Anyone who has ever checked out any health, well being or self help section of a book shop knows that ‘Happiness’ is one of the buzz words. There are blog posts a plenty. Get it and you’ve go everything. It’s this thing that we are encouraged to seek and strive for. It’s the thing that will make it all okay.
If it works for you – that’s great but it all just feels a little bit unrealistic to me. After all isn’t happiness a feeling? It’s an emotion right? Emotions are not fixed states, they ebb and flow. We do not expect to always feel angry or sad so why does a state of happiness feel like something we should aim for? Like we expect to experience sadness and anger in our lives, we will also experience happiness. However, it is not possible for it to remain constant.
Helping to develop and manage my own well being is one of the reasons for my blog. For me, a key component of well being is your attitude. Your attitude is something you can choose. You can focus your energies on whatever attitude you choose.
Admittedly, sometimes it feels like our attitude chooses us and we are not always consciously aware of it. Before you know it, you can be embraced in a critical attitude, focusing on what is bad, what might go wrong or what you don’t like in a situation.
If we can choose our attitudes, then I am picking gratitude. I am Attitude Gratitude!
Isn’t it just another way of describing ‘positive thinking’? Another idea that has definitely made it in to the grand hall of buzz words in self help land.
Like happiness, positive thinking has it’s place but I don’t think its something we can realistically maintain all of the time.
For me gratitude is a place where you can channel your energies, it’s a fall back place. It can guide you and direct you. It allows you to still be your true self, to be honest and open. Yes, you can acknowledge and say when life is difficult but gratitude encourages you to see the whole picture and seek out something to be grateful for. Gratitude is also a skill that we can practice and learn to develop. Gratitude helps us to connect with others and our gratitude can have a positive affect on other people.
It’s there if you look for it!
To find out more check out – Want to be happy? Be Grateful with David Steindl-Rast at TED Talks.
What do you think folks? I am interested to hear your opinions on happiness v attitude gratitude. Does the pursuit of happiness work for you?