gratitudeTom Corley says things I think and am afraid to say. I worry it’ll come out wrong and fear I may hurt feelings. I never want to blame people for their circumstances. But, I do want to express appreciation for my own.

AND, I also understand that at some point, you have to make a choice to be successful. You have to decide to put in the extra effort. You have to choose to work hard. You have to take the responsibility – whatever the circumstances – … AND THEN NEVER GIVE UP.

One of his recent posts, Habit Inequality Creates Income Inequality, touches this nerve for me.

I am successful and I have MUCH to be thankful for. I have worked hard to develop and follow good habits for my ENTIRE LIFE. So, it is easy for me to believe Corley’s statement because my experience “proves” it.

However, I have also partaken in lucky circumstances that supported my good habit development and boosted my potential for success.

Just a few of these are:  I am white; I am male; I am tall (I recognize these are HUGE advantages). My parents were married; they had high expectations of me; there was no question whether I would go to college; my peer group was always slightly more well off (so I grew up wanting); my dad introduced me to “success literature” when I was 10; my parents were open about our money circumstances AND about what it would take to change them (work harder, become better, save more).

I’ve had advantages that are outside my control that have supported me my whole life. I have also worked incredibly hard, sacrificed lots, and developed habits over decades.

As a result, I am on the high side of the “income equality” spectrum.

Knowing this, I am happy to pay my taxes (whatever they might be). And, when they are reduced, I am committed to giving more into my community as an expression of my deep gratitude.

What are you grateful for? How do you express your gratitude?