People who have only vaguely heard about Pollyanna often wrongly describe her as a naïve goody-two-shoes who was blindly optimistic, regardless of reality.

Actually, her personality was to simply focus on the good in a situation and to be grateful no matter what your circumstances.

There's nothing wrong with being grateful for your life. Gratitude is not reserved exclusively for the fourth Thursday in November; it should be a perpetual state of mind.

We humans tend to grumble a lot. It’s too hot; it’s too cold. It’s too rainy; it’s too dry. There’s too much traffic; I’m the only car on this desolate and lonely road. I have too much work to do; I don’t have enough work.

When you start looking at life through the proverbial half-empty glass, you forget to be grateful for what you do have.

So what, you ask? You have nothing to be grateful for? At the risk of sounding trite, how about being glad for life? And as long as there is life, you have the opportunity to change your circumstances.

You’re not a victim, powerless in the face of adversity. Ingratitude convinces you that you’ve been dealt bad luck, outside of your control. Ingratitude leads to perennial grumpiness and estranged relationships. Nobody likes to be around a chronic grump because negative thinking and complaining is infectious.

Grumpiness gives off bad vibes that others can sense from a distance. It transforms your visage, your mannerisms, your speech, your posture, and even the amount of negative drama you bring to interpersonal communications. People tend to avoid chronic complainers, which increases your isolation and leaves negative thoughts unchallenged.

It diminishes the quality of life for yourself and those with whom you live and work. Simply put, it becomes a bad habit.

I’ve known some people who wear ingratitude and grumpiness as a kind of badge of honor. "I’m old, and I’ve earned the right to be grumpy." "I have health problems so I have a right to complain." "I’ve got family problems and if you knew what I was going through, you’d be grumpy, too." "You think you got it bad? I’ve got it worse."

It is not a right to be ungrateful and grumpy; it is a choice. So choose to take charge of your life. Stop complaining. Be grateful. Live.