Gratitude is a Choice

As the quote above illustrates, we have more control over our mood than we realize. As you go about your daily life, do you come across more people expressing gratitude or more who are complaining about something?

If you want more contentment in your life (and who doesn’t?), it’s up to you to spend more time expressing gratitude and less time complaining. It’s equally important to surround yourself with people who share this same practice.

As Epicurus wisely counseled, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

Isn’t it odd that the people who have the least, generally have more meager wants than those who already have the most? Logically, one would think that the more you have, the less you would desire, but although we humans can be logical at times, many of our actions are dictated by avarice/greed.

There’s a reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving and not “Complaintgiving” or “Greedtaking.” Giving thanks make us feel more whole, while complaining and greed make us feel damaged or less than good enough.

Would you rather be happy or have a lot of things? I’m a big believer in less is more. I have the honor of working with a lot of people who are envied for what they have, but few of them are as happy as my best friends who have much less. I have learned that when it comes to contentment, it’s better to have a few close friends than millions of adoring fans.

Additionally, if you are busy accumulating things or have too much, you don’t have time to appreciate the things that matter when it comes to happiness. Namely, close relationships, and being thankful for the things you do have.

I will leave you with a quote I like from the great philosopher Will Arnett, “I am happy because I am grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.”

Make it a great Thanksgiving!

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