Contentment: A Misunderstood Virtue

Early in my career, I equated contentment with stagnation and complacency, seeing it as synonymous with laziness. This perspective, I’ve realized, was a misunderstanding of what true contentment represents.

Contrary to my initial belief, contentment isn’t a lack of desire to grow. It’s not about being complacent or stationary. Instead, contentment is a state of heart – one that is at peace with circumstances, finds joy in the present, and continually seeks to align with a higher purpose. 

Contentment is about being in harmony with God’s will, growing in wisdom, and discerning the right path forward. It’s about being ready to serve in any capacity we’re called to because we are fulfilled and open to growth.


Growth Posture and Contentment: Complementary Forces

I’ve learned that contentment and a growth posture can coexist. Being content doesn’t mean shunning personal or professional development. On the contrary, it’s about embracing growth in a way that aligns with our values and beliefs.

Admittedly, I still find myself initially resisting the idea of contentment. It’s a work in progress, reshaping this instinctive reaction. I’m learning to see contentment as a positive, balanced state – one that complements rather than hinders growth.

The relationship between GROWTH POSTURE & CONTENTMENT looks something like this:

The Unhappy and Scared Slacker – Low Contentment & Growth Posture

These people lack a desire for growth while not being content. They are unhappy and have little motivation and drive to change their situation.

The Comfortable but Stuck Employee – High Contentment &  Low Growth Posture

These people are happy with their circumstances (sometimes too happy) and are good where they are. They don’t have a drive to get better of improve. As a result, they desire comfort and status quo or learning and growth.

The Frustrated & Impatient Worker – High Growth Posture & Low Contentment

These people desire to learn, grow, and improve but often at a pace that is unrealistic. They are often (and easily) frustrated by their circumstances and grow impatient quickly with their situation. They want to grow quickly but have a hard time enjoying the journey and process.

The Peace-filled and Ready Contributor – High Growth Posture & High Contentment

This is the Goal, to be content while also desiring to learn and grow. These people find themselves happy in their circumstances because they are constantly learning and growing no matter where they find themselves. They find ways to contribute in meaningful ways, all the time.


Contentment, when correctly understood, is not a barrier but a catalyst for growth. It’s about finding balance and joy in the present while actively pursuing personal and professional development. It’s about being ready to contribute in all circumstances. It’s about knowing that there are opportunities to improve all around you. 


Chris Jorgensen