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I have had a dilemma in my mind now for quite some time. One of the main reasons I started this blog was to generate dialogue on different topics, and although thus far there the dialogue has been rather sparse, I hope that any and all that might read this will share their ideas on this topic.
Here’s the dilemma: how does one strike the right balance between being content with what one is/has and striving to improve, to develop, and to progress?
For some reason I have always assumed that this was an either/or proposition- that by being content I would somehow be giving up on striving for improvement. Being content to me seemed like a “cop out” and like the lazy way. So I believe I have generally tried to focus on pursuing improvement, growth, and progress but at the expense of being content. Although I have all that I could ever want or need, I think my pursuit for a more enjoyable career, for more ideal relationships, and for greater personal growth has robbed me of much happiness.
It is still somewhat counter-intuitive to me, but I am beginning to realize that being content and striving for more are not necessarily mutually exclusive. My desires are not nearly as pure as Alma’s, but I can say as he did, “…I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.” I am afraid that I cannot easily relinquish my grasp on striving for progress in different aspects of my life, but I hope that I can at least develop an ability to “strive contentedly.”
So, what ideas do you have about the conflict, if there is one, between being content and striving for growth and progression? How can one achieve the right balance between these two forces?