Welcome to November, your annual month-long reminder to show a little gratitude already, why dontcha. Allow me to be the first, but certainly not the last, to raise the subject this month. I don’t mean to sound pithy, because gratitude is a critically important ingredient to a fulfilling life. It’s so much easier said than done, though, especially in the world of dreamers and achievers. After all, aren’t both of those things about going after what you don’t have yet?
It’s not that you’re not grateful, you’re just…driven. Right?
You’ve heard me ramble on about this topic before, but today’s angle is a little different.
Most of the time that we spend goal-setting and envisioning the future, we do so from a mindset of lack. In other words, our thoughts and actions in the present moment occur in a space of hyper-awareness of what we don’t have. Even as we imagine how we’d like things to be, we are conscious of the fact they are not currently that way. We’re missing what we want. In some cases, that may actually fuel our drive, and I will officially tell you right now, that’s ok.
How about this for a thought experiment, though. Next time you find yourself mentally living in the ideal future you are presently working so hard to create, notice that empty space within you that necessarily emerges when you go there. Consider reconnecting with something in your real, actual present moment that you’re grateful for, and fill it with that thought. Yes, I want that next thing to come true. But yes, this other thing that is already here is pretty nice/cool/amazing/miraculous, and I’m glad to have it.
It’s just an exercise. It’s not going to be the way you always think. But it’s another way to look at something. Anything, actually, or really…everything.
You can create new things from a place of abundance. The plans you make when you drift into your dreams aren’t about making you whole in some way. You are missing nothing, right now. A mindset that includes gratitude will ensure that as you envision your evolution, when the future present moment arrives, you won’t be lacking a single thing then, either.
Photo credit: Matthew Henry