Posted on October 25th, 2010 by Colin and is posted in Growth
What is an attitude of gratitude?
Its easy to think that gratitude will come from having some good fortune or great luck. Of course having great friends, lots of money, a house by the beach, first class travel, would cause most of us to feel good. These are all good things, but these things are not enough by themselves. I believe only with the right frame of mind will we enjoy life to its fullest. And that right frame of mind is living each moment with an attitude of gratitude.
All of us feel better when we feel blessed, when you can honestly look around and say “Thank you Universe,” or “Thank you God.” It doesn’t matter whether or not we are religious, when we see life as a wonderful gift, our experience is a far richer one. Its a lot like going through life like you’re a child, and every morning is Christmas morning.
Of course, it is easy to think that gratitude comes from having what we want. Its easy to imagine ourselves giving thanks if we had lots of money, a loving happy family, and maybe a house on the beach. But we might know, or at least read about the ungrateful and unhappy people who have all of these things. We might also know the opposite, poor people who are full of gratitude for what little they have.
So, where does this feeling of gratitude come from?
An attitude of gratitude arises from our perception – how we look at things. It is the natural feeling that comes when we recognise the real value of the people and things in our life. We we focus our attention on everything we are blessed with we cannot fail but have a better attitude and experience of life. Gratitude is something we are in control of and its something that can be encourage, something we can learn.
Here Are 3 Steps To Creating A Greater Feeling of Gratitude
Step 1. Notice
Stop and smell the roses. How can we be thankful for something we don’t even notice? Each day presents us with many opportunities to be thankful. Stop and consider what you have been given in life. For example: Are you in good health? Do you have a supportive and loving mate? Do you have loving children, a supportive family? A nice home environment? Do you enjoy your work? Are you blessed with financial security? Do you have wonderful friends? What does nature give to you? Pay attention to what you do have and not what you don’t have.
Step 2. Commit
Make this appreciative approach to life a life a habit. We shouldn’t go around with our head in the sand and ignore the challenges in the world. Just consciously choose to see everything that is great about your life now. Make a commitment to do it everyday until you start automatically feeling blessed for being in this world. If you’ve ever bought a car you’ve always wanted, say a black Mini, you’ll know you start seeing black Mini’s all over the place! This is how awareness and focus can alter your perception of reality. In the same way, once you are aware of everything you are blesses with, and start looking for it, you’ll start to see wonderful things all over the place.
Step 3. Keep a Gratitude Journal
The quickies way to encourage this new habitual way of seeing the world is to start writing down everything you are grateful for in your life today. Look for between 5 – 80 things a day. What works for me is to say ‘thank you’ to everything I encounter each day, for example, Tor, my wife, my boys, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the air that I breath, food, shelter, a loving home environment, wardrobe full of clothes, colleagues, my lap top, etc.
Simple exercises like the one above train your mind with time. When you are in the habit of saying “thank you,” gratitude, and a much richer experience of life is the natural result.
Lastly, remember Meister Eckhart’s saying, “The most important prayer in the world is just two words: THANK YOU.“
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