Be Content – or Strive to Conquer Mountains –

or be Happy Finding a Coin on the Street


Life’s different dimensions!



I had a comfortable lunch in town – with a glass of red wine – to relax – and was content!

A relaxed life, free of all those petty things, as on that “to-do” list, provides for some deep happiness – and allows for a wider view of life.

Contentment with one’s position in life can bring happiness! Work from 8 to 3 or from 9 to 5, then go home to family and TV – or, on weekends, to golfing or fishing! What  a happy – though limited – life!


My thoughts turned to what our goals in life should be.

Being trained in the sciences, I visualized a graphic presentation showing happiness in the course of life as a function of goals reached. This curve, most likely, begins by rising steeply as early effort yields an early return in accomplishments – and resulting happiness. After some rising, however, the curve flattens out, as additional effort does not lead to any further happiness.

How does that look in real life? For a young person, getting an education is a serious effort – rewarded by some “graduation” or diploma. Then follows the hunt for a job! If we try harder, we may possibly get a better job – better in resulting satisfaction from that kind of work to do and from resulting financial benefit. It is there, where many people “settle down” – not seeing how further effort can bring more progress and happiness – from jobs in industry, business, the trades, the services, or in government.

Life can be happy in contentment!


When looking at the larger question of meaning of life – or of fulfillment of life – such early “settling down” may not quite be enough!

Why not use the unique opportunity to live here on this wonderful Earth for only a limited number of years to strive for more – to rise higher!  Such rising could be in mental growth or by acquiring new skills – or by contributing more substantially to the lives of others, to society, or our environment. Rising could also come from creating some great works of art!

Ask yourself what is left of your youthful striving out into the world – to limitless horizons, goals, and accomplishments? Rise and shine!!


We do not all have to become Napoleons – who, after all, caused more destruction and grief than anything positive.  We cannot all become Einsteins – who, after all, did not lead a very happy personal life (possibly affected by the Asperger Syndrome). We cannot and do not all want to ruthlessly run one of the big banks or investment companies on Wall Street – to become billionaires – then to live in big mansions or on great yachts!

But we should retain inspiring visions, should keep driving for higher goals in life! When starting our first job, after having learned the basic routines, we should keep learning more! There mostly is some more on-the-job-training or learning. We may be able to take some extra evening courses. We may possible be allowed to assume more and more responsibility.

We should also do some “networking”, for example by trying to be in contact with at least the next two higher management levels in our organization – to let them know about our desire to progress!

We can become a super-expert in our profession!

We could even consider getting into politics – on the local or national level!

There are so many possibilities – and expectations that some opportunities will open up in some area – sometimes unexpectedly – waiting for us to be pursued!

We should strive for higher – ever higher – goals! Many of the great personalities of history rose from simple beginnings!  The world needs great people in order to progress, to be role models, to form a better world for all – with less suffering and more opportunities fairly for all – with less poverty and better governance!

Go for it!!


After contently finishing my lunch and the glass of red wine, and after these rising thoughts, I got up to return home and went back to my car.

When once looking down, I happened to notice a coin in the gutter on the side of the street. It had a picture of Abraham Lincoln on its face!

I am a frugal person – and I liked that inspiring picture. So, I promptly bent down and picked up that small coin.

This moment of gaining a coin – with a Lincoln portrait on it – gave me great pleasure!

It is often in these little and humble situations where we sense basic enjoyment!

We should not forget this humility in pursuing our course through life!


Seeing things that way, I threw the coin back down onto the road, and later another one – with a portrait of George Washington on its face – hoping to provide a little happiness to somebody else who would find one or the other of those coins later-on.

Doesn’t most happiness in life results from small things?


But don’t forget those mountain peaks, which you could conquer!