How Being Grateful Over Greedy Is Changing My Life | Blog
How Being Grateful Over Greedy Is Changing My Life
A couple of weekends ago, I was with a friend on the coast. We were talking about our lives, our businesses, and a recent experience we had together. I shared how I often get caught up in my mind accessing and focusing on what I need to do to improve myself or a situation. I have a habit of focusing on what I could have done better or what still needs improving. Pretty soon, I'm tweaking, critiquing, and a bit on my case about it. While this doesn't seem to derail my self-esteem or keep me from engaging, it does have an effect and can leave me in a feeling of not good enough or not quite right.
Basically, my self-improvement or “better” habit can leave me in a sort of constant low-grade hum of dissatisfaction.
I see the pattern, and I know it's an illusion of the mind and a habit. It's not pointing me to a truth about myself or the situation. It's simply creating an internal experience of lack. In response, my friend said something to me that has been incredibly helpful. He said, “It would be great if we could be grateful over greedy, wouldn't it?”
Grateful over greedy – wow. I had not considered my quest for “better” as greedy. Isn't seeking to be better, to improve ourselves, or to improve a situation a good thing?
Perhaps, in theory, but what my friend was highlighting is a major downside to seeking “better.” If we are constantly seeking better, we will live in a feeling of not good enough. We want more, and the result is living in the feeling of dissatisfaction. That's how it works for all of us.
Our moment-to-moment experience is being shaped by where we place our attention. It makes sense then that when we assess, critique, or look for what isn't quite right, we cannot appreciate what is going well. Gratitude becomes difficult when all we see is where we want more or where we could have done better.
When we look at what didn't happen, we miss what is happening. When we look for what's wrong, we miss all that is right.
More and better show up in all sorts of ways: to be better than we were, to be further along, to be smarter, to have things go a certain way. This applies when we're thinking about ourselves, our performance, or our relationships.
Pretty soon, as my friend stated, we're greedy for more and missing what there is to be grateful for.
You might be wondering, “If I don't stay diligent about improving, won't I repeat mistakes or stay stuck in the status quo?”
Here's the interesting thing…what we focus on expands. Where we place our attention is what comes to life.
When we look at what is wrong with us, the creative potential of our mind will bring that to life. If we ask what is going well, what is there to be grateful for, that same potential will bring that to life.
I have gotten so distracted by what needs improving and how I could be better that I have missed connecting deeply with the beauty of an ordinary moment or the joy that comes when we stop and appreciate. I have missed moments of connection, love, and being supported because I didn't feel deserving.
Choosing grateful over greedy has endless rewards and gifts. Choosing appreciation for what is versus how it could be better allows us to wake up more fully to the miracles in the moment. As it is. The blessings are there, in the moment.
When we broaden our perspective, look with a wider lens, we can see so much more. We see the magic and the mystery in the unfolding of our lives. We no longer measure ourselves against a particular result or outcome; we consider the fullness of our lives. We no longer get attached to a particular want, and we begin to see the perfection of things as they are.
Gratitude brings everything closer to us. It brings our love, our joy, our relationships, and all of life's beauty to the present moment. Gratitude can literally take our breath away.
I'm learning more and more every day that I can trust life. That by surrendering my ideals, my wants, and opinions of myself and how things are going, I experience more of the richness of life. Blessings expand, along with feelings of love and hopefulness.
By dropping the pursuit of better or more, our minds settle, and what shows up is greater compassion and understanding. Instead of being frustrated, we feel appreciation. And when we place our attention there, it expands.
I'm beginning to see that grateful over greedy has the power to change our whole world.
Take a chance with me. Let's openly give thanks, accept with open hearts what is, and feel the abundance of all that is available to us in the here and now – as we are. Right here – right now.
Today, I'm incredibly grateful for you. Thank you for reading and engaging with me here. Your presence matters and touches me deeply.
Lastly, I offer a prayer of gratitude to the deeper intelligence of life that lives within all of us. To our True Nature. To the source of our resilience, our well-being, and the common core that links us all.
“Gratitude brings everything closer to us. It brings our love, our joy, our relationships, and all of life's beauty to the present moment.”
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘Thank you,’ it will be enough.”
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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Insta