One of the many attributes that will help you live a happy life is the art of being grateful. Grateful is about being thankful and appreciative of someone or something. To be grateful requires a mindful conscious act for most of us. It is being tuned in to people and circumstances that you can be thankful for. Most people don’t even think twice about an act of kindness that was shown or an assistance that was rendered. Most people certainly won’t remember what kind deed was done not because they are ungrateful but because we don’t stop and reflect.
5 Ways to start your journey to being a grateful person:
- Start with writing it down: The process of writing it down requires you to take time to reflect and focus on areas to be grateful for. Write it down, every thing, no matter small or simple. For example, good health, able to walk and run, able to have a job that you enjoy, able to help someone etc. Don’t overlook the trivial matters. Good health is something to be grateful for. If you don’t have good health, quality of life generally suffers. So start with what you have taken for granted. The goal is that over time and with practice, the process will become just another natural extension of your character.
- Take time to show your appreciation: When someone helps you out in some area, take the time to show your appreciation. Show that you are grateful for an act of service or kindness. I am sure that the person will appreciate it. A simple thank you will suffice and ensure that you look at the person while saying it vs. distractingly saying it. Mean it.
- How can you pay forward?: Being a grateful person isn’t just about feeling grateful for all the good things that you have received, but it is truly about, how can you share that with others? Who can you pay forward to? Random act of kindness. We receive blessings so that we can share that blessings with others. Blessings are not meant to be kept, stored and tucked away.
- Don’t take anyone or anything for granted: It is so easy to take those closest to us for granted. We just don’t “see” them anyone or even consider their situation. To be grateful, requires that we don’t take our eyes off the people we love just because we are now seeing everyone around us. Treasure those closest first and the rest will fall into place.
- Release comparison: One of the negative effects of comparing with others, is the birth of envy and death to gratefulness. The Jones’s effect leads to discontent, jealousy, slander and never ending obsession for more. The key to releasing comparison is to be comfortable and contented with who you are, what you have and not have. To do that, you need to be grateful. I have come to learn to that having enough is the best balance. For example, you can only wear one watch at a time, drive one car at a time, eat only as much as what your stomach can take in, drink just enough wine before it does damage etc. To try and have more does not add to your level of peace or contentment. In fact in today stressful world, to have the right balance of stress is important. Enough stress to drive you to perform better but not too much that will give you hypertension.
Being grateful is a conscious thought process until it becomes your character. As it is a conscious thought process, every one is able to start learning and eventually become a grateful person.
- Would you describe yourself as a grateful person?
- What are you grateful for?
- How have I shared my life with others?
- If your family or friends were to describe you, what would they say?
There is a certain level of peace and contentment when we meet a person who demonstrates gratefulness. Who doesn’t want to live a happy life filled with peace and contentment? What is stopping you today?