I Still Get to Play, Right?

By Greg Baer M.D.

November 13, 2017

Charles called to tell me that his eleven-year-old son, Nathan, had tried out for the advanced soccer league but had just been notified that he didn’t make the cut. Charles asked him how he felt about that.

“I still get to play, right?” Nathan asked.

Nathan, at age eleven, understands what most adults never learn. We will never have everything we want. Fact. So the only question is, how will we respond to the inevitable—usually frequent—disparity between what we have and what we want?

Two choices stand above the rest:
We can complain about what we don’t have.
We can be grateful for what we do have.

Sure, there are other choices, like working toward getting what we don’t have, but in the process we still have to make one of the two choices above. The choice we make—to complain or be grateful—will largely determine how happy we are. I have listened to a great many people make the first choice, and to a few make the latter, and the difference is obvious and consistent: complainers are miserable, while grateful people are happy.

Even when we don’t get everything we want, we “still get to play.” We’re alive. We have choices. We can be loving and happy. Gratitude is a powerful choice, one that can diminish or eliminate a great many inconveniences and disappointments.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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