Attitude of Gratitude
Cultivating a mindset that propagates abundance and virtue
Have you ever saw something, let’s say at a mall, that invoked feelings of excitement and desire? Perhaps got the opportunity to experience a fantastic trip to another country, or even met the most wonderful person who developed into cherished and valued friend. How did that event feel in the moment? Probably phenomenal, right?
Over time however the overwhelming gratitude originally felt dissipates- the mall purchase gradually becomes norm, friendship with valued friend becomes expectation, and travel experience quickly sqaunders until our next boarding pass printed.
A life lived in anticipation for the next “it” is one that’s designed and destined for unhappiness and lacking fulfillment.
Gratitude is predicated on feeling and expressing gratefulness for the abundance in our lives; all that’s present, and equally, not present. It functions as an antidote for what we covet most, and an elixir towards the unrecognized fortunes. Gratitude is the opposite of displeasure and the bridge towards virtue.
Gratitude begins with taking inventory of what’s already present- not the accumulation of more.
It’s valuable to recognize that events in life certainly do contain both perceived positive and negative experiences. Where our opportunity and power lies however, is within the perception of said events. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude presents us with the opportunity and reminder of just how great we have it. Brian Tracy has a phenomenal quote that elegantly references this; “Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”
Similarly, Friedrich Nietzsche coined the term Amor Fati as a representation of human greatness- a love of fate. “That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it…but love it.” The stoics were not only familiar with this ideology, but embraced it as well. One component I gather from Nietzsche and the stoics insight is the daily premiditated practice of gratitude in my daily life. Recording in my journal as well as encouraging others within my circle to share three things we’re grateful for has been a transformative and profound reminder of just how exceptional life is. Additionally, a component of the practice is the inability to repeat the same point twice- naturally necessitates the seeking of good in your life.
In the process, I’ve experienced a profound shift in paradigm that’s bared positive ramifications in how I see the events within my world. What might that look like ? It’s really quite simple. In my recent D-Cubed article I touch base on this briefly- turning have to’s into get to’s.
“I have to go to work” versus “I get to go to work”.
“I have to go grocery shopping” versus “I get to go grocery shopping”
“I have to pick up the kids” versus “I get to pick up the kids”
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”
– Brian Tracy
I was fortunate to come across this way of thinking while listening to Ben Bergerons Podcast, Chasing Excellence. Ben makes the point that often times the thing we feel are a burden in our day to day lives are just the opposite, they’re blessing. He tells the story of a young mother enduring a horrendous cancer treatment, who’s spent weeks in a hospital, and with tears streaming down her face says “I would give anything for a chance to change a messy diaper”. Perspective, right?
Quoted from December 23, 2019’s newsletter, a change in verbiage ultimately bares wide reaching implications on character, and in this case, it starts with gratitude towards everything in our lives.
I encourage you to start somewhere, especially as it costs nothing to deploy an attitude of gratitude, while equally being a beautiful way to relieve some of the suffering and pain we have to experience in this life. Whether its beginning a daily gratitude journal outlining three things you’re grateful for, vocalizing your love and appreciation for someone, or even talking to yourself in the car recognizing just how great you have it (I do it all the time)- the important thing is you choose something and stick with it daily.
Okay, now its your turn.