In a world where many women have been told since childhood that they can “have it all” there’s a very real risk that belief can actually create a lot of unneeded angst.

In reality, everyone can’t have it all. In fact very few (maybe none) do. But if the expectation is that it is not only possible but a given, well even almost everything isn’t enough.

In fact I know more than one woman in real life in this very position. There’s very little their lives lack, yet they are profoundly unhappy (and make the others in their lives profoundly less happy, too!)

The solution is what I call a gratitude attitude. It’s amazing how simply shifting the focus from what is missing back to everything that’s there can instantly turn a bad mood around.

In fact for every one thing that’s going wrong there are likely 10 more things going right. But for some reason the human mind seems hardwired to focus on the flaw in any situation.

Perhaps at one point being able to see the one thing wrong was what made the difference between getting mired in the tar pit or taken out by the saber tooth. Being able to spot what was wrong with the picture made the difference between surviving or not.

But today, at least in the United States and many developed countries, the reality is we experience an abundance on a daily basis that was unimaginable just a few hundred years ago. Even for the then most privileged on earth!

In fact, if you have a place to live with electricity and running water, food in your refrigerator and cupboard, access to modern medical care, and the reasonable right to assume all those things are a given baseline, well you are actually among the most privileged alive even today.

Sure, sometimes things aren’t perfect, and sometimes things even totally suck (like you or someone you love has cancer, for example) but even then chances are there is something, or even lots of things, to be thankful for.

Life is fleeting and precious. Cherish all that’s going right and well, those who love and care for you, and the simple pleasures in life. Doing just that often reveals the happiness that seems lacking.

It’s a lot easier to count your blessings than to eliminate or fix every single thing that’s not quite right.

Focusing on what you’re giving to the world rather than on what you are getting from it cultivates a gratitude attitude, too. Win-win!

Let those who have ears hear.

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