The Key to Contentment: Thankfulness

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • I have every reason to be content. I live in one of the most affluent and privileged cultures in the history of civilization. I enjoy the freedom to learn, speak, and even sing whatever my heart desires. I have daily access to clean water, wholesome food, and shelter from the elements. I am employed – and I even have the option to change careers at any time I wish. Friends, I am living the dream. I really have every reason to feel happy, expectant, and fulfilled; yet, I sometimes feel a disquieting emptiness and a deeper longing for significance.

    You see, I struggle to find contentment in a culture seemingly obsessed with “self.” There is constant societal pressure to find our self-worth in our appearance and/or what we attain in life – whether material possessions, status, or a veneered sense of spirituality. So we can be inclined to keep others at arm’s length. We tend to over-manage relationships with friends, family, and co-workers in a subtle but desperate attempt to protect our own vulnerabilities. I too fall prey to carefully selecting what façade I share with others through the Internet – especially when it comes to Social Media. So I worry that not only I, but the people I love, are missing out on a more purposeful life that is deeper in meaning – brimming with authentic connections, fulfillment, and lasting contentment.

    I was once counseled to “go serve other people” for a period of time to see what impact it would have on my life outlook – and you know what? It deeply and profoundly impacted me. I discovered that as I served, the more thankful I felt, and the more content I actually became. I was participating in something with life long implications. I am convinced that in a self-obsessed culture looking for fulfillment, thankfulness is the key to true contentment.

    Through serving others, I found great relief in taking the focus off my unsatisfiable self. Now it’s likely some readers will chafe against this statement because it goes against the more conventional wisdom of pursuing one’s passions at all costs – but is such self-obsession what life is all about? Are we really telling generations to come, that their hope, fulfillment, and contentment can only be found in themselves? I’m not so sure I want my life to stand for such a notion.

    Consider this: people from all walks of life share one commonality – we are human. We have value. We are image-bearing beings that are meant to connect. I mean really connect. We have the ability to impact one another for better or worse. Something as simple as a smile could change the course of a life. And when we live intentionally – by authentically connecting with and serving others, our humanity displays something greater about reality. Something glorious. And it’s good.

    Do you want to find lasting contentment?

    Get connected. Serve others. Be thankful.

    Joal Kamps

    JOAL KAMPS is an award-winning singer-songwriter who is passionate about connecting with people through the Arts. By blending storytelling with songwriting, Joal creates ‘Rocky Mountain Folk-Pop’. He has released several full-length albums and enjoys touring throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America. Before his career in music, Kamps spent four years travelling around the world in search of adventure and the ever-elusive self. He went from sleeping in a car for six weeks one harsh Canadian winter, to walking the runways of Italy as a male model during Men’s Fashion Week, to building and installing BioSand water filters in impoverished communities in El Salvador. From Asia to Europe to Central America, he went wherever the winds would take him. Perhaps that’s what makes his songs resonate with the sojourner in all of us. Joal and his wife Lauren live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada – located just east of the Rocky Mountains: where he finds inspiration for much of his music, and coincidentally, camps! Joal spends his free time hiking in search of the next great swimming hole, or recharging his creative spirit beneath the boughs of a white spruce – his guitar and songbook always within arms reach.

    For more information, please visit joalkamps.com.

    View all posts by Joal Kamps.

    1. Else
      Else says:

      Awesome, it made my day. I am longing to be of service to others, not quite sure where to begin. Thank you for has ring this uplifting story.

      Reply
      • joalkamps
        joalkamps says:

        Thanks Else! What are you passionate about in life? Often times there’s great opportunities to serve others in an area that you feel strongly about. The Arts? Social Justice? Health? Environment? The possibilities are endless.

        Reply

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