Contentment can put a spring in your step if you walk this way.
Contentment is to be happy with what you have and find satisfaction in your present circumstances. Complacency is being unsatisfied with how your life is in the moment but still being unwilling to make changes to improve your situation.
British writer James Prescott is passionate about the intersections between spirituality, creativity & identity. In an essay related Mosaic of Grace he differentiates between the two states.
It’s a common view, that if you become content, you will eventually stop growing and life will begin to stagnate. The mistake is the assumption contentment and growth are incompatible – when it fact, it’s the complete opposite. Contentment isn’t an enemy of growth. It’s a partner. But what contentment isn’t, is satisfaction. Satisfaction is much more dangerous.
In fact, there is a huge difference with being content where you are and sticking around there. When we are content, we are pleased with where we are. We have a full appreciation of what’s going on in our lives, what we really have, how lucky we are. We value the blessings in our lives.
When we’re complacent, we simply choose to stay there. We think we’re done. We don’t bother trying to move forward with our lives anymore because we make the mistake of assuming there’s no more to go. No more we can achieve.
And this is a huge mistake.
I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it's not the answer.Jim Carrey
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Date Published: March 2023
To be reviewed: March 2026