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).
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.