I had an interesting conversation with another blogger yesterday about being thankful for what you have, and it prompted quite a bit of thought on my end. I think being thankful for what you have is a great attitude to adopt, because it provides an instant increase in happiness. On the other hand, I think we should all constantly be improving ourselves and our situations…so, where does that leave gratitude?
My #1 rule for success is learning to take the negative things and find the positive in them. This goes along with the idea of being thankful for what you have…you may find some situation of yours a negative one, but if you turn that around and are thankful for that situation, and find a reason to be thankful for it, you’ve done it. This is like Helen Keller using her blindness and deafness as tools to ascend her into fame, and to develop a platform to help millions of people. Or like Steve Jobs learning from his getting fired from Apple, and going on to build Pixar and NEXT instead of “running away from the valley,” as he almost did.
But I also say constantly that progression is success. As long as you are getting better and working on achieving a particular goal, you are successful. Not only as an individual in our society, but as a human being. Thinking about this from an evolutionary standpoint, this makes perfect sense. Progression is vital to survival.
What do I think? I think we should genuinely be happy with where we are and what we have, but also keep working to get better at what we do, keep working to improve our lives, our lifestyle, and our opportunities. I think we should all strive to shun complacency from our lives. Does this contradict gratitude, though?
What do you guys think? Is there a happy medium here? Do you think it’s better to appreciate what we have, or work to get what we want?