An Attitude of Gratitude

 Photo by  Roland Epple  on  Unsplash


Well, it is Thanksgiving again for us Canadians but anytime of the year is a good time to practice an attitude of gratitude.

William James said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. "

So many times people become discontent with their lives and surroundings and is it any wonder?  There is a whole industry set up to make us feel inadequate.  We are not thin enough, or not rich enough, or not hip enough because we are not buying the latest products on the market. The message rings loud and clear: We are not good enough!

How many times have you found yourself saying, if only _________  then I could be happy? The problem is that if we get caught up in this way of thinking we will never be happy because there is always something more we will think we need to complete our lives.

Paul Reid said, "Poverty is a state of mind often brought on by the neighbours new car. In other words, when we see our friends and neighbours acquiring things, we often feel poor because we cannot afford these luxuries.  But, in reality we are not poverty stricken, we only think we are poor." This state of mind is purely relative to whom you are comparing yourself to.  If you were to change your thinking and look at the homeless, then you would realize how truly rich you are.  You have a roof over your head, and food on the table. Okay, so maybe it is not your dream house and maybe you are eating peanut butter sandwiches and not caviar, but you are sheltered and fed.  Believe it or not, some people do not even have these basics. Be thankful for the comforts you do enjoy on a daily basis and try to remember not to take anything for granted.

Most people do not realize the benefits of gratitude. When we sit and think about all the things we want but don’t have we set ourselves up in a downward spiral of disappointment and negative thinking which can lead to overwork, and depression. Gratitude, on the other hand, lifts our spirits and gives us a clearer focus on life as it really is.  We will be content with what we have and therefore our attitude will bring us a spirit of peace and contentment.

You may say to yourself, but I don't have much!  Well then be thankful for the little things you do have.  Do you have a roof over your head?  Do you have someone who loves you?  Do you have someone you love?  Do you have food on your table? Do you have your health?  Do you have a job? Do you have a pillow to sleep on?...a blanket to keep warm? Do you have your sanity?  These may seem like small things but there is nothing small at all about good health, a nutritious meal, a warm bed, a lucid mind or the love of another human or even a pet. Just ask somebody who doesn’t have one of these things. And if you don’t have them all, you can still be grateful for the ones you do while you chase the ones you lack.  

Someone once said, If you haven't all the things you want, at least be grateful for the things you don't have that you wouldn't want. There is always something we can find to be grateful for. Be grateful for your health. Appreciate your ability to move and feel the wind in your hair and the grace of your own movements. 

Try not to let the shallowness and unreality of social media trick you into thinking that others are living a better life than you are. If you can recognize and savour each beautiful moment of your life - and I’m not saying that every moment is beautiful but I’m sure there are a few lovely moments each day - then you are wealthy beyond measure. You don’t and shouldn’t need others to validate your joy…doesn’t that actually detract from it?

I know this sounds simplistic and I know that there are always things that many of us truly need but if we start changing our attitudes and develop an attitude of gratitude then we will be in a better position to allow our positive thoughts to direct us in a way in which we can achieve more.

“You won’t be happy with more until you’re happy with what you’ve got.”
— Viki King

Gratitude is the first step in achieving the things you want to achieve in life.  

Let us make every effort to get rid of the negative thoughts that hinder our life's journey and learn to develop positive thoughts that will help us achieve our goals.  

Don't wait until Thanksgiving rolls around each year to be thankful.  Make it a point to develop in your daily life an attitude of Gratitude.