The Power of Gratitude
Gratitude is such a powerful attitude that influences my values, aspirations, outlook, etc. Having a grateful attitude steers me towards positivity – a sunnier disposition, a higher level of patience, a stronger will to last challenges, and so on. I’ve put together here my thoughts about some basic areas in life where gratitude can help give positive results – achieving goals, counting more blessings, strengthening relationships, overcoming fear, and staying humble. I’ve also included gratitude quotes that can serve as both inspiration and reminder. Achieving Goals “Enjoy all you have while pursuing all you want.” – Jim Rohn Being grateful for what you have doesn’t mean becoming complacent. It doesn’t mean you have to stop improving yourself or achieving more in life. I believe that people who are able to get to the peak of success are often the grateful ones. If you practice gratitude, you acknowledge your abilities and resources you can use to achieve what you want. You also accept your limitations, but you don’t mope around because of them. Instead, you find a way to defy the challenge. You know that being idle is not just wasting time, but also being thankless. People who don’t know gratitude, on the other hand, throw away every minute they use thinking about what they don’t have. Many even use whatever they lack as an excuse not to accomplish anything. They make all the unnecessary noise when they should already be thinking of how to make things work to get to their goals. Counting More Blessings “The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton You can think of it this way: when you buy a gift for someone, don’t you pick out something that you believe that that someone will love? And when you see that person using or taking care of the gift you gave, you just want to give more. My late grandfather just came to my mind. It’s such a joy to give gifts to him. If you give him a shirt, he’ll make sure that he wears it the next time you see each other. He’s just happy with every gift that people gave him. He was known to be a thankful and generous person. It isn’t any wonder that his house and office always had guests and gifts. And he also put his whole heart and mind into his work. Would it surprise you that, for quite a long time, he worked two jobs that he both loved? And needless to say, he retired from those jobs with the full respect and admiration of his colleagues. Strengthening Relationships “People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition.” – Bob Nelson Expressing gratitude for what people do has always been taken for granted, but you can never deny the good it does to any relationship. From personal to professional connections, consistent expression of your appreciation to the other person contributes significantly to his happiness in your relationship. Many teenagers start to rebel against their families when they feel neglected and believe that their efforts aren’t appreciated. Countless infidelities also happen, most of the time, when a spouse feels taken for granted. And as Bob Nelson’s quote above signifies, many employees look for new jobs not because they’ve got an unsatisfactory compensation package. Often it’s because their workplace needs a little more gratitude culture. Overcoming Fear “Hopeful thinking can get you out of your fear zone and into your appreciation zone.” – Martha Beck I think gratitude and fear can’t exist together. It’s either you let your fear overcome you or you let gratitude take over. A new opportunity often gives you this feeling of anxiety about the unknown. When you get a job assignment that requires you to relocate, you get these worries about fitting in a new environment. You may even get stressed about packing up your stuff and transferring to a new home. But things could be a lot better if you embrace the opportunity with a little more thankfulness than worry. You could at least be thankful for the new friends you’ll have and the challenges that will make you stronger. Staying Humble “Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” – Henry Ward Beecher I think that someone who believes that he’s high above all other beings can’t be truly grateful. How can he be? All he thinks about is what he can get. When you’ve got that air of arrogance, you can’t appreciate the goodness of other people. All you can see is what you do and what you want. You even tend to put down other people just to make sure that you’re the one who stays on top of the game. If you’re a humble man, however, you always know your place. You know what you’ve got and accept your limitations. You can also recognize what other people can do and be truly happy with it. I know everything’s always easier said than done. And having a grateful attitude everyday isn’t an exception. It always is a difficult task, especially with all the stressful situations around us. It’s so easy to give in to the pressures of the world, stay critical and worrisome, and blame it on someone or something else. But we can always make a choice. What I’ve mentioned here are just some of the “gifts” you can experience when you focus on gratitude. And there are many other amazing things you can expect from it. I’m sure you’ve got your own insights and experiences about the power of gratitude in your life. Care to share your thoughts?