One of the many age-old concepts that is recently starting to be understood as a powerful tool for our personal success is that of Gratitude. The good old-fashioned concept of simply being thankful for the things that you have in your life.
One of the reasons why it has not been a mainstream self improvement tool in the past is because it seems like common sense, so people don’t recognize a need to experience Gratitude on a much more fundamental level than simply being thankful for normal, every day things.
Even for people who tend to be more thankful than others, they still tend to slip into the mode of Gratitude being a non-descript part of their personality, rather than letting it shine through and become an active part of their daily lives. So active, in fact, that rather than getting buried with your other personality traits, it can and should become as second nature to you as breathing or blinking your eyes.
As with so many other things in our lives, it all goes back to the Law of Attraction – which is working for each of you right now, whether you believe it or not. We all constantly send out a vibration to the Universe. That vibration can only be one of two things – positive or negative. Positive vibrations bring great things into our lives, negative vibrations bring not so great things into our lives.
So ends the Law of Attraction Primer 101, but here begins your education on what any of this has to do with Gratitude. The emotion of Gratitude is one of the most positive emotions that you can experience, which means that it will attract the highest degree of positive things into your life each time you experience it.
In a way, it is like saying “thank you” to the higher power that gives and takes all things in our existence. Regardless of your religious or non-religious beliefs, there is one constant that can’t be denied, and that is that there is SOME power that is controlling all things.
By showing Gratitude to that power – regardless of what you call it – you are expressing the fact that you realize that you have been given some sort of a gift that has made your life a better place to be. That gift may be very large or very small, but your ability to show true, heartfelt Gratitude for that gift will ensure that more of the same continues to come to you in the future.
However, here is where a lot of people get tripped up. By saying “thank you” so many times in our lives, we tend to get numb to saying it. It’s just a habit, not a philosophy. Much like when someone says, “Have a nice day”. Our normal response is something along the lines of, “Thanks. You, too”.
Were you really all that grateful to that person for wishing you well, or was that just their job since they were your cashier or an employee somewhere? For that matter, did they even really mean it when they said it to begin with, or was it just a habit that they have, or an instruction that they were given?
If they didn’t really mean it, then why are you grateful that they said it? For that matter, if they didn’t really mean it, why did you return the favor by saying the same thing to them???
You and a complete stranger have just participated in a totally meaningless exchange of dialogue that didn’t mean squat to either one of you, yet both of you did it without even thinking about it.
Here’s a $10,000,000 tip for you, and don’t forget to tell your friends that you heard it here first:
That type of exchange is NOT going to bring you the positive repercussions that TRUE Gratitude will bring you. Let’s try it again with a better example:
You walk out of that same hypothetical store or building, and you have already forgotten the entire exchange. In fact, you have already moved on to thinking about the fact that you forgot to fill up your dog’s food dish before you left the house 9 hours ago, and you suddenly realize that your poor dog is probably starving!
You are so caught up in feeling horrible for starving your (blindly grateful) dog, that you don’t even realize that a car in the parking lot just ran right through a stop sign because the driver is looking at the coffee he just spilled in his lap. In fact, he doesn’t see YOU, either, and you are so racked with guilt about not feeding Fido that you are oblivious to the fact that you are about to be hit by a car!
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the same person who just told you to have a nice day has come running out of the building because you left your cell phone inside and he wanted to give it back to you before you got into your car and left.
That same person that less than 3 minutes ago you exchanged meaningless gratitude and “have a nice day” wishes with DOES see that you are about to be hit by a car. He yells at you just in time for you to see the car, almost have a heart attack, and then jump out of the way just in time to avoid getting plastered.
Here comes the big question: What is the very first thing that you say to that person?
Only this time, guess what? You mean it! In fact, you mean it so much that you start scouring your brain trying to think of a way to express just how grateful you are to this person. You want to buy them dinner! You want to go in and tell their boss to make them Employee of the Month! You want to name your first born child after them!
Why? Because you are filled with GRATITUDE! This person just saved you from serious injury, if not from actually dying, and you cannot imagine enough Gratitude existing in the world for you to express to him how grateful you truly are.
And what about this person who was just trying to give you your phone back? He is smiling from ear to ear and feeling for all the world like every bad thing that happened to him today was well worth it if it meant that he could do you this huge favor and receive so much positive energy in return. In fact, he isn’t just happy, but he is filled with Gratitude, too!
Both of you are so happy and filled with Gratitude that there is a huge cloud of positive energy emanating from you, and by referring back to the Law of Attraction, what do you think is going to happen? You are going to attract MORE positive energy. In fact, you will attract so much that you are going to feel the need to give it away!
On your way home you give the whino on the corner $5. You help old Mrs. Grouchmeir take her garbage cans up from the curb. You buy Girl Scout cookies even though you never eat them. Then, when you get home, Fido is definitely grateful to see you, and not only do you give him a big bowl of food, but you decide he deserves a nice long walk tonight, too.
And why did all of this happen? Because you are grateful to be alive! You just had a brush with a seriously negative situation, and because someone else was trying to do something nice for you, both you and that person got to experience happiness and Gratitude. That in turn caused you both to want to spread that cheer to every other person that you saw that day.
THAT, my friend, is the power of Gratitude!
Ya gotta FEEL it, though, and it has to happen every single day, several times a day. Just “going through the motions” of Gratitude won’t get you very far. However, truly, honestly feeling Gratitude on a heartfelt level at every possible opportunity could literally save your life some day!
In the meantime, it will at least cause you to attract positive things into your life on a regular basis, and maybe Mrs. Grouchmeir won’t be so grouchy anymore after this!
Well, I guess that’s about all I can say about Gratitude right now, so there is only one thing left to close with:
Thanks for reading!! 🙂