Appreciation & Mindset: gratitude

I consider myself a grateful person. I made a decision years ago to actively choose my mindset when I wake up in the morning, and an attitude of gratitude is one I like to keep front and center.

I’m also very much a goal-oriented person. I make plans. I want more. I have ambitions, dreams… For me, setting goals and working toward them is one of life’s great joys.

So I was taken aback recently when someone said, It doesn’t sound like you’re very grateful for what you have.

This wasn’t in response to me complaining about my life. Far from it. Instead, it was in response to my sharing what I hope to accomplish over the next couple years.

Hmmm… I wasn’t upset or defensive. More like perplexed.

Since when did setting goals mean you’re not grateful for what you have? Since when did wanting more equate to ingratitude?

So I started asking people: Do you think wanting more in life means you’re ungrateful?

O.K., I’d be the first to admit my poll was unscientific, but about 40% of the time, the answer was: Yes, wanting more is somehow incompatible with being grateful.

That’s just not my view of the world.

When I’m in a state of true gratitude, I’m perfectly present to and tremendously thankful for who I am, where I am, and what I have.

This appreciative state empowers and expands me. It makes me strong and bold. It creates a sense of possibility.

Being grateful for what-is becomes the springboard to want more.

To take the next step. To dream the next dream. To reach a little higher. Maybe to dig a little deeper.

  • Perhaps you’re really grateful for how connected you are with your significant other. Does being grateful mean you can’t want even more of that connectedness in your relationship?
  • Maybe you’re grateful for the impact of your business, but want to be even more successful so you can reach—and serve—even more people. Is that ingratitude for your current success?

Do you practice an attitude of gratitude? How does being grateful relate to goal setting and wanting more in your life?