Take satisfaction in one’s daily life

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, 
but I think I've ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams.

I have just finished reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography "The long walk to freedom". It was a great read and Mandela was a remarkable man. But there was one paragraph in his  very long book that really summed up the man and something that is important to us all. Whilst we aren’t in prison, Mandela's advice is still very relevant to us all.

To survive in prison, one must develop ways to take satisfaction in one’s daily life. One can feel fulfilled by washing one’s clothes so that they are particularly clean, by sweeping a corridor so that it is free of dust, by organising one’s cell to conserve as much space as possible. The same pride one takes in more consequential tasks outside prison one can find in doing small things inside prison. (page 475)

No matter what we do in life, we need to do it to the best of our ability, with a positive joyful attitude and find contentment in the everyday. Mandela was locked away for 27 years as a political prisoner — in that time he held no grudges against the men that locked him up, he was able to re-direct his disappointments into positive activities and he was able to find fulfilment and satisfaction in the mundane (and he had plenty of hours of those). He even found ways to keep himself busy during the day which brought joy, not only to him, but to others — he grew a very large vegetable garden which he shared with everyone including the wardens. He didn't want to be in prison, but  that was where he was, so he made the best of a not so good situation. 

We need to do the same.  

I would love to be at home during the day, I would love to not have a child suffering from depression - but this is what I have been given so I need remain positive and content in my current situation until God decides otherwise. You might be caring for someone sick, looking after elderly parents, feeling overwhelmed by your current situation, the house is in a mess and it all looks too much, your husband is demanding and seems unreasonable, this isn't what you signed up for. We need to search for "satisfaction in one's daily life" no matter what our situation is and that can be hard when it all looks too much. Mandela could have given up in those 27 years, he didn't and nor mustn't either.

If we spend our days wanting more or different to what we have, we will not be content  or happy and forever restless. We live in an age of "wanting more and more" and never happy with what we've got. Contentment is accepting what we have and not wanting more. God provides all we need and if we aren't happy with that, we are saying we aren't happy with God's decisions/plans for us. Lets search for contentment this week and see what we can find. Remember Mandela in his prison cell and how he found contentment in the everyday — we don't live in a prison, so it should be so much easier for us to achieve!

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
1 Timothy 6:11



  1. Dear Jo, this was very good! And yes we do live in an instant world. And God tells us many times to wait! I am always learning to be content! It is a valuable trait to have and to grow in!
    Blessings to you! So much has been going on in this world and so many dear ones lives!
    But I pray we will all overcome....

    1. Hi Roxy, Isn't it funny, the bible has many verses about slowing down and waiting - written at a time when things were quite slow when compared to modern day when everything is 24/7 and some places never sleep. But one doesn't need to be in the "rat-race" and many are choosing to hop out and live the quieter life.

      Have a wonderful week ahead.

      God Bless.

  2. I'm new here to your blog, and your newest follower! I saw your blog in someone's sidebar and the title of your post caught my eye. I think we are always going to be faced with some trial or another, and if we can try and count our small blessings in the midst of things it can help. Nice meeting you Jo.

    1. Hi Deborah, Thankyou so much for visiting - lovely to meet you . I think people forget to look for the small blessings that surround them as they are so focused on the trial it self.

      Have a wonderful week ahead.

  3. Jo, this post was in a link up, which is how I found it. I definitely identify. I wish I could be at home during the day, as well - I don't have children, but I could accomplish FOUR times as much if I didn't have to sit in an office 8 hours a day!! I am trying to learn to be content here, however, because this is what God gave me. I loved the Nelson Mandela quote, and I"ll be checking out his book.

    Love the blog!

    1. Hi Phylicia, I keep reminding myself that I wouldn't be able to support my adult children the way I do if I didn't work and right now the youngest needs lots of financial support and emotional support. God has His reasons for where He places us, even if we don't understand.

      Thanks for dropping by:)) Time to make dinner so better get moving otherwise dear hubby will be hungry!

  4. I think contentment is one of the most important things of all. If we are content we will be more joyful and more thankful for the things the Lord has given us and the place He has put us.


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