I remember when I first heard this statement:
“The one thing that all humans have in common is that everyone believes there is a way things should be and there is a way things shouldn’t be. When things are as we think they should be we’re happy, and when things are not as we believe they should be we’re upset.”
One thing that Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren have in common is that they both think there is a way the world should be and a way the world shouldn’t be. When you’re fighting with your manager, spouse, mother or child you both think there is a way the world should be and a way the world shouldn’t be. You’re human. You’re also happy when the world cooperates and unhappy when it doesn’t.
For now, I’d like to make a distinction in how I experience thankfulness and appreciation. Thankfulness is what most people feel when the world shows up the way the world should show up. Appreciation is what I create when I allow the world to show up just as the world shows up.
In a few weeks many of us will gather around a Thanksgiving table and we will give thanks. Listen carefully. Most of us will give thanks for the world being the way we think the world should be. That’s OK. It’s human. Be human.
Appreciation begins by letting go, little by little, of our egoic attachment to believing we know the way the world should be and the way the world shouldn’t be. It’s letting the world show up just the way the world shows up. And then it’s choosing (yes it’s a choice) to appreciate life being just as life is.
Read Jim's two-part article series on Entitlement vs Appreciation: How to Be Resentful and Entitled and The Antidote to Resentment and Entitlement
Check out all our resources on Commitment 7: Appreciation