The Happiness Narrative

Week 2, Day 4 – Attitude of Gratitude

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude within our domain leads to a life of contentment. Contentment leads to greater life satisfaction. And, greater satisfaction leads to looking beyond our own selfish desires to find ways to give generously.

It starts with our choices. Every day we have hundreds of choices. We have the choice to read and participate in this group. We have the choice to surround ourselves with positive dialogue, emotions and actions. We have the choice to reflect on the things that make us happy, and we have the choice to show a grateful attitude for them. We also have the choice to do the opposite.

Each choice is a personal decision that has power to bring positivity or negativity into our energy space. We can either be grateful for the outcome or the lesson learned from our decision. It’s about being content in all situations, in all circumstances. Dr. Seuss said once, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” This attitude of gratitude holds the idea of contentment at it’s core. When we can look around our life, find joy within our circumstances and simply smile, we allow ourselves to use our power of choice for peace, calm and contentment.

Contentment IS NOT about suppressing the misfortunes in our lives. It’s not about becoming a ‘fake smiler’ or someone that is disconnected with the rawness of life and the hard times individuals endure. Contentment IS about finding a way to survive the storm, to manage expectations and to find healthy ways to connect with others.

Start a life towards contentment by making mindful decisions. Which decisions bring greater satisfaction and longer-lasting affects? Will the decision make our heart and mind better equipped for a life of giving?

No matter how small the decision, it has an opportunity to bring joy – to ourselves and to those around us. If we make a poor decision, we may feel guilty, bad, ashamed, etc…and if we are not content and grateful in the midst of a poor decision, our actions and reactions to the bad decision are then shared with those around around us. The same is true when we make a good decision. When we feel better, we are more apt to express our happiness with others.

(You may want to watch this short 5 minute video on how we define happiness and it’s effect on our life story:

*Mindful Moments – Think about a recent choice you made that brought a moment happiness to your life. Was the happiness short-lived or long-lasting? What was it about the choice that categorized it as short/long lived happiness? Did the choice meet expectations? If you had the opportunity to do it again, would you make the same choice or different? How can you use this experience with future choices? When you’ve finished your period of reflection, take a deep breath, hold it for 2 seconds and then slowly release.

**Grateful Graces – What are you thankful for today? (Don’t forget to record it in your journal you made yesterday!)


Jennifer Aaker – The Happiness Narrative (Future of StoryTelling 2015)
New to the series? Start reading Week 1 – Learning the Basics – OR – start reading Week 2 – An Attitude of Gratitude.
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One thought on “The Happiness Narrative

  1. Carla Gray says:

    Today I am thankful for friends that accept me as I am and allow me the freedom to express my thoughts and ideas without lashing out at me. The ability to remain civil and think about other points of view makes me love them even more and raises my Spirit of Giving meter!


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