Living a Gratitude Filled Life
Discover the power of making gratitude part of your everyday life.
In just a few weeks we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the season, the time spent with friends and family and all the great food. In fact, I can already smell all my favorite holiday dishes as I write this article. While Thanksgiving is limited to a day for many, it is a way of life for me. Gratitude is a powerful force that transformed my life in a major way. I am not sure that many people know the incredible power of gratitude. More importantly, not enough people are aware of the precious gift of gratitude. It is one of the most powerful shifts you can ever make in your life. Here are some of the life lessons I have discovered about gratitude.
- Gratitude is a decision that you have to make. I am sure that we can all find something to complain about. In reality, life doesn’t always go according to plan. We face hardships, disappointments and setbacks. I have experienced great failures in my life and on my journey. Instead of seeing disappointment as a negative, I have embraced disappointment as part of the development process for greatness. One of the most important shifts I made years ago was to live with an attitude of gratitude. Ultimately, you can focus on everything that is going wrong in your life. Or you can focus on all the great things in your life. Gratitude has a powerful way of changing your perspective and bringing more peace into your world. You can make a decision right now to stop grumbling and complaining about your life and choose to embrace an attitude of gratitude.
- Gratitude transforms your experiences. I have faced a lot of tragedy in my life. The thing about tragedy is that it can be very painful. Most people never process through tragedy. When I find myself in those places where my heart is overwhelmed I cultivate gratitude. Cultivating gratitude transforms the way you look at your experiences. It causes me to reflect on the good times, the value of relationships and the quality of experiences in my life. Instantly, I notice my grief being turned into joy. My mourning is turned into meaning and my tragedies into treasures. Gratitude has a way of breaking down the walls and binding up the wounds. I encourage you to allow gratitude to change the way you walk through grief and sorrow in your life. Gratitude has a way of making you appreciate the incredible gift of life.
- Gratitude must become a daily practice. Years ago I made a quality decision to write out a gratitude list every single day of my life. At the time, I was going through a lot and it did not seem like I had a lot to be grateful for. So every single day I would write out this list of things that I was grateful for. While my situation did not change immediately, I noticed that I was changing. Gratitude fundamentally changes who you are as a human being. It opens the heart space and causes you to be more empathetic, compassionate and connected to the world around you. I have kept this practice for many years and it has radically changed my life. I start every day with prayer, reflection and moments of gratitude. I find myself living more appreciative, more centered and more aware of how blessed I really am. It is impossible be thankful and not find yourself living a more free and fulfilled life.
- Gratitude has to become a way of life. As I stated earlier, gratitude has to move from a day on the calendar to a daily conviction in your life. We should not limit gratitude to one day a year when we sit around the table with family and friends. Gratitude should be the way that we choose to live our lives every single day. I have discovered over the years that in everything you can give thanks. You may not understand everything. Also, the conditions may not be favorable for you. The odds may even be stacked against you. However, if you will make gratitude a way of life nothing will have the power to defeat you. The grateful heart is not influenced by contradictions or conditions. The grateful heart is constant and trained to see and expect the best. After all, complaining does not change the conditions of your life. When you give thanks you attract miracles and breakthroughs into your world. Gratitude is a powerful force!