The Power of Contentment

Joshua - Los Alamitos, California
Entered on March 18, 2009

I believe that the most successful people are those who are content. Throughout my life, I have heard many people say, “If I had this, I would be happy,” or ‘If I didn’t have this, I would be happy.” I have seen that many people, both rich and poor say that they needed something to be happy.

In my life, I have always wanted to be able play video games like “everybody else”. My parents thought otherwise about letting me waste my time doing nonproductive hobbies while I could be practicing piano, doing extra practice in math, or studying for my Spanish quiz. However, after many years of complaining and through the generosity of my uncle, I finally got an Xbox. This was how I started playing video games and I was content, until I eventually beat all of the games that were interesting; what I had became dissatisfying. After that, I began to ask for an Xbox 360 and because my dad had gotten hooked on video games, he wanted one also. My mom was not so keen towards buying one because she still believed that we could be spending our time doing something more prolific. However, my 13th birthday was approaching and my awesome uncle found a deal to get a new Xbox 360 for only three hundred dollars. My mom finally gave in from the constant pressure from my father, my uncle (who already had an Xbox 360 and insisted that it would be fine), and me; we finally got an Xbox 360 and I was given it on my 13th birthday. This too made me content for a while, but after about a year, I grew tired of it and again said, “If only I had Xbox live, I would be happy.” By this time I had realized that if I continued on this pattern, I would never be satisfied, so when I got Xbox Live, I decided that I would stop trying to obtain more material possessions to be satisfied and try to be content with what I had.

Throughout my journey, I discovered the secret to being happy. In order for me to be happy in my life, I learned that I just needed to be content with what I had and trying to get more would just be a: “chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes) because there would always be something new to buy.