The Gratitude Principle

The Gratitude Principle. Where do you have your focus? Comparison will take our joy away!

Focusing on what you have will make you more grateful than focusing on what you don’t have.

I’m sure you’ve been around (and chuckled at) a child that this has happened to.

Take my daughter, for instance. She can be happily playing at the park munching on her apple thinking it’s the perfect treat. Suddenly, another child comes into her periphery with a cupcake topped high with chocolate frosting and sprinkles near his mouth. The apple becomes not enough.

“Mommy,” she says running over to me a little excited “I want a cupcake!”

When my response is, “No, not now. You have an apple. It’s yummy, eat that!” her voice gets a whiny edge to it. “No, I don’t want it. I don’t like apples. The cupcake is better.”

All of the adults standing by understand what’s going on and chuckle, knowing that she was loving the apple seconds earlier.

The Gratitude Principle. Where do you have your focus? Comparison will take our joy away!

How much harder it is for us to see those same tendencies in our own lives as adults.

Looking at the social life and activities of my friends make me no longer content with spending a lot of time at home. All of a sudden I want to sign up for this activity and that and host parties every weekend.

I have a lovely first home. It even has 2 bathrooms and meets the needs of our family wonderfully. Then I might go to small group at a home with a more open floor plan and bigger yard more suited for entertaining. My home isn’t so great anymore.

Maybe it is my vehicle. Sure it’s not new, but it runs well and we can cram a lot of baby gear into the back. It meets our needs perfectly. Or it does until our neighbor drives up in a slightly newer and larger SUV.

My husband and kids are great until I compare them to the one that always seem considerate and the ones that listen so well you are sure the mom never has to worry about them misbehaving in public.

Comparison steals my ability to enjoy what I have.

I am no longer content and satisfied.

I no longer have gratitude for the multitude of things, way of living, and personality that God has blessed me with. Instead I find myself wishing my family was different and unsatisfied with my (perfectly good) belongings and financial status.

As Crystal Paine says,

“Comparison only leads to discontentment.”

My voice becomes whiny. What I have is no longer enough. It’s no longer good enough. Just like my daughter and her apple.

That’s not okay!

If instead I look at the home, car, family, life, personality, and opportunities that I have right now and realize that I have been given so much and not focus on what those around me have, I stay content.

Thankfulness and gratitude are then easy to come by.

Let’s keep our focus on what we have, instead of what others have.

Linking up to these fun parties!

26 thoughts on “The Gratitude Principle

  1. Janet

    Oh, it is so easy to lose focus and start looking at what we don’t have instead of what we do have, isn’t it? Gratitude has to be intentional. And life is a whole lot more enjoyable when we choose to be grateful for what we have.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Oh my goodness, yes it is! Love how you say it has to be intentional. Each day I need to make the choice to be thankful for what God has given me and not compare to what other’s have.

  2. Nicole Beard

    This is awesome Deanna – and such a good example played out with your daughter. I know that comparison trap is so luring – from our in person lives to comparing ourselves to other bloggers and people via social media. We do need to stay focused on what we have and be thankful – we do have so much! 🙂 Sharing with my readers, cause it’s just too good not too! 😉

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Thanks, Nicole! Oh my goodness, it is luring isn’t it. It’s one of those things that seems to like to sneak up on me if I’m not careful. Great reminder to keep it in mind for blogging too. Aww, thanks for sharing and your kind words. You are so sweet.

  3. Laura Connell

    I think we can all relate to the comparison game. That’s why I stopped looking around and now keep my eyes set on Jesus. All those things are worldly and the desire to have more is our flesh. I just don’t want any of those things and even feel sorry for people who have them. Because for many of them the stuff owns them not the other way around.

  4. Lee

    I would love to be able to communicate this lesson to my children – it took me a long time to learn it and I’d like to save them the pain – don’t want anyone to steal their joy! THanks for stopping by the Sunday Social!

  5. Mel Caldicott

    I love this post – it’s so true! Comparisons are something I fall into the trap of all too often and do you know what it leads to? Discontentment. And yet I am so so blessed. A great grace-filled reminder.
    Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings, Mel from Essential Thing Devotions.

  6. Nicolette Springer

    This is a hard lesson for all ages. It’s a delicate balance to be grateful for what you have and still set goals for improving. We sometimes forget that success doesn’t have to be more stuff.

    Thanks for joining the mixer this week 🙂

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Oh my goodness, it is a hard lesson isn’t it! Yes, goals and wanting to improve and grow as a person/business etc is good but I still have so much to be grateful for now. Thanks for hosting!

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