There is a strong sense of calm accomplishment with being content. It is aligned to fulfilment and happiness but with elements that are stronger and deeper.
Rather than having connotations of smugness, contentment has much more to do with humility and acceptance.
Contentment brings peace of mind and positivity that can facilitate growth and self-improvement.
This does not mean you can't have dreams and aspirations. You can accept the present and still wish for a better future.
Contentment only means to be at peace with the present, not in a complacent way. A positive frame of mind is a good foundation for life.
I had the blues because I had no shoes, until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet. - Persian proverb
The main difference between happiness and contentment is that, while happiness denotes an emotional state, which is more short term, contentment refers to a more permanent state, which is long term.
Again, contentment has a deep connection with other aspects of acceptance, ageing and wellbeing. Particularly Growth, Resilience, Belonging and Spirituality. It involves living in the present…particularly where one is with, and in, life.
Wikipedia says of contentment1: It is an emotional state of satisfaction that can be seen as a mental state, maybe drawn from being at ease in one's situation, body and mind. Colloquially speaking, contentment could be a state of having accepted one's situation and is a milder and more tentative form of happiness.
Blog site Thrive Global in a 20202 posting, leans towards Aristotle’s view of the world where happiness is self-contentedness. The publication believes that this is more important than anything else for this reason; if deep inside your heart, you are not contented, everything you have is of no use. We struggle in our lives all to acquire happiness, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the ultimate idea we have in life is to acquire happiness. What if we work hard, earn, and keep struggling in life but are not happy from our heart. All of our efforts might go down the drain if we fail to obtain contentment in our lives.