Tag: Contentment (home)

This planet has -- or rather had -- a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

permalink source: Douglas Adams
tags: Contentment, Happiness, Money

Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.

permalink source: Aesop
tags: Contentment, Perfectionism, Success

When Apple computer fell on difficult times, Apple's chairman (Steven Jobs) traveled from Silicon Valley to New York City. His mission was to convince Pepsico's John Sculley to move west and run the struggling company. As the two men overlooked the Manhanntan skyline from Sculley's office, he started to decline the offer. "Financially," Sculley said, "you'd have to give me a million-dollar salary, a million dollar bonus, and million dolloar severance." Stunned but desperate, Jobs agreed. But Sculley would have to move to California. Sculley would only agree to being a consultant from New York. Exasperated, Jobs challenged Sculley: "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want to change the world?" In his autobiography Odyssey, Sculley admits the challenge "knocked the wind out of me." He'd been so consumed with his petty dreams and his comfortable surroundings that an opportunity to change the world nearly passed him by. He put his life into perspective and went to work for Apple.

permalink source: Leadership Journal Spring 1991 (44)
tags: Contentment, Vision

I have a simple philosophy: Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches.

permalink source: A. R. Longworth
tags: Contentment, Humor, Philosophy

Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.

permalink source: Ogden Nash
tags: Contentment, Happiness

Sloppy, raggedy-assed old life. I love it. I never want to die.

permalink source: Dennis Trudell
tags: Contentment

The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.

permalink source: Mark Twain
tags: Contentment, Success

Psalm 23, Antithesis The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest. It makes me lie down only when exhausted. It leads me to deep depression. It hounds my soul. It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity's sake. Even though I run frantically from task to task,I will never get it all done. For my "ideal" is with me. Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me. They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule. They anoint my head with migraines. My in-basket overflows. Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever. -- by Marcia K. Hornok, as first published in DISCIPLESHIP JOURNAL, Issue #60, 1990.

permalink source: Marcia K. Hornok
tags: Contentment, Time Management

ON SELFISHNESS & AMERICAN CULTURE "To bring [the Indian] out of savagery into citizenship… we need to awaken in him wants. Discontent with the teepee and the Indian camp is needed to get the Indian out of the blanket and into trousers--and trousers with a pocket in them, and with a pocket that aches to be filled with dollars!"- Dr. Merrill E. Gates (president of Amherst College) "The head chief [of the Cherokees] told us that there was not a family in that whole nation that had not a home of its own. There was not a pauper in the nation, and the nation did not owe a dollar… Yet the defect of the system was apparent. They [the Indians] have got as far as they can go, because they own their land in common… There is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of civilization. Until this people give up their lands and divide them among their citizens so that each can own theland he cultivates, they will not make much progress." - Senator Dawes (author of the Dawes Act, which forcibly divided Indian lands formerly held communally) Selfishness is the root of civilization? Amazing what people reveal about their values in such casual statements. The above would be funny were it not for the whole sad history of government dealings with the Native Americans. The quotes are from "In the Absence of the Sacred" by Jerry Mander (Sierra Club, 1991).

permalink source: Jerry Mander
tags: Contentment, Selfishness, Greed, Values

"Our economy is based upon people wanting more--their happiness on wanting less."

permalink source: Francis Clark
tags: Contentment, Money

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them The Mexican replied, "Only a little while." The American then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full busy life, senor." The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could by several boats and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and more to Mexico City, then LA, and eventually NYC where you will run your expansive enterprise." The fisherman asked, "But, senor, how long will this take?" To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years. "But what then, senor?" The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO, sell your company stock to the public, and become very rich. You would make millions!!" "Millions, senor? And then what?" "Well, then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Contentment, Success

The Romans had a proverb which said that money was like sea-water; the more a man drank the thirstier he became.

permalink source: William Barclay's commentary on Lucan commentary of the Rich Fool
tags: Contentment, Money, Greed

Recently a "Husband Shopping Center" opened in Dallas, where women could go to choose a husband from among many men. It was laid out with five floors, with the men increasing in positive attributes as you ascended up the floors. The only rule was once you opened the door to any floor, you must choose a man from that floor, and if you went up a floor, you couldn't go back down except to leave the place, never to return. A couple of girlfriends went to the place to find men. On the first floor the door had a sign saying, "These men have jobs and love kids." The women read the sign and said, "Well, that's better than not having jobs, or not loving kids, but I wonder what's further up?" so up they went. The second floor said, "These men have high-paying jobs, love kids, and are extremely good-looking." "Hmmm," said the girls. "But I wonder what's further up?" The third floor: "These men have high-paying jobs, are extremely good-looking, love kids and help with the housework." "Wow!" said the women. "Very tempting, BUT there's more further up!" and up they went. Fourth floor: "These men have high-paying jobs, love kids, are extremely good-looking, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak." "Oh, mercy! But just think what must be awaiting us further on!" So up to the fifth floor they went. The sign on that floor said, "This floor is empty and exists only to prove that women are impossible to please."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Contentment, Gender Issues, Desire, Expectations, Dating

Question: Where can happiness always be found? Answer: In the dictionary.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Contentment, Happiness

Studies such as Robert Frank's <i>Luxury Fever</i> have shown that people would agree to make less total money so long as they make more than their neighbors: that is, they would rather earn, say, $85,000 a yeear where no one else is making more than $75,000 instead of $100,000 where everyone else is making $125,000. H. L. Mencken, who took especial delight in the frailties and the pretensions of the democratic spirit, once defined contentment in America as making $10 a month more than your brother-in-law.

permalink source: Joseph Epstein, Envy p 35-36
tags: Contentment, Greed

Summary: there are two approaches to decision-making--being a maximizer or a satisficer. Satisficing is better. Herbert Simon first wrote about satisficing in the 1950s.

permalink source: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, by Barry Schwartz, 77f
tags: Contentment, Choices

... who do you think is happier, an athlete who wins a silver medal in the Olympics (second place) or an athlete who wins a bronze medal (third place)? It seems obvious that second is better than third, so silver medalists should be happier than bronze medalists. But this turns out, on average, not to be true. Bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists. As the sil|ver medalists stand on the award platform, they're thinking about how close they came to winning the gold. Just a little more of this, and a little less of that, and ultimate glory would have been theirs. As the bronze medalists stand on that platform, however, they're thinking how close <i>they</i> came to getting no medal at all. The near miss of the silver medalists is triumph, whereas the near miss of the bronze medalists is also-rain obscurity.

permalink source: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Barry Schwartz, 150-151
tags: Competition, Contentment, Winning

I don't care about material things. It never meant Jack to me. … The only thing that I guess I would treasure more than anything else is the health of my kids, then my wife, then me. In that order. Everything else I could take care of easy . . . I'm here. I go to bed at night, you know, with four kids laying on your head. That's a lot cooler existence than being on the cover of a goofy magazine with the latest starlet. It only plays well to selling covers of magazines. It's a pretty lonely existence. I can tell you firsthand.

permalink source: Jon Bon Jovi, ABCNews.com, March 29, 2006. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Entertainment/story?id=1778512&page=1
tags: Contentment, Success

Piqued and curious, Alexander eventually went out to the suburb where Diogenes lived, in his large clay tub, and approached him personally. He found the philosopher sunning himself, naked except for a loincloth. Diogenes, his meditations disturbed by the noise and laughter of the numerous courtiers who came flocking at the captain-general's heels, looked up at Alexander with a direct, uncomfortable gaze, but said nothing. For once in his life, Alexander was somewhat embarrassed. He greeted Diogenes with elaborate formality and waited. Diogenes remained silent. At last, in desperation, Alexander asked if there was anything t philosopher wanted, anything he, Alexander, could do for him? "Yes," came the famous answer, "stand aside; you're keeping the sun off me." That was the end of the interview.... Alexander's followers tried to turn the episode into a joke, jeering at Diogenes and belittling his pretensions. But the captain-general silenced them with one enigmatic remark. "If I were not Alexander," he said, "I would be Diogenes." [Cantor adds, "Diogenes wanted nothing to do with the world; Alexander wanted to conquer it. The two men died on the same day: Alexander at thirty-three, Diogenes at ninety."]

permalink source: Peter Green, Alexander of Macedon: 356-323 B.C., 123, as cited in, Norman Cantor, Alexander The Great: Journey To The End of the Earth, 74
tags: Contentment, Ambition