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Journaling Prompts

More: Is it possible to be happy with what you have, with your lot in life, and still wish for more, or are those two ideas mutually exclusive? Are you content with your life as it is? Do you wish for anything specific to change, and do you act in a way to get yourself there or simply wish without changing your actions? What would you sacrifice, if anything to have more of what you desire?


Discontent: We’ve all spent time around people who are dissatisfied and unhappy…and we’ve probably been those people at one time or another. What would you like to tell someone in your world who is chronically unhappy? If it’s you, what can you tell yourself to begin to turn the tide?


Completion/Attainment: What have you achieved already that has brought you contentment? Have you ever set a goal for yourself, achieved it, and then realized that reaching that goal didn’t truly bring you the contentment you wanted – either because you were working on the wrong thing, or because once you reached your goal, the bar moved?


Frustration: One antonym for contentment is frustration – contentment being an ongoing state of peacefulness and rest, while frustration is an ongoing feeling of restlessness and discomfort. What situations have you been in that have elicited frustration in you and how do you handle frustration? Do you barrel through, get depressed, shut down or spring into action?


Serenity and Satisfaction: What five things bring you the most ease, happiness and contentment? If you were stuck on a desert island, what five things would you want with you to make the time as happy as it could be?


Enough: In what ways could you see yourself as ‘enough’? Do you compare yourself to others in a positive or negative way? How do you judge your body, your home, your relationships. How much can you accept yourself – or do you see the word ‘enough’ as settling?

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Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

    Og Mandino


Those who face that which is actually before them, unburdened by the past, undistracted by the future, these are they who live, who make the best use of their lives; these are those who have found the secret of contentment.

    Alban Goodier


Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.

    Benjamin Franklin


There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.

There is no greater guilt than discontentment.

And there is no greater disaster than greed.



A harvest of peace is produced from a seed of contentment.

      American Proverb


Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.



The failure of the mind in old age is often less the results of natural decay, than of disuse. Ambition has ceased to operate; contentment bring indolence, and indolence decay of mental power, ennui, and sometimes death. Men have been known to die, literally speaking, of disease induced by intellectual vacancy.

    Sir B. Brodie


It is not for man to rest in absolute contentment. He is born to hopes and aspirations as the sparks fly upward, unless he has brutified his nature and quenched the spirit of immortality which is his portion.

    Robert Southey


To feel that one has a place in life solves half the problems of contentment.

    George Woodberry


When you can think of yesterday without regret and tomorrow without fear, you are near contentment.

    Author Unknown


An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.

    Charles de Montesquieu


The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

    H. P. Lovecraft


Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

    Benjamin Franklin


Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.

    Samuel Johnson


If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.

    Sir Francis Bacon



Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.

    Louis L'Amour



I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think interior decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

    Anna Quindlen


Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have.

    Doris Mortman


Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I am in, therin to be content

    Helen Keller


Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place in the contents. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. Nothing ever happens twice alike. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects. The most tranquil house, with the most serene inhabitants, living upon the utmost regularity of system, is yet exemplifying infinite diversities.

    Henry Ward Beecher


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



Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.



Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous.



We rarely find anyone who can say he has lived a happy life, and who, content with his life, can retire from the world like a satisfied guest.



He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.



When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the marjority of men live content.

    Niccolo Machiavelli


Learn to limit yourself, to content yourself with some definite thing, and some definite work; dare to be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not and to believe in your own individuality.

    Henri-Frédéric Amiel


A contented mind is the best source for trouble.

    Titus Maccius Plautus


A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in colour and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.


It is right to be contented with what we have, never with what we are.

    Sir James MacKintosh


To be content with what one has is the greatest and truest of riches.



I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.

     Eleanor Roosevelt


To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never, in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common, this is to be my symphony.

    William Henry Channing


This is the last of earth! I am content.

    John Quincy Adams


My motto is: Contented with little, yet wishing for more.

    Charles Lamb


He is richest who is content with the least.


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