Gratitude

DD Day 039 Week 06 Q1 Friday, February 9, 2024

Sometimes things are going really swimmingly well, and you can feel very happy about that. But do you also feel gratitude? And does the happiness make you feel the gratitude? Or does the gratitude make you feel happy?

Creative outliers are not always happy campers. I know I have been a creative outlier for 60 years, and in general, historically, it delivered more negative than positive feelings if I let the external feelings to dominate. On the other hand, if I let my internal feelings regarding creating, expressing, inventing, and innovating dominate, then I felt pretty happy.

Isn’t it peculiar that the outside world can make you feel bad, and the inside world can make you feel great? Much of the world is keeping up with the Joneses and doesn’t have an inside world to make them feel great, and I feel terrific gratitude that I do. Because I am able to create meaning in my life, and not everyone is able to do this. So, does this make me happy? No, it does not. But it does make me feel gratitude, for I have been fortunate enough to create meaning for myself from a very early age.

I was not always grateful about this because I wanted to feel included as a younger person and knew very clearly that I was different. When you feel different, you have two choices. Initially, you can feel inferior, or you can feel superior. Neither one of them works very well to have a terrific life. If you feel inferior, then you make yourself feel miserable. If you feel superior, you can have the tendency to make a lot of other people feel terrible.

Neither one of these has much to do with happiness or with gratitude.

Later on, when you realize that feeling superior is just the flip side of feeling inferior and that a superiority complex is actually the same thing as an inferiority complex, you can put them both behind you and feel different, but neither better nor worse. You kind of take yourself out of the spectrum of how people feel.

But in the much later stages of life, you do not have to feel inferior, superior, or different. You can simply feel gratitude for the fact that you were able to make yourself feel good by creating meaning in your life. Eventually, you find out that this is not such a widespread phenomenon, and then not everyone is able to make themselves feel like they have meaning in their life, and that is tragic because no one else can make you feel meaning. It has to come from within.

And at that point, you no longer feel inferior, or superior, or different. You just feel grateful, and that, in some way, this seems to add to the happiness that came from within you. So does the happiness fuel the gratitude? Or does gratitude fuel the happiness? I think internal happiness comes first, and then you can feel grateful for experiencing that internal happiness, and then, when you have been experiencing it for a while, you can begin to feel grateful. And in some strange way, feeling gratitude also increases your internal happiness.

You do not feel better than other people and do not feel worse than other people; you just begin to feel thankful and lucky that you can be happy. And for that, I feel gratitude.