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Investigation is fundamental to the practice of contentment. It is the very first step novice practitioners must take to truly realize for themselves that any degree of discontent they feel had its origins in some shape or form of unappreciative more, better, different thinking.
Practitioners of contentment do not on blind faith take anyone else’s realization that discontentment invariably has its origins in not-enough thinking. They investigate this truth for themselves. Like a private detective aims to discover on his or her own the truth behind why an incident occurred, a practitioner aims to uncover the truth behind why a mad, bad, sad emotion occurred.
Investigation is equally essential to every additional step involved in the practice of contentment. Practitioners must continually investigate for themselves all aspects of awareness (the nature, circularity, and negative emotional and behavioral consequences of unappreciative more, better, different thoughts: Chapters 6-9), all component parts of acceptance (acknowledgement, surrender and forgiveness: Chapters 11-13), and take as many actions as possible to nurture contentment instead of discontentment: Chapters 16-19).
There is no substitute for incessant investigation in the practice of contentment. It is the ongoing detective work that will bring about the satisfaction and serenity constituent of contentment.