Life is made up of choices. No matter the circumstance, we always have a choice. We can choose the attitude we adopt. Viktor E Frankl, a neurologist and psychiatrist who survived the atrocities of the holocaust even after losing his wife there, wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” in Man’s Search for Meaning.
Choosing gratitude is an amazing way to live! Forbes posted a thoughtful article outlining 7 benefits of gratitude including more relationships, better health, better sleep and better self esteem (read the whole article here http://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/).
But gratitude is not our natural attitude. We are more prone to entitlement – the attitude and belief that we deserve whatever we want. In fact, we live in a society of entitlement! We are constantly told we deserve certain things that we enjoy and don’t deserve other things that we would rather avoid.
Think about it, if you believe you deserve something, your first inclination when you receive it is not gratitude. Rather, you are more likely to think, “it’s about time!” This kind of attitude is unfriendly, unpleasant and easily frustrated. With the entitlement attitude, we are demanding when we get what we want and, even worse, we are angry and frustrated when we don’t.
Gratitude is the solution to a better way of living. Choosing gratitude is choosing to recognize the good and be thankful for it. Not only does it lead to the benefits above, but it makes us better people, more enjoyable to be around, and keeps us from the unfortunate yet prevalent entitlement mindset.
What will you choose today?