Necessity is the mother of invention. Difficult situations inspire ingenious solutions. I share a story in the first chapter of my book where I was stuck in the muck, frustrated, worried, dissatisfied. It was while in this state I finally saw how my own thinking was getting in my way, and also saw a possible solution. Happiness is a choice. This powerful realization came not in spite of, but because of the discontent I felt.

Discontent and unhappiness are not the same things. Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention. Discontent is the father of creation. Difficult situations inspire ingenious solutions. Unhappiness may be one manifestation of discontent, but discontent is a more general concept. Sometimes discontent is uncomfortable or painful – and we feel unhappy. Some forms of discontent, like curiosity or anticipation, are pleasant – and we feel happy.

Traditional thinking and conditioning puts a negative spin on discontent. When we truly understand the role of discontent in our lives, we can see it as essential to a healthy psyche. In fact, for the emotionally healthy, discontent is a natural precursor to happiness, joy, enthusiasm, vitality. For the emotionally unhealthy, discontent is assumed to be a precursor to disappointment and disaster. The first of our problem solving tools is appreciation of discontent.

Everything is okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

~ Carolyn Myers