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6 Ways to Transcend Discontentment

By Steve D’Annunzio

Yesterday I spoke of the benevolent power of discontentment.

The following is a six-part formula that will allow you to transcend any discontentment or pain:

  1. Be aware.
  2. Be humble.
  3. Be grateful.
  4. Recognize the message.
  5. Ask what the lesson is.
  6. While you’re waiting for the lesson, rewrite the most powerful story imaginable.

Be Aware

As we learn from twelve-step programs, the first step to overcoming a problem is to recognize that a problem exists. Any time you feel discontentment snap out of the habitual pattern of either ignoring it or trying to push through it.

Be aware that something is causing you discomfort. Be conscious in your efforts to transcend it. Get out of the ego-thinking blind mind and into the aware mind.

Try refocusing and redirecting, rather than being stubborn.

Understand that prolonged discontentment isn’t necessary—we only think it is because we’re surrounded by people who think it’s normal, and they think this because they’re constantly discontent themselves.

Be Humble

No one can be guided until they submit to guidance. Humility is the simple recognition that there is a God who knows your situation and the divine understanding that God wants you to be happy.

Be humble enough to accept His guidance through your discontentment. Don’t fight it or be angry at it — accept it humbly. Shift your thinking from blame to acceptance.

“Seek not that the things which happen to you should happen as you wish, but wish the things that happen to be as they are, and you will find tranquility.” -Epictetus

Be Grateful

Have you ever had an experience where there was something that you wanted badly but you encountered insurmountable obstacles when you tried to pursue it, then you later realized that it was a blessing that you weren’t able to realize the goal?

How grateful were you that everything worked out better than what you actually wanted at the time?

Rejection is God’s protection. Be grateful for the times when He impedes your progress in the pursuit of a goal and for the pain and discontentment that you feel.

Many things are not what they seem and gratitude is the best way to recontextualize discontentment and to think of it in a different light.

“Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare

The combination of awareness, humility, and gratitude gives us patience and endurance through hard times by helping us to see the divine nature of discontentment; we realize that everything will eventually work out for our good.

Recognize the Message

Through awareness, humility, and gratitude you’re able to accept that discontentment is a message from a loving God. Recognize and embrace this fact. It’s not a punishment, it’s an irrelevant detail to be suffered through — it’s a direct message.

Suppose you’re on a journey in an unfamiliar city and you’re trying to find a specific address. The map you’re using has left out a critical detail and you’re getting upset because you can’t find the address.

A friend who has been where you’re trying to go tries to call you but you don’t answer your cell phone. Your friend leaves a message on your voicemail asking you to call her so she can give you the right directions.

In your distraught state, you ignore the call and the message and keep trying to find it on your own. This is precisely what happens when we ignore or fight discontentment — we ignore the message that gives us directions to escape and transcend.

When you feel discontentment, learn to simply step back and say, “Thank you God, I know there is a lesson here and I choose to find and learn it.”


To carry the previous analogy further, after recognizing the message for what it is, the next step is to simply make the call to the friend and get directions. In other words, recognize that God is sending you a message through the pain you’re feeling, then ask Him to show you the lesson.

Remember that He gives us pain and discontentment for the sole purpose of helping us to grow, to help us become stronger, wiser, happier, and of greater service to others.

Discontentment is wasted if we don’t learn the inherent lessons.

That which you resist persists — if you want to transcend pain then stop resisting it, learn the lesson, and move on.


The process of rewriting the story allows us to become co-creators with God in solving our problems. After we’ve asked Him to show us the lesson, our job is to proactively move forward.

For example, suppose you’re struggling financially because of making the mistake of getting into credit card debt. It’s a source of great discontentment in your life.

Using the five-step formula, you first recognize that you’ve made mistakes through the aware mind, then you humble yourself and feel grateful that the discontentment is showing you that something must change. You recognize that you’re being sent a message, and then you ask God to show you the lesson.

The next step is to consciously create the most powerful story imaginable. Write out in advance how it ends. For example, you could write,

“It has been one year since I was drowning in debt. This past year has been an incredible journey that has helped me to unleash abilities and talents that I never knew I had.

“In order to get out of debt, I started the ______ business that I have always wanted to. To my surprise, the business took off, far exceeding my expectations. I was able to quit my job within three months. I quickly learned that I knew far too little about entrepreneurship, so I enrolled in several seminars and training courses.

“I’m now a relative expert on accounting, marketing, and business systems. I’m now looking to expand my business to three new cities. I’m stronger, wiser, more capable and make more money than I ever have, all thanks to the frustration I felt about being in debt last year.”

The first four steps put you in a position where you’re open to the influence of God; the last step is where you co-create a solution with His help and guidance. The “re” in rewrite implies the fact that most people write limiting and self-defeating stories, such as “I’m never going to get out of debt so I might as well not even try.”

Rewrite this common and worn-out story to one of inspiring possibility and empowering action.

“Freedom is useless if we don’t exercise it as characters making choices…We are free to change the stories by which we live. Because we are genuine characters, and not mere puppets, we can choose our defining stories.

“We can do so because we actively participate in the creation of our stories. We are co-authors as well as characters. Few things are so encouraging as the realization that things can be different and that we have a role in making them so.” -Daniel Taylor

Of course, this process requires faith, which is belief in the absence of evidence. It may be difficult at first to create a powerful story when you have little or no evidence in your life that you’re capable of achieving it.

But the evidence will come as long as you hold on to that powerful story through faith.


Steve D’Annunzio is the founder of the Soul Purpose Institute, the author of The Prosperity Paradigm, and a productivity trainer and life success coach to Fortune 100 executives, professional athletes, and high-performance entrepreneurs. For twenty years, he has been helping people identify their passion, develop it into a business idea, and deliver it to the world.

A member of the Transformational Leadership Council, Steve has shared the stage with world-changers like Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield, and Barbra-Marx Hubbard.

He uses principles of higher awareness to inspire others to be far greater versions of themselves than they ever knew to be possible. By combining scientific and spiritual truth, he co-creates inner transformations for people to experience more outer prosperity in their life.

He is an author and composer of many books, paradigms, and artistic projects that have the common theme of alleviating human suffering and enhancing joy.

Steve lives with his family in Rochester, New York.

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