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Making the Most of Gratitude, Acceptance, and Striving

A triad for a life well-led.

MaxPixels CC0 / Clker-Free-Vector-Images / 29546 images
Source: MaxPixels CC0 / Clker-Free-Vector-Images / 29546 images

The life well-led may reduce to balancing gratitude, acceptance, and striving.

Gratitude is important because there’s much to be grateful for that's easily forgotten. Acceptance is important because much is resistant to change. Striving is important because we should be growing and achieving.

To encourage your balancing that triad, list things that you should feel grateful for, are wise to accept, and should strive for.

To prompt your thinking, here are some examples. They're derived from my clients, friends, and me.


The computer. How amazing that programs like Google-search, YouTube, and Amazon provide so much, instantly, and for free. It enables helping professionals to see clients, and everyone to see friends and family worldwide on Zoom, again for free.

Nature. Whether it’s a flower, a tree's symmetry, or a deer bounding across the road, wow. Religious people often appreciate nature as “God’s handiwork" but atheists can appreciate nature's beauty and it offering a break from our often cognitively demanding existence.

Coffee. For many people, coffee increases energy and a feeling of well-being while tasting good. Plus, a solid body of evidence indicates that for most people, moderate coffee-drinking is healthy.


Aging. The hourglass’s sands seem to drop ever more quickly. Beyond the basics—diet, exercise, and avoiding substance abuse—we may be wise to strive for acceptance. As my wise physician, John Jones, said, “Let the river run.”

The challenges of urban living. Once people decide to live in an urban area, they're wise to make the most of its good while shrugging at its bad, for example, the traffic, crime, and noise.

An unalterably poor relationship. Not every relationship can be healed. The wise person knows when to keep trying and when to redirect.


Consistently trying to be our best but forgiving our inevitable errors. Of course, that applies both to work and relationships. However, in recreational life, we have more latitude: Sure, strive if you want, but sometimes a relaxed attitude is what makes recreation recreation.

Trying to balance justice with mercy, discernment with accepting others’ imperfections. Of course, that's especially difficult if you're under pressure, for example, if you work in a high-powered organization.

The takeaway

So, are there things you want to remind yourself to be grateful for? To accept? To strive for? It’s probably worth writing them down and keeping the list in front of you.

I read this aloud on YouTube.

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