Monday, May 21, 2012

Practicing Gratitude

I’ve noticed an unsettling bad habit that far too many people have acquired: neglecting gratitude. Rather than being thankful for what we do have, it seems that our natural default state is to focus on what we don’t have. We don’t have enough money. We don’t have a nice car. We don’t have a perfect relationship, or a perfect job, or perfect teeth. It’s like we live in a dark cloud of scarcity that prevents us from ever being truly happy.

All of that stuff that we wish we had but we don’t, or we wish was perfect but isn’t, is ALWAYS going to be there. That will never change. And the sooner we realize that the better, because if we spend our time and energy worrying about what we DON’T have rather than appreciating what we DO have it is literally impossible for us to be happy!  I know this is a very simple concept that we’ve been taught since we were children but it seems to me like many of us have forgotten the basics and need a little reminder.

If you focus on what’s missing in your life then you put yourself in a negative state that’s fueled by fear, doubt and worry. You cut yourself off from the empowering feelings that we need to be successful and happy. On the other hand, if you start exercising your gratitude muscle and spending time each day to give sincere appreciation for all the greatness in your life, you will not only begin to experience a much happier state of being, but you will also begin to attract even more things into your life to be thankful for.

So we have two choices: complain about what we don’t have or be grateful for what we do. It’s really that simple. Sometimes you may have to stretch a little bit to find those things to be grateful for but once you make that switch I guarantee you won’t go back.

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