“Contentment, as it is a short road and pleasant, has great delight and little trouble.” – Epictetus
Contentment should be our goal when we think about happiness. Being content as in not wanting for anything more in our lives is something that should be within reach for each of us.
This is likely why the author classifies contentment as a short road. Many of us should be able to accomplish contentment simply by changing the way that we look at our own lives. If we stop looking at all of the external things, many of which are way outside our control and start to focus on the things we can control, we will find very quickly that we could have been content in our own lives for quite some time now.
It is a pleasant road because the act of looking at our lives and teasing out which things are within our control and which things are not leads to self reflection. This leads to understanding and respecting ourselves more. Which ultimately leads to us feeling better about ourselves. Then we start working on the little things that we can control and w start to see some changes. This leads to us wanting to accomplish more and suddenly we find ourselves months or years down the path and we realize that we are content with who we are and where we are going.
We will also find that the path of self reflection and the self mastery that comes with focusing on the things within our control bring a lot of joy as well.
So let’s get on the path, stay on the path, and learn to enjoy the path.
virtus fortis vocat