Gratitude is a Conscious Decision

When someone I know started building their dream home (which happened to be exactly the house I would want for myself) I couldn’t stop talking about it. The big wrap around porch. The huge windows around the whole thing with nothing but natural light filling the house. A fireplace in the living room, a beautiful basement for hosting parties, a pond out back with a lot of land. I described every piece of the house to my mom in detail and why I love it. My mom, who is the epitome of living a selfless and simple life, responded not by commenting on the house, but by saying, “yes, but I’m sure they would love to have a son like you have.”

I didn’t know they were struggling to conceive. And she was right. If given the option, I’m sure most would choose a healthy baby over a big house any day. It’s so easy to look at what other people have and think they have everything. It’s easy to compare your life to someone else’s and convince yourself that you are so much worse off and everyone else has it so much better than you. Everyone else has more money than you. Everyone else has newer clothes, bigger houses, better health, more money, less debt, etc etc etc.

But you are only shown what they choose to show you.

This if my first Thanksgiving as a parent, and I can say I truly feel more grateful than I have any other year of my life. But at the same time, I can definitely see how people feel LESS grateful during the Thanksgiving season because of the comparison game. If that happens to be you this year, I urge you to simply focus on what you have and not what you lack. I hope you can realize that while someone else may have a bigger house or a better job, they may be looking at your life thinking the same exact thing.

It’s easy to be ungrateful. It takes a stronger mindset to practice gratitude every day. This Thanksgiving, Christmas, and going into the new year, I encourage you to really focus on what you are thankful for. Gratitude is a conscious decision that has to be made every day for it to stay consistent.  Your mindset is a powerful tool, that if used in the right way, could change your life.


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