If you want to get excited about life, gratitude is your key. Let’s go deeper.
This is part 7 of a 7-part series: Things Happy People Do.
Today is Key #7
…possibly the most powerful of all.
3 Simple Steps to Get Excited About Life – see later in this article.
Happy People Are Grateful for What They’ve Got
Whatever You Focus on Becomes Greater
Focus on what you “don’t have” and you make a huge HOLE in your life.
Focus on what you “do have” and you get even more of that… and then more fabulous stuff gets heaped on top.
It has to do with flow. “Don’t have” blocks the flow, “I love what I already have” keeps it going.
Gratitude has a magical way of moving you deeper into the fabulous. (note: striving for magnificent goals is a focus on becoming greater and not on obstacles. An important but different piece of this puzzle.)
Once you’ve got the gratitude habit, trust me your list grows… it becomes infinite.
“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”
Earl Nightingale (Motivational speaker – on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. 1921 – 1989)
When did you last acknowledge that you can walk or see or hear? Hoping of course you can do all three.
Seldom do we contemplate these monumental blessings. Just ask someone who can’t. Don’t let these blessings fade into the background.
Is Your Happiness Part of the Background?
The reason gratitude is a challenge is this background thing. Beauty is in the detail. Those smallest aspects of life are overlooked yet so vital to our enjoyment of life.
Stay with me. Let’s take another one of our precious senses.
TASTE – one of my favorite “background beauties”.
A friend of mine lost her sense of taste, and she’s often on my mind because of this. It had never occurred to me not to taste a juicy, sweet orange, my favorite chocolate… luscious and delectable or my rich full-bodied red wine.
Hard to imagine. Taste is underestimated.
And this: Do you value your husband, wife, partner in your life? If so, appreciate them every day. I mean really hone in on it every day. Make each day count. You wouldn’t want to wish you had, once they’re gone.
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
Frederick Keonig (German inventor best known for his high-speed printing press. 1774 – 1833)
I’m Happy… I’m Big on Gratitude
Every day I focus on gratitude before I focus on my goals. I contemplate and acknowledge how fortunate I am. I’m also fortunate to have written a book I’m proud of, one that is getting magnificent reviews, and awards. It gives me more opportunity to live and write about my passion – sharing with others how to be excited about life. And connect with so many inspiring people across the world.
My gratitude attitude has moved me into a life I love.
Take Yourself into a Life You Love
We live in an age of incredible opportunity. A formal qualification is not a requirement to get what you want. Please remember that. The question is “Do you want to?” and “Are you willing to put in a little effort to get what you want?” There is a lot of hardship in the world, but opportunities abound for all who are interested and willing.
How Does Gratitude Help You?
Appreciation makes you euphorically happy. As a child I loved pencil crayons, my favorite being the Colleen brand of crayons but crayons were expensive then and not freely handed out as they are now.
When I eventually received my own set of Colleen pencil crayons at about age 10, I was beyond delighted. Ecstatic! Not only did I relish the feel of coloring with them, I also carefully sharpened them and ordered them according to color. (trying to get order into my life perhaps : -) You’ve no idea my joy at seeing this picture. I’m thrilled to say the packaging is still the same !
“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.”
Aesop (A Greek writer credited with a number of fables – Aesop’s Fables)
Rarely do I see a child (in a Western country) go ape over crayons today or even enjoy sharpening and arranging them. A little sad for our kids. Things have changed quickly. We must evolve but not go south. Even more concerning is that the replacement toy – video games – doesn’t give any kind of satisfaction – it increases children’s anxiety, impatience and aggression.
I know this first-hand from my own young children, who started to change personality and so no longer “play” video games. It fuels displeasure – nothing “happy” about that. That’s another issue I may soon write about.
For the most part we, adults and children alike, rarely appreciate anything anymore, we just want more. We have no appreciation.
So we lose that opportunity for happiness.