One of the things that I have noodled on in the context of this whole quest for positivity and optimism is the idea of satisfaction.  We live in an AMAZINGLY materialistic society where we are constantly bombarded with messages on all sides of more, better, newer, faster, that engenders a culture of WANT WANT WANT WANT.  Such a culture, in conjunction with our socialized and reinforced desire for instant gratification leads to either excesses of all kinds (obesity, debt, alcoholism, to name a few) or to a state of rampant dissatisfaction because we are focused exclusively on those things we don't have.  

This is not a recipe for happiness, folks.

I declare that this is another area where people need to change their focus, alter their thinking.  Instead of noting what you don't have, note what you do.  Practice gratitude for those things.  There's no rule in life, no fairness committee that declares it is our inalienable right to have lots of stuff (stuff that, I might add, really does nothing to enhance our personal happiness beyond a superficial level of keeping up with the Joneses).  This is NOT what life is about.  And Lord knows, you can't take it with you when you go.

I'm not saying it's easy.  It requires a certain level of self awareness, of stopping to really look at where you are that is totally counter to our anywhere but right here, right now culture, of living in the present instead of some amorphous future where you tell yourself, "But I'll be happy when I have x, y, z" (where you really WON'T be happy because there will always be another, different, distant x, y, z). There is a certain kind of freedom in being content with what you already have.  In realizing you have what you need (and probably a lot of things you don't) and being free of the vicissitudes of commercialism.  

So I make this challenge to you.  Go for a month without giving in to those wants.  Don't buy anything except the things you actually need.  And see if you can focus on the things you already have and be grateful for them.  Come back after and let me know if your attitude changed any and whether you find yourself less often saying "I want X."  Satisfaction is within your grasp.  I promise.  You just have to make a little mental effort.

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