What are your thoughts on gratitude? I was asked to write a post about gratitude, by Akemi Gaines of Gratitude Magic, so here you go.
Akemi Gaines of Gratitude Magic has asked me to write a post about gratitude. Here are my thoughts:
We certainly hear and read a lot about gratitude these days, especially in personal development circles.
The Science of Gratitude has become a popular field of study. This discipline attempts to explain exactly what gratitude is, its psychological foundation, its components, and the relationship between gratitude and physical and emotional health.
I think this is a very exciting time, and that gratitude is certainly a viable process for finding happiness, fulfillment, and peace of mind.
But I often have to keep things much simpler than making an emotion into a science. So I continue to ask myself one question in order to maintain that simplicity: “What are we grateful for and when should we be grateful?”
One thing I know with absolute certainty is that gratitude is a place and space where I want to hang out – constantly. I want to always feel thankful, if only because it brings with it a sense of peace and ‘ok-ness’ into my life.
I also know that as I begin each day, I must start by recognizing the most fundamental thing that I’m appreciative of – that I’m alive. When I discipline myself to think this way as I open my eyes, not only does it calm the racing thoughts in my head about everything that I need to do in my life that day, it leads me to so much more because I’m reminded instantly that what I really need to focus on is what I need and want to be today. It’s the difference between ‘doing’ and ‘being’, and I’m a human being, not a human doing.
I’ve found that it’s the easiest thing in the world to be grateful when things are going great in my life and I’m seemingly on top of the world. It’s when I’m feeling low that it’s tough to discover it. That’s when gratitude really matters to me.
We’ll always have days with new problems. We’ll always have days with disappointment and surprises. We’ll always have days where something beyond our control seemingly throws our lives into chaos.
The trick is to turn my day around when I’m feeling down. On these days, I need to change my attitude.
And to do that, I need to remember a one simple thing:
I’m not here to simply make the best of my life. I have to bring the best to life.
- I need to find something, anything, to be grateful for when I’m not grateful.
- I need to find something to celebrate, because that’s when the celebration counts the most.
- I need to bring and generate love (as well as happiness, fulfillment, and peace of mind) instead of waiting for love (and happiness, fulfillment, and peace of mind) to find me.
How do I do this? I get outside of myself. I take action. I bring the best to life by getting out and experiencing life.
I’m grateful for many things today:
- That I can give back what has been so freely given to me,
- For the quality of the life and lifestyle I live,
- For a life filled with peace and contentment,
- For the ability to give and receive love, and
- For the opportunity to serve others.
Most of all, I’m grateful for the opportunity to change.
If you’d like to participate in The Gratitude Project, here are the instructions.