Gratitude – It’s All About Choices

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How you feel – how happy you are, how stressed you are, even how well you sleep – may seem like it’s out of your hand, but it is a choice you make. You can choose to be grateful for what you have, and happiness follows. Or you can choose to focus on what you are lacking, who has wronged you, and what is not going your way. And guess what? You will feel miserable. You may blame others, circumstances, or fate for your unhappiness. But at the end of the day, it is all about you and the choices you make. You choose happiness or misery.

How can you make sure you make the right choices throughout life? One of the simplest ways to ensure you live a happy and fulfilled life is to focus on gratitude. Of course, that is easier said than done. You get upset when your friend stands you up on your lunch date, and that is okay. How you choose to move forward from here is what will make the difference. You can choose to dwell on the slight you think your friend gave you. The more you think about it, the angrier you get. Instead of having lunch at the new restaurant you were looking forward to trying; you get back into your car, drive home and let it ruin your day. That’s a choice. Now let’s look at a different one.

Same scenario. Your friend stands you up. You are disappointed and maybe even a little mad. You take a deep breath, let those negative feelings go, and make a choice based on gratitude. What can you find in this situation that you can be grateful for? Maybe you have wished for some quiet alone time so you can hear yourself think. Perhaps there is a store you have wanted to check out or a movie you have wanted to see for a while, and this is the time to do it. Maybe there is an old friend you have meant to visit. Or perhaps you will enjoy a good meal by yourself and grab some takeout for your spouse on the way out the door.

Instead of heading home angry, you are going home grateful for these few special hours you carved out for yourself. And who knows. Maybe you talk to your friend later that evening and find out that she had a family emergency that caused her to miss your lunch date. How guilty would you feel then about the anger you let yourself feel towards her? And how guilty would she feel for having ruined your day? Instead, focusing on gratitude and making the best of the situation, you created happiness for yourself. That is some superpower!

As for me, I choose to be happy and look for the positive in life. Each morning I thank my Heavenly Father for another day. It means I have another opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life for the better.

Until tomorrow, stay safe, and keep the faith.