[To watch a video of this blog, please click here: https://youtu.be/PH65wGX5LhY and to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here:https://soundcloud.com/lex-mckee/the-7-habits-of-happiness-part-3-gratitude]
As a general rule… Happy people are grateful people. Unhappy people are possessed with a sense of inappropriate ‘entitlement’.
Entitlement, I believe, breeds apathy. If we are ‘entitled’ to benefits in life without adding value, there is a tendency to wait for the benefit to come. We become passive. This is not the Way of the Entrepreneur. Like a Samurai, the Entrepreneur knows how to deliver valued and valuable ‘service’. Only when outstanding value has been consistently delivered does one with an entrepreneurial mindset expect appropriate remuneration.
How can I say all this with any credibility?
I can say this with total credibility because I am the man.
To this day, I have no idea where my inflated and inappropriate sense of entitlement came from. I certainly wasn’t a confident person and so I don’t think I was overly arrogant (though I most certainly was arrogant on some occasions.)
However, it came into being, I believed the Universe owed me more than it was dishing up! And, when times were very good (jet-setting around the World business class and staying in swanky places while people were telling me I was great – what’s not to love?) – when times were good, I didn’t appreciate them as fully as I could. As wisdom declares, “Pride comes before a fall.” And I fell.
I got proud and arrogant. My old clients said, “We cannot afford to pay you what we used to,” so I said, “Maybe it’s time to move on.” I put all my eggs in one basket, then the bottom of the basket broke. With all my former clients being cared for by other training providers, I lost nearly everything. I’ve been bankrupt twice and it is only through the kindness of others that I have somewhere to sleep, write, and thus, for me, to live. I write therefore I am! Now, the sense of entitlement has all but vanished. The void of ingratitude and lack of appreciation has largely gone too. Of course, I probably still have the capacity to be an arrogant and ignorant ingrate, but I don’t want to be.
We have a gawdy shower curtain that cost about 85p reduced in a Sale at ASDA. I am SO grateful for the pleasure and utility it brings. It is covered with Tropical Birds, and I love it. Every shower-time is like visiting an Art Gallery. We’ve found our favourite brand of coffee – and I am grateful for every cup. Nowadays, I can afford to buy a bottle of wine, and I love this luxury. I’m thankful for traffic lights turning green, a kind word from a retail team member, a smile from a child, the sight of a charm of Goldfinches. My life is bathed in gratitude and I am, at last, happy again.
Let’s do a happiness-health-check. What we are looking for is any growth of an inappropriate sense of entitlement. If you find any, cut it out immediately.
We are also checking for a flow of gratitude. Let’s get ourselves up to the Gratitude Gym and make sure we work out each and every day!
What are your reasons to be cheerful?
What are you grateful for right now?i
A Moodscope member.