T Nation

Becoming Content With Oneself


This may seem to be a strange topic, but it's a question I can't seem to find a good answer to. I don't want any Dr. Phil kinds of answers, nor the "I'm OK, you're OK" variety. What I want to know is how does one go about accepting and enjoying who and what one is?

For those of you I haven't already lost, I believe that there is a large group of us who are utterly and irrevocably bourgeoisie; positioned in the middle class intellectually, physically, spiritually, and materially. No matter how one scraps against those tethers, middle class one remains. Even the acquisition of wealth and physical power are simply ersatz class restructuring; in the absence of beauty, the strong man or woman is still ugly. Develop your mind to its fullest, yet still the genius will easily fly ahead of you. Make large sums of money, and you will still never truly be a rich man, in all likelihood.

How does one find value in oneself when faced with archetypical greatness on such a grand scale, and with such frequency as we are treated to it in the popular media and our own social networks?

Does anyone have this one answered?


Dude are you writing some kinda book or something...Kinda using us as your lab rat minions? if so I wanna be brain and not pinky...


No, I honestly would like an answer to the question. I'm pretty depressed.


I know that even if I win the lottery, I'll still be a white thrash slob. As I've gotten older, nothing has changed. I make more money, but my quality of life hasn't really changed. I still do the exact same things for fun. I still just throw my clean clothes over the back of a chair instead of hanging them up.

I know I'll never be the strongest, smartest, or best at anything. I just want to become my own boss (if I make more money, great) and make sure my kids turn out alright.


through boning women


I'm not much of a philosopher but I think this one is pretty easy.

If you always think you are destined to mediocrity, then you will always be mediocre. To overcome this problem though, you have to know what you place value in and what type of value you are using to evaluate yourself. Find some quality or behavior in which you place high regard and then do it or become it. If that doesn't satisfy you then you don't truly value those qualities or behaviors you set before yourself.

Now you contradict yourself in some of your comments, you ask about being "content with oneself" yet you speak of bourgeoisie, class restructuring and social networks. Sounds more like you don't want to be content with yourself, but you want to be held in high social regard. That's a completely different situation but answered in much the same way. Find something society in general values and dedicate yourself to that. Either way, you will likely find individual contentment by virtue of actually accomplishing whatever goal it is you set out to achieve.

It kinda sounds like you've got a bad case of "what do I want to be when I grow up"...


It's easy. Sure, other people may be smarter then me, but I'm better looking then them. Sure, some people may be better looking then me, but I'm smarter then them. Sure, some people might be both smarter and better looking then me, but I'm funnier.

Actually, I think it's just not giving a damn. There will always be someone better in this or that, but you gotta live with who you are. Realize you have weaknesses, but at the same time you have your own strengths. Knowing what limitations you have, and making them your strengths. Yes, someone is smarter then me, but if I work hard then I appear to be better worker then him if he's done nothing but slack all day and then finished the work in the last five minutes, etc, etc. Yeah, that same work took me an hour or two, but the boss noticed me working hard to get it done. Determination or something.

You are who you are. Live with it.


You have to think of it in terms of that everyone has the exact same problem as you, only people dismiss it and don't even worry about it. Whenever you start comparing yourself to others is when life passes you up and you really fall behind.


What I want to know is how does one go about accepting and enjoying who and what one is?

You will accept and enjoy who you are only when you KNOW who you are first.


Assuming i've understood you right, for me it comes down to this. Who we are is not determined by any one thing. It is not therefore how strong we are that makes us who we are, or how rich but a combination of every trait. I've always thought that those people who inspire me are not the fastest, the kindest or the strongest necessarily but those who (because it is so rare) have a completeness about them. Strong, financially successful, funny, popular, etc. not the person who is the funniest or the cleverest or the richest because one trait or even a few can make a person unbalanced and uninteresting. I'm sure we all new someone at school who was brilliantly clever but with all that brilliance couldnt work out how to be popular - know what i mean.

Therefore, to me, to have good portion of many different qualities is the most desirable state.


Thanks for the responses. I feel compelled to add that I realize how egocentric and un-manly this whole deal is. I'm not happy to admit it, but I do crave social acceptance, and on a large scale. I don't think that contradicts my question, however, because it's this need for social value that makes it difficult for me to find value in myself. Does that make sense?

Worse, I further realize that I haven't been dealt a cruel hand. I'm not deformed, I'm not mentally or physically impaired, and I wasn't kicked around as a child. I have a job. Many, maybe even most people are worse off than I am. So I'm not proud of this, at all. And I apologize to those of you who have a genuine reason to complain, but do not. And I thank you all for your advice.



There is a simple answer to your question, one that you have obviously overlooked. You start with a premise that is unrealistic and therefore false.

You, like many others, seem to be focused on others. How smart they are, how much money they have, how strong they are etc. I think that is a big mistake. Competition with others is okay, as a means to make yourself better, but that is as far as it should go.

All you really have to be is the best that "you" can be! If you can Squat 365lbs is that good? It depends doesn't it? It depends not on what a champion powerlifter can squat, but what you could squat last year or six months ago. Every single person on earth is different in some way. You are a unique individual and can do many things that I am incapable of doing. And I can probably do a few things that you are incapable of doing. However, that means nothing! The only important comparison is you vs you!

Forget the notion that your worth is somehow dependent upon what others can do. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you do this you give others the power to make you feel bad for no reason. Your feeling of self worth will largely be predicated upon what you can do! Always try to be the best that "you" can be. Even if it is one small area. If you keep trying to be the best that you can be, independent of what others can or cannot do, then you will be a true success!

I set goals for each New Year. I have them in every facet of my life from family to training. If I achieve a goal and better what I did the previous year then I win, it's that simple. I have been doing this for many, many years and it has always worked for me.

Matters not to me that Joe Schmoe can Squat 800lbs. I am happy for them. But, if I went from 335lbs to 365lbs in one year, I win because I am now a better me, at least in that area. I urge you to look at every area of your life that way! By the way when I began tracking my Pull-ups I could only do 3. I am now shooting for a goal of 40 in a row! That sure as heck is not the best but look how far I have come by putting the focus on me vs me.

One last thing, instead of comparing yourself with others don't forget to focus on what you can do for others! This is very helpful relative to mental health. there is a way that you can become great. You can become a great human being by reaching out to help others! Next time someone needs something you be the guy who helps them out. It can something as small as a ride down the street. It can also me volunteering to work at a food pantry. It's up to you. Sounds corny but it's true, give it a try!

If you ever want to talk, you can PM me anytime!

Best To You,



Contention is stagnation and contention does not mean happiness, so why in the world would you want to be content?

I think you should look to what makes you happy not what makes you content. I find happiness through boning. I find happiness through lifting. I find even more happiness through more boning. You should figure out what you are passionate about (such as boning)not what you are content with.

I think most people settle into the false security that contention brings. They stop striving for anything better. This is merely a downward spiral to failure and people will typically become more and more content with less. Then they become more malcontent and whine but don't have the drive to search or work for something better. This is the stagnation.

The T-Man/T-Vixen drive is what seperates us from the malcontents. We take risks. We do things differently and we are passionate.



You are exhibiting classic signs of depression. This needs to be treated. I would consult your doctor. Modifying psychological factors only can help so much.

On a lighter (and less serious note), achievement and appreciating one's accomplishments are key to happiness. Kick some (figurative) ass. You will feel better.

I like to point out hypocrises within the democratic party. That helps me fight depression. I encourage you to give it a whirl. It's fun to catch people like lumpy, kuri, etc... in lies and deception. Who knows, you might even help someone think through an issue. That is rewarding for me. Good luck,

jerrynadler/ barneyfife/ chuckschumer/hillary/billyboy in 2004!!!



Seeing a doctor or psychiatrist really isn't what I'm after. I really don't want to be proscribed zoloft, prozac or whatever else would 'cure' me. If I should be strong enough to get through this myself. Plus, this is not a several month-long issue. But thanks for the concern.


I recently read a book call 'Finding Your Own North Star' written by Martha Beck. It was an interesting book looking at the difference between one's social self and one's essential self. The book gave some guidance/excercises on how to start reading your internal compass to start moving towards your North Star or essential self. It may help with understanding what you are going through. Good Luck!


The "problem" lies in human nature. And it's really not a problem - but instead one of the reasons we've become so technologically advanced, organized, artistic, etc... We're incredibly efficient as a society when you compare us to any other group of animals, and that's due in part to our inability to be fully satisfied. Why don't I reword it and put it this way: it's your motivational force. If you didn't feel unsatisfied with a low-level job, would you ever work as hard to get a career you're proud of? Lack of satisfaction is a virtue, depending on how you look at it (if you're saddam and you're unsatisfied because 100 people didn't vote for you, then you're just sick).
We've evolved so that we're never fully satisfied with something and always seeking progress.

If you find someone who isn't unsatisfied, then he's become complacent.

Regardless of where you stand in life, there is always something else you need/want. No one would EVER put their lives on the line in some cases if they weren't deeply unsatisfied with something.


diesel, while I agree with you to an extent, there are levels. For example, anger is a useful emotion. It's good to have if someone tries to take your kid from you, for example. But if you get angry because the guy in front of you cut you off, and proceed to run him off the road, then you have a problem. I'm not mildly dissatisfied, or "motivated." I'm so dissatisfied that my motivation is gone. But I'll get through it. I'm sure a large part of it is just being out of college and entering a new phase of my life.


I can definitely empathize. I'm about to finish my bachelor's in IT, have a decent paying job (though I hate it,) drive a Mercedes, bone a hot chick, and am better looking than average (or so im told,) yet im never really happy (or not for any extended period of time.) Ive had similar thoughts on wallowing in mediocrity, etc., but I dont think that's it. Im sure you, as I, have unresolved conflicts. I guess those in our positons just have to look within themselves, objectively, and figure out what's wrong and how to fix it. Shit, a couple of years ago I was 30lbs heavier, no girl, no money and was always a depressed mess. Now im looking pretty good, have some money, bone a hot chick...shit, I just got myself in a better mood. Time for some green tea and hitting the gym...hope this made you feel a bit better. You seen to have a good head on your shoulders. After the black cloud dissipates, you'll be fine. Good luck....


I?ve heard that men gain self worth from work and their significant other than anything else. I think this is sad. I feel that the world wants me to feel bad about being a man and that affects my self image. The only thing that I know for sure is that perspective is everything. Change your perspective and you can change how you view yourself. If you want some suggested reading I would try anything from Tony Robbins or ?Wild at Heart? from John Eldredge. If you depend on someone else to tell you what you are or are not that makes you dependant. Try to be independent. If you find any other answers I want to know.

Me Solomon Grundy