"One ought, everyday at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and speak a few reasonable words." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gratitude...it just feels better

"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."
Have you ever noticed that it takes the same amount of effort to be grateful as it does to complain or ask ‘Why,’ but they feel completely opposite?

I don’t know about you, but being grateful for things gives me energy and makes me feel positive about life and the world around me. Complaining and asking ‘Why?’ fatigues me and makes me feel negative about life and the world around me.

Simple example: My printer is a pain in the butt! I’m always complaining about it. That thing will NEVER simply print something out. It is a constant inconvenience to me. Until the stars finally align and the dust bucket decides to print something properly, I always end up spending a whole lot of time feeling icky with negative emotions. This rant session is almost always accompanied by repeated, useless questioning of no one in particular, “WHY me? What did I do to deserve this plague of a printer?”

But here’s my point: Does it not eventually print? Am I not still in possession of the wonder of technology? How would I feel airing my various printer complaints to a typesetter from the 1700’s? What did I do to deserve the printer, indeed!

How much energy did I waste spoiling the wonder of what I have by ranting and raving and thinking about how much better my printer could or should be? What I have now is genuinely among the things only hoped for in past generations! Ah…this line of thinking makes me feel so much better!

You see what I mean? Same amount of effort in the choice, one builds happiness and well-being, the other takes it away.

You choose the fruit of your labors, but for me it seems much more efficient to put my effort into being grateful.

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