November is a month for thanks.
We all know that, so I’m not going to drone on and on about how we should give thanks for many the gifts in our lives.
In fact, I’m going to go out on a rather unconventional limb and suggest that it’s not true that you should be thankful.
It is 100% within your right to be as thankful (or as unthankful) as you wish to be.
And, shinnying a bit further out on that limb, I’ll even go so far as to say, good manners aside, being thankful isn’t necessarily even “better” than being unthankful.
But here’s what it is: different.
The undeniable truth is that a thankful attitude yields a different result than an unthankful attitude does. In other words, the consequences of being thankful and appreciative for the blessings in your life are substantially distinct from the consequences of being pissy, gripey, grumpy about everything and everyone around you.
Now, it’s true that some would argue that the seeds of thankfulness will tend to lift us up when compared to the opposite (count me among those), but truly, that’s for each of us to determine on our own.
The more important point here is not about how you should be; it’s about the consequences of how you are—and how you want to feel.
I say this because there is a difference between acting from a place of obligation (how I should be) versus a place of inspired creation (how do I want to feel?).
Where actions driven by “how I should be” can feel like a Sisyphean battle against habits and desires that only depletes our energies and leaves us frustrated, when coming from a place of “How do I want to feel?” we become creative participants in building the life experience we desire. And we are empowered and fed in the process.
So in the midst of this month of thanks and gratitude, I invite us all not to be appreciative because we should be, but instead to become students of the consequences of being appreciative.
Leave the idea of how you should be behind, and instead become ever more curious about all the kinds of thoughts, words, and deeds that tend to yield the feelings that you want to experience. For it is through this process of conscious attention to consequence that we become more skilled and effective architects of the lives we want.
And yes, being thankful, may just be part of that mix.