Sam Radford

August 16, 2021

Happiness or contentment?

I appreciated this Hasidic proverb I stumbled across last week:

While we pursue happiness,
we flee from contentment.

This suggestion that seeking happiness moves us away from contentment is profound and provocative. 

But there’s wisdom to be considered here.

Happiness is a temporary state, dependent on circumstances. But contentment eclipses circumstances. It’s a bottomless well that sustains us through everything life casts at us. 

Contentment doesn’t refuse us happiness though. And you could argue that pursuing contentment puts us in a better position to savour those moments of happiness as and when they break into our lives.


Got some thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you – do hit reply or drop me a note.

@samradford |