Author Dr. Vijai Sharma PHD, is a “Life Coach”in Cleveland

Contentment is not automatically attendant on our material achievements. Some of us have insatiable appetite like one would experience with food addiction. We have to seek contentment for the sake of contentment; otherwise it will be an unending wild goose chase.

Couple of decades ago I was around people in whom I discerned a lot of inner restlessness. They were impatient, unable to relax and always on the go. This prompted me to write an article in the local newspaper “Did you remember to take your ‘content pill’ today?”

The article stoked irrational fears in some readers such as, “If I become content, I would’ve no motivation to strive and work hard to finish anything.” Another critic took even stronger position, “You can be content when you lie six feet under in the coffin. Until then keep moving if you want to get somewhere in life!”

Phew! That sounds like a curse. It means you can never afford to relax or take it easy. Remember the hamster; constantly going round and round on the wheel? Does anyone reading this post want to be born as a hamster in their next life?

Seriously, we can’t be very productive and achieve durable peace or happiness until we avoid the common booby traps. What we want most may sometimes not be the most rational or appropriate goal for us.

Some times people get too emotionally attached to the idea of getting something because someone they know got it. But the problem is “that someone” they emulate might have gotten it by the virtue of their qualification or natural ability. So they fail. Negative feedback and evidence of mediocre performance makes them feel sorry for themselves.

Don’t get plugged in to the idea that there is one and only one thing that can make you happy. Remember, merely wanting something even more strongly and passionately without the essential qualification won’t do the trick. It’s a sure formula for unhappiness.

People ask, “What’s your I.Q (Intelligence Quotient)?” Let me ask a different question” “What’s your P.Q. (Pleasure Quotient)?” Choose behaviors and activities so you can maintain your P.Q at a high level. The higher your P.Q. the more independent you would be of your life’s circumstances.

P.Q. also stands for the “Perturbability Quotient.” This P.Q should be low in order to sustain happiness over time. When you get easily perturbed by what someone said or did or, didn’t say or do, you are likely to hit the unhappiness zone several times a day. Too much unhappiness doesn’t leave much room for happiness.

P.Q. also stands for “Philosophical quotient.” Do you have a positive philosophy against inevitable negative events and painful experiences.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “That which hurts instructs.” When you regard failure as your teacher, you inoculate yourself against the despair that failure can unleash upon an unprepared mind.

P.Q. also stands for “Positive Qualities.” There is a strong relationship between positive qualities and happiness. Positive qualities such as integrity, hope, faith, perseverance, contentment, self-control and optimism generate personal satisfaction and happiness. Take, for example, optimism. While optimism triggers behaviors that contribute to our health and happiness, pessimism stifles them. Optimism, to some extent, counteracts depression.

So watch them and nurture your P.Qs!