Gratitude leads to greatness. It can literally turn what you have into more than enough, jobs into joy, chaos into order, uncertainty into clarity, and bring peace to an otherwise chaotic day.
The easiest way to make your blessings count is to count your blessings. Acknowledging the good things you already have in your life is of the essence, because whatever you appreciate and give thanks for will grow stronger in your life.
When Angel and I discus the importance of gratitude with our coaching/course students, we often get a “Yeah, yeah, I know…” response. But the truth is, most of us don’t know – because we’re forgetful. In the haste of our busy lives we neglect many of the basic laws of gratitude, and thus miss out entirely on their positive effects. So here’s a good refresher, for all of us:
1. The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.
- Be grateful for what you have, and you’ll end up having more.
- Focus on what you don’t have, and you’ll never have enough.
2. Being happy won’t always make you grateful, but being grateful will always make you happy.
- It’s nearly impossible to sincerely appreciate a moment and frown about it at the same time.
- To be happy right now doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re grateful for what you have and patient for what’s yet to come.
3. Gratitude fosters true forgiveness, which is when you can sincerely say, “Thank you for that experience.”
- It makes no sense to condemn or regret an important life lesson.
- Gratitude makes sense of yesterday, brings peace to the present, and creates a positive vision for tomorrow.
4. You never need more than you have at any given moment.
- It has been said that the highest form of prayer is giving thanks. Instead of praying ‘for’ things, give thanks for what you already have.
- When life gives you every reason to be negative, think of one good reason to be positive. There’s always something to be grateful for.
5. Gratitude is all-inclusive.
- Good days give you happiness and bad days give you wisdom. Both are essential.
- Because all things have contributed to your advancement, you must include all things in your gratitude. This is especially true of your relationships. We meet no ordinary people in our lives; if you give them a chance, everyone has something important to teach you.
6. What you have to be grateful for in the present changes.
- Be grateful for all you have now, because you honestly never know what will happen next. What you have will eventually be what you had.
- Life changes every single day, and your blessings will gradually change along with it.
7. A grateful mind never takes things for granted.
- What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.
- The circumstance (or person) you take for granted today may turn out to be the only one you need tomorrow.
8. As you express your gratitude, you must not forget that the highest appreciation is not to simply utter words, but to live by them daily.
- What matters most is not what you say, but how you live.
- Don’t just say it, show it. Don’t just promise it, prove it.
9. Gratitude includes giving back.
- In the hustle of everyday life we hardly realize how much more we receive than give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude.
- It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the aid of others.
10. The highest tribute to the people and circumstances you’ve lost is not grief but gratitude.
- Just because something didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the greatest gift imaginable.
- Be thankful that your paths crossed and that you got the chance to experience something wonderful.
11. To be truly grateful, you must be truly present.
- Count the blessings in your life, and start with the breath you’re taking right now.
- We often forget that the greatest miracle is not to walk on water; the greatest miracle is to walk on this green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment, appreciating it and feeling completely alive.
12. Letting go of control multiplies the potential for gratitude.
- Sometimes we put too much weight into trying to control every tiny aspect of our lives that we completely miss the forest for the trees.
- Learn to let go, relax a bit and ride the path that life takes you sometimes. Try something new, be fearless, but above all else, do your best and be OK with it. Clearing yourself of needless expectations lets you truly experience the unexpected. And the greatest joys in life are often the unexpected surprises and opportunities you never anticipated.
As I’m wrapping up this short post I’m reminded of something my grandmother always used to say when I was growing up:
“Life should be lived with a little more GRATITUDE and a little less ATTITUDE.”
Honestly, that’s what I strive for on a daily basis. And I’d be honored if you’d join.
Let’s consider how fortunate we are – let’s consider it every day. The more we count our blessings, the more blessings there will be to count. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)