My Gratitude Project #6--Driving through Roadblocks

We're all addicts. At least that's what Angeles Arrien says in Gratitude: The Essential Practice for Happiness and Fulfillment. Her theory is that four universal addictive behaviors prevent us from feeling gratitude:
  • The Need to Know--some of us really want to know what's going to happen, whether it's in our relationships, our work, or elsewhere. We like to control our outcome and we have trouble trusting that everything is going to be okay. Can you see how this works against gratitude? If we wait until we know everything to be grateful, we'll always be waiting. (I am sooo guilty of this.)
  • Fixation on what's not working instead of what is working--This one's self-explanatory. It's so easy to focus on the failing grade, the bad review, the stain on the carpet, etc. Gratitude requires us to focus on what's going right.
  • Perfection--A lot of us think that if we just work hard enough, we can achieve perfection. If you have this addiction, Angeles suggests you strive instead for excellence. Be grateful that you're doing your best.
  • Intensity--Some of us fear that our lives will become dull or boring. To compensate, we make mountains out of mole hills and dramatize the bad stuff. I'm only guilty of this one during one week of the month. ;-)
Learning about these four addictive behaviors really knocked the wind out of me. It makes sense that I won't be able to feel gratitude while I'm thinking in these ways and I spend quite a bit of time thinking in these ways. Knowledge is power, right?

I've loved immersing myself in gratitude this month. I have so much to be grateful for, and one is being able to write things that people read. Thanks for reading. What are you grateful for?


  1. That's really interesting. I can see part of myself in several of these things! Last year when I was having a really rough several months of feeling sorry for myself with my rough pregnancy, I decided to write one thing I was grateful for each morning--since I'd heard it was supposed to help. And it did. Just reminding myself of my blessings was enough for me to say: things may not be great for this ONE THING, but overall, I've got it good.


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