How to Be the Chairman of the Contented

The Chairman of the Contented — why do we “thrill-seek,” then crash and burn? Perhaps we have forgotten to prize contentment.

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The Costa Rica Update

rainbowMonteverde sky walk

It was raining, and a great trip. And two whole days of glorious sunshine this week. One month left until we fly home.

chairman of the contented

I was working with a neat client the other day. We’d finished talking and had a good bodywork session, and were having a post-bodywork “relax and chat” moment. In the midst of the chat, my client said that she’d had a meeting, at work, with “The Board.”

My mind, such as it is, has trouble not playing with words. I said something to the effect of, “Why would anyone want to be a meeting with the bored? I mean, people actually work their way up through the ranks of the bored, and finally get to be the Chairman of the Bored. Wouldn’t it be better to be the Chairman of the Excited?”

Or the Chairman of the Contented?”

OK. So I’m a bit weird—surely that’s been made abundantly clear to you, as you’ve read The Pathless Path . I can’t resist playing with language, and noticing how, when we really listen, other vistas and perspectives often open up—though our use of language.

Doesn’t it strike you that many people live life as if they are in the midst of a bipolar attack?

bipolarI think it’s you, not me

Thrill junkies abound, and being in the dumper seems to be a popular choice too. Entire sub-cultures revolve around the use of Prozac. Viagra has become a recreational drug for 20-somethings.

Despite huge denials, much energy is spent trying to maintain the status quo. “It’s just the way I am” is the cop-out phrase of the decade. I amaze myself daily over how many people seem to be simply going through the motions. The most you ever seem to get out of them is, “If things don’t change, I’m out of here.” They’re gonna live, they’re gonna move, and can’t or won’t believe they’ll take their baggage with them.

As I said 2 weeks ago, what seems to be missing is a sense of purpose and direction — a leitmotif — a meaning. And I’m suggesting we find meaning despite the meaningless nature of life itself.

Of course it’s tough out there. Of course life itself — building relationships, communicating with excellence and elegance — is tough.

Often, as I sit with people we get around to discussing business. Relationships and work tend to be two areas where people really scare themselves. Or shut themselves down.

It’s essential to actually work at these things, not just wander about, aimlessly.

Boredom is always self-inflicted. I find this so interesting, just as I find life, well, so interesting. As we sit and stew about “What’s wrong, and how helpless I am,” we think that life is passing us by and it’s all so useless. The better we get at whining helplessly the closer we get to being the Chairman of the Bored. And think about how often we sit in small groups of colleagues, having a “pity-party” and talking about how tough it all is. Here’s a thought:

if all of your friends like to do is sit around and complain,
without effecting change,
maybe you need new friends.

The cult of the excited is certainly an improvement. The walk of excitement is a bit of a trap too, but definitely more interesting than making yourslef bored. The danger is that you’ll become a change or excitement junkie. Lots of people who attend endless self-improvement seminars are caught in this loop. Their heads fill with visions of sugarplums. When the world fails to get as excited as they are about the newest psychobabble, they don’t learn a lesson. They simply run off to the next big adventure.


My vote is for the cult of contentment. Within this framework are the endless possibilities that choice brings. I can be excited about the changes in direction that I am making, but I’m not caught up in the feelings. Each and every conversation, decision, project, takes on a life of its own. There is beauty and bliss in each activity.

I empower myself to be an agent of choice. I seek like-minded people to talk to and walk with. I play the game from the pure joy of playing — taking what works and sharpening it, taking what isn’t working and finding alternatives. I choose to do this without attachment to taking, or receiving, credit or attention. I do things differently because I enjoy the pleasure of being creative. (And of course, people do notice!)

And for me? I’m content to be the Chairman of the Contented. Now, will you elect to “come on board?”

Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

2 thoughts on “How to Be the Chairman of the Contented”

    • hey Danette — I’m enjoying reading YOUR blog.
      seems to me that when I’m present and breathing, boredom never occurs.
      and issues with holidays seems to be about reality not matching expectations — once one is willing to accept what is, that one goes away too!
      huge rainbow over the lake in front of our casita. reality is grand, and so is hearing from you!


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