Why should you be grateful in life? Following are 10 insights that I’ve gathered over the years that have helped me understand more about why I want to practice gratitude now and forever. I think that if you are not feeling too grateful today or are struggling with the concept of gratitude and how it works in life, they will help you feel better, so read on!
1. You Can’t Teach Someone Else To Be Grateful Unless They Want To Be Taught
You can create the best gratitude book, show, or course in the world and you will still not be able to help some people be grateful if they are not looking for a way to be more grateful. When it comes to gratitude, this is something you must remember or you will be frustrated more often than not with other people.
Almost all of us have a bitter or angry person in our lives who complains about everything and everyone. Most of us who understand gratitude (or are at least a little bit more aware of what life has to offer us) and want to be happier in our lives have tried to help these people see all the good things in their life and failed.
For me, I spent countless hours trying to get someone very close to me to understand that there is a lot to be grateful for in this life, such as his wife, his kids, his home, his health, and his wealth. He didn’t see any of these things in a positive light because he was too focused on the stress he had and the events, circumstances, and people who he saw in a negative light. Eventually, I gave up and used my time more wisely – focusing on what I was grateful for.
It’s not that ungrateful people are not capable of being grateful. It’s just that they are stuck in a way of thinking that doesn’t allow them to be grateful. And trying to change the way someone thinks is like trying to pull a hippo through a pinhole. It’s impossible. They are in too much pain to refocus their thoughts. They need to make the choice to think more positively and stop focusing on negative things that keep them in an ungrateful state. There’s nothing you can do about it.
The best you can do is lead by example. Trust me, if someone is ready to experience more gratitude in their life, your example will have a big impact on them. So, don’t despair if you can’t help a particular person feel better because, if you practice gratitude, you will help someone else.
2. You Can Be Grateful For Your Problems
Most of us encounter problems in life every day. And we can be grateful for most of the problems we encounter. This sounds crazy to some people, I know, but it just takes a new way of looking at life in order to make this a reality.
Many people view their problems as nuisances. They see them as harmful to them in some way and don’t get excited about overcoming them. It’s no wonder they can’t be grateful for the problems that arise in their life.
In order to be thankful for your problems, you have to see them for what they are. They are obstacles that help you grow, mature, and move closer to the life you want.
For instance, a blogger friend of mine recently had her site hacked for about a week without her noticing. All of her popular pages had been redirected to spam pages in a different language. This was a huge problem for her! All of her work was being hijacked and the search engines were showing her pages in a different language, which meant that very quickly her pages were not going to be ranked for the keywords that they were currently being ranked for, which would result in a big blow to her income. After a few hours of panic, she started to be grateful for this problem she was facing. She realized that she was going to learn how to fix her site and strengthen her security, which is exactly what she did. Now she knows so much more about hackers, how they can get into your site, and how to keep them out, which will help her have more success with her blogs in the future.
Seeing your problems as experiences that will help you grow is a great way to be grateful for them. Problems with your health, relationships, work, and home are all signs that something is going wrong and you need to shift what you are doing in order to help it go right.
Every problem is an opportunity to create a better life for yourself. When you see it like that, you will start to be grateful for most of the problems that arise in your life.
3. Gratitude Multiplies
When you are grateful for things in your life, you get more things to be grateful for. You can call this the law of attraction or just the law of being more positive and energetic and willing to bring good things into your life, but either way it is a simple truth.
I know so many people who believe that when things get bad, there can be a snowball effect that lasts a long time, but they don’t believe the same about things being good. The realization that the snowball effect works for good things too changed my life because, between feeling bad or good, I always would prefer the latter.
Make it a challenge to be as grateful as possible for the next month. Every day look for things to be grateful for and go on a ‘gratitude rampage’ as you keeping adding things – big or small – to your list. Speak gratitude, feel gratitude, and show gratitude. After the month is up, I guarantee you will find that you will have much more to be grateful for than you did when you started.
4. Always See The Bright Side
There is always a bright side to a situation. It’s so cliche, but it’s so true.
If you can find that bright side, then you can refocus your attention from things that make you angry or upset to things that make you feel grateful. This works for real life experiences, and for experiences that are not necessarily a part of your life but still cause you to be upset anyway.
For example, The Walking Dead recently killed off Glenn in a horrifying Season 7 premiere. The imagery, the circumstances, and the horror of it all left a lot of people upset and focused on anger and sadness. It seems crazy that a character could promote this much negativity from people, but things that are not really a part of our life do have the capability to do that.
Instead of focusing on Glenn’s senseless death, choosing to focus on real things, such as your family that is still alive and not living a nightmare like that, is a much better way to be grateful during your day. Just that simple switch of focus would help turn around a traumatic event (real or not).
5. Gratitude Is The Ticket To True Happiness, Luck, Success, Love, And Everything Else
If you picture a pyramid of things you can do to bring more happiness, success, luck, love, and anything else into your life, gratitude would be at the top of that pyramid. To be grateful is the first step in the process of having the life you want. It is what helps you do other things in your life that help increase the happiness, success, luck, love, and everything else.
To improve your life you may hear things like:
– Forgive others
– Stay optimistic
– Be kind
– Smile more
– Laugh more
– Be compassionate
– Work hard
And gratitude is what helps you do those things.
Gratitude helps you see the good in others and situations and forgive things you couldn’t forgive before.
Gratitude helps you to see the potential in life and stay optimistic for the future.
Gratitude helps you to see the good in yourself and be kinder to yourself, and, in turn, be kinder to other people.
Gratitude makes you feel good and helps you to find things to smile and laugh about.
Gratitude helps you to connect to your spiritual, loving side, and other people more, and, in turn, have more compassion for people.
And gratitude helps you to see how your actions bring more things to be grateful for into your life, which causes you to work harder for the things you really want in health, career, love, and life in general.
6. Don’t Expect Others To Be Grateful For Your Good Deeds
One of the things that can bring a lot of people out of a state of gratitude and into a state of anger is when someone is miserable towards them after a good deed.
We don’t do good deeds with the expectation of the person be grateful. But when gratitude is lacking, it can be upsetting to us just the same.
The truth is that you can be the best person in the world and still not earn the gratitude of people you do good things for. Why? Because they are unable to see the good deed. They are unable to see the benefits of what you did. They are unable to see past their hurt, anger, fear, or worry. And that’s alright.
When you are a person who experiences true gratitude, you will naturally do kind things for others because you will be more aware of the world around you and how people are feeling and what they need. And even if people can’t be thankful for what you do, you will be grateful that you are able to do good things for other people.
7. Do Little Things Really Matter?
Do you really need to be grateful for that sandwich or that blanket? Do the little things really matter that much? Yes, and here’s why.
Those things may be little to you, but they add up to your overall comfort and happiness in life. You may not see that in the state you are in, but if you were in the shoes of someone living without food or warmth, then you would see it very clearly. In fact, try imagining all those little things being taken away from you and what your life would be like. How comfortable does it feel?
One of the biggest ‘little things’ that I see people forget to be grateful for is love. The love of your partner, family member, or friend is something you should always have gratitude towards. The smallest gesture from them can go unnoticed and unvalued, but for people who are living without love, that small gesture could change the course of their lives.
Never view something as too small to be grateful for. Even a beautiful image crossing your path is something that has value in your life and combines with other things to give you the life you have.
8. Being Grateful Creates A More Fulfilling Life
There is nothing more rewarding than living in the present and being mindful, and being grateful will help you do that. Being grateful is about appreciating the past and looking forward to the future, but it’s mostly about looking around you and seeing what really matters and what is really happening in your life. When you can do that, you are more present and that means you will live a more fulfilling life.
I see so many people not really living. They are stuck in their thoughts, never aware of what is going on around them, and wasting their precious minutes. I would hate to live like that.
When I die, I want to have made the most of every second of the day. I want to look back and think, I remember most of my life and was present during the good and the bad times. And being grateful is my biggest key to make the most of it.
9. You Do Not Need A Reason To Be Grateful
If you can’t find something to be grateful for, that doesn’t mean you can’t be grateful. I’ve found myself feeling grateful for no reason, and it is still just as effective for my life as when I actually find something or someone to be grateful for.
If you can’t see anything to be grateful for, try meditating with a smile. It seems corny, but that smile – and the quiet that goes with meditation – can help you feel more grateful in your heart, even when you can’t physically find something to be thankful for.
I find that the more you practice gratitude, the higher your energy goes. You vibrate at a place that feels good and light, and gratitude is a natural state you live in rather than having to work up to it. That means that whether you are working, hanging out with friends, or just laying around looking at a wall, you feel a sense of gratitude radiating from your very being.
10. Being Grateful Doesn’t Stop You From The Life You Want
You are supposed to be grateful for what you have, and that seems to conflict with what you want. For example, you have a little home, but you want a big home. Wouldn’t being grateful for that little home hold you back from getting what you want? The answer is a great big no.
I’ve found that being grateful for what you have doesn’t stop you from going after things you want. It doesn’t erase all your goals in life because you are at a place that you want to be. It just helps you appreciate what you have while having the desire to get more. It helps you be aware that there are more things out there that will make you feel good and that you are capable of getting them.
So go on and start practicing gratitude. It is good for every area of your life, will influence other people positively, and it will help you get more things to be thankful for.
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