Be thankful. The choice is yours.

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thankful 400x257 Be thankful.  The choice is yours.  This past week, I was reminded by something that I heard at a conference almost a year ago now.  The speaker remarked: The key to unlocking your greatest happiness is thankfulness.

With another Thanksgiving coming and going, I’ve spent a lot thinking about how correlated those two things are – thankfulness and happiness.

Can you be happy if you aren’t thankful?  And can you be thankful if you aren’t happy about it?

Cultivating a spirit of thankfulness is a choice, but I believe that in making that choice, we become more happy than we were in the first place.

And here’s why I think that…
Happiness is usually an emotion from an outcome of an event (e.g. when the Huskies won the Apple Cup yesterday, I was happy!).
But thankfulness, on the other hand, is a choice.

So when your friend pays for your cup of coffee, you can either:
1) Say, “Thanks, I really appreciate that.”
2) Say, “Thanks” (but in your mind know that you deserve that cup of coffee because you paid for their coffee the last time).

The opposite of thankfulness is indebtedness or entitlement.

I deserve that cup of coffee (my morning mindset).
Versus
I am so grateful for this delicious cup of coffee (a choice of gratitude  I usually forgo).

So think about it…would you rather cultivate a spirit of indebtedness and entitlement, or a spirit of thankfulness?

Turns out, the choice is yours.

2 replies
  1. Brian Hansford
    Brian Hansford says:

    People often fail to realize the choices they have in how they feel or behave. (Myself included) I believe we can choose to be happy more than we know. I choose TO BE happy. I choose TO BE grateful.

    I will be the first to admit I can let negative emotions creep that smother my gratefulness and contentment. It’s amazing how negativity and self-pity can hold me back when I choose to let the feelings creep in. Yuck! I can choose to be angry, jealous and indignant just as easy as I can to be grateful and happy. Of course there are sad events that always happen that can make me question “why me?” or feel that “life is unfair.” How I choose to work through the challenges is the important part. It’s taken me a long time in my life to realize the choices I have. I try TO BE grateful AND happy every single day simply because I can and I want to. It’s amazing how most of us have that choice.

    -Brian

    Reply
    • Annie Vander Pol
      Annie Vander Pol says:

      Well said, Brian. And I agree with you – negativity and self-pity never produce anything, but will always hold us back. Learning the discipline of thankfulness is definitely something worth practicing.

      Reply

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