
When you look at your life through a magnifier glass, human nature will only lead you into nitpicking and exaggerating your needs and imperfections. While you take care of yourself every day, don’t forget to make the effort to notice others around you, engage with them, discover their areas of needs, then reach out and offer yourself to help. By doing so, you will gain a sense of gratitude and fresh and positive perspectives on your own life.
As we are headed into Thanksgiving holiday in just a few days. Will you take a pause and think about what you are thankful for this year?
From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!
About Faye Weng
Your Online Life and Career Coach
Faye Weng is an expert life and career coach who works with clients to take back control of their lives by rediscovering their passions, living/working with a clear purpose, and becoming people who can positively impact the communities around them. As your life and career coach, Faye will help you minimize noises and distractions, focus your effort and attention on the right things, execute a clear plan of action, and celebrate alongside of you when each milestone is reached. Click here to book a complimentary session.