Let me tell you about how confusion lead me to gratitude this morning. Earlier today, we visited the De Soto National Memorial Park in Sarasota Florida. While I am a huge history buff, I do enjoy learning about American History especially when I near the actual location that something took place.
I recalled that Hernando De Soto was a Spanish Explorer along with the likes of Ponce de Leon. I had visions of him being a courageous man, a great leader, a risk taker, and an explorer. After today, I am still convinced that he was, however, I also learned that he treated the original inhabitants of the southern states of the US, Cherokees, Creeks, and Appalachians, as savages and killed many of them off. He did all this as he lead his men for 4 years on a search for gold and silver.
As I was watching a movie about him at the Park, asked myself, “Was De Soto a good man?” I kept going back and forth with an answer of Yes, then No, then Yes, then No. I played mental gymnastics going back and forth. Then it hit me…
Your perception is up to you. Whatever way you want to look at something, you will. This is true for something like trying to figure out if an explorer is good or bad, of if a situation you are in is good or bad. Can you find gratitude in where you are now, or are you waiting for gratitude to show up?
I have discussed in the past that gratitude is all in your mindset. If you decide that you want to be grateful, you can be. If you decide that you want want to be despondent, you can do that as well. You can pick your role as Victor, or Victim.
Unfortunately, you many not realize that you are choosing one over the other. You are taking the default attitude. You are not deciding what you want. Generally speaking, the default values in this case, will not serve you as well as make a conscious decision. Yes, you will survive. Yes, you will make it through the day. However, you will be leaving some of the enriching components of your life behind. It is easy to take the default because it does not require any work.
Make an effort, decide what you want, and go get it. Oh yeah, remember to express your gratitude about it also.
The Gratitude Guru