“Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.”
– Jim Rohn
There’s a common misconception about gratitude on the one hand, and striving for more on the other.
Too often we think that if we were truly grateful for all that we have, all that we are, and where we are in our life, today, then we wouldn’t want anything more, anything better, or anything different. We’d be content.
And so we shame ourselves into thinking that if we could just learn how to be more grateful; if we could learn how to be truly happy and satisfied, and fully appreciate all of the positive things that we do recognize we have in our life, then we’d no longer be burdened by the feeling or yearning for something else – more, different, or better.
We wouldn’t feel like we want something to change. We wouldn’t sometimes dream about reaching another level of success, whatever that means to each of us. We wouldn’t sometimes wish certain things could be different; or maybe that we could be different.
We punish ourselves for wanting. We decide it must mean that we’re ungrateful.
And we automatically discount the possibility that we can practice true and very real gratitude – we can be truly thankful for all that we have, all that we are, and where we are in our life today- and still at the same time also want to keep striving and dreaming and hoping and reaching to do more, to be more, and to have more.
Although that last one – having more – can be a slippery slope and can get tricky. Because if our desire for more is only about having more and acquiring more (as in, stuff), and not at all about becoming more, contributing more, impacting more, learning more, achieving more, fulfilling more, and growing more- then more will never be enough.
But still, that common mistake of thinking that gratitude on the one hand, and wanting more on the other are mutually exclusive and that there’s a dissonance between the two – that misconception is not only false, but it actually works against us and it prevents us, right out of the gate before we even begin to strive for more, from actually ever attaining more.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more; it does not mean we’re ungrateful. It means we’re human. We all want to live our best lives and become our best selves. That is the more. That is the better. That is the striving. That is what makes us human; that is what makes us alive!
And not only is there nothing wrong with allowing ourselves to continue to strive for more and better while also, at the same time, being grateful for all that we have and all that we are today, giving ourselves that permission to do both actually helps bring that more and better into our lives.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
– Eckhart Tolle
“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.”
– Christiane Northrup
The truth is gratitude and wanting more are not only NOT mutually exclusive or contradictory, they’re actually complimentary!
There’s a natural law that says – what you appreciate, appreciates.
The truth is it’s ok to, and we can simultaneously, be fully present, appreciative, and grateful today for all that we have, all that we do, and all that we are right now, and at the very same time still also want more – want to be more, want to do more, want to have more, want to want more. It’s not only ok, it actually better serves us and empowers us!
Because when you allow for both to coexist, you’ll see that one begets the other. You’ll see that they’re not contradictory; but complimentary. The more you practice gratitude, presence, and appreciation today, the more you’ll see the progress and attainment and hope and possibility of all the more that you want tomorrow. Both during the good times as well as the bad.
“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.”
– Mary Davis
And even during the really bad times, allowing both to coexist – the gratitude and the wanting more, the striving for better, the hope, the possibility for tomorrow – that will fuel you and empower you because it will remind you not only to remember to focus on the good today, and not just the bad, right?! You’ll remember to focus on the good that exists today, and you’ll also remember to focus on all the hope and possibility that tomorrow can bring!
“When some things go wrong, take a moment to be thankful for the many things that are going right.”
– Annie Gottlier
That’s what gratitude does. It fuels you!
Even learning, and giving yourself all the time it takes, to eventually be thankful – thankful– for some of the hardest things and most challenging times you may have gone through in your life, you’ll start to see the tremendous and transformational gift of more come out of it! Come out of those hard times. Through the gratitude. Through the gratitude and the striving for more at the same time.
“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.”
– Nicole Reed
“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and the lives of all those around you.”
– Eileen Caddy
And too often in life, while we’re striving to do more, be more, and achieve more, we forget the real why behind why we wanted to strive in the first place. We forget to remember all the good today, and all that we have already achieved. We forget to see how far we’ve already come. We forget to acknowledge and celebrate where we are today, while we’re striving for tomorrow.
It’s both! It’s gratitude and presence in today, and it’s also hope and possibility for tomorrow. Always. And at the same time!
We can be both – grateful in the now, and simultaneously hopeful and never giving up and striving for more and better tomorrow. Don’t give up on your dreams. Keep on learning, growing, and striving. And, at the same time, stay grateful for today. Please remember both!
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
– John D. Rockefeller
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey
“Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it.”
– Stephen Richards
And last but not least- I love this one, it says it all:
“Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.”
– Roy T. Bennett
Thanks guys :-).
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