Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thankful = Happy

I get really frustrated with myself sometimes, because I have pretty high expectations and there are a lot of things I want for myself and my family. Don't get me wrong, those things are really good! But I've noticed that when I focus on those things, my attitude gets kinda crummy. Ya know... frustrated... impatient, and dare I admit it, self-centered. Which is the complete oposite of why I have those goals. I want to be happy, joyful and content, but dwelling on all the things I havent accomplished yet really robs me of enjoying what I have accomplished.

Have you ever thought of it that way? Taking satisfaction from what you've accomplished makes you happier! Appreciating what you have makes you more content with it, and less discontent in general. A great way to do this is by expressing gratitude. Saying the words out loud, like "Thank you for doing that!", or "Wow, this is such a nice ___! I sure appreciate it!" provides the opportunity to reenforce to yourself that you are thankful, as well as making the other person happy because you appreciated them! Sometimes it's hard to be thankful when we don't get exactly what we wanted, or things don't turn out the way we planned, but if we make an effort to say something enthusiastic, and look on the bright side, we will often find our attitudes following our sentiments.

It does take work; there is certainly no such thing as an "eternal optimist" (except God, of course!) but by putting energy toward being thankful, that will take our focus off of being discontent. And if we busy ourselves with recognizing the progress we've made, we'll then have the energy to keep pursuing the rest of our lofty goals!