Learn English – Contentment with “Settling for Less”


I'm looking for a word to describe an emotion in fictional lawyer Horace Rumpole. Several characters try to goad him into finding a better-paying, more prestigious job in law. He entertains the idea momentarily but looks at his life, ideals, and principles and then decides he's better off where he is.

What I understand Aristotle's eudaimonia to mean — happiness derived by living according to virtue — is close. But it does not always imply that there was cost (or loss of gain) in living so.

For generality, I would rather the word not have the religious connotations of righteousness or martyrdom. Ideally it could be used to describe a "He didn't take the money" situation that I see in some films: The hero agrees to do a job for money, but later (usually privately) refuses the agreed pay because of his principles. The hero (maybe reluctantly) understands that ultimately this is the way he wants it to be.

Is there a single word to describe "contentment in a choice that costs you"?

Best Answer

Such a person might be described as satisfied.