No matter how bad things are right now for you, they are better than they could be. That alone should fuel your sense of gratitude.
And when you think about it further, you realize how very good you have it.
No matter how desperate your situation might feel, you still have the opportunity for change going forward.
Looking back you can see how far you have already come.
You haven’t figured it all out. You’re not exactly where you want to be. Things aren’t even close to being perfect.
But you should be overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude. Overwhelmed by a fresh chance and new opportunities still to come.
But that will not happen by accident.
That sense of inspiration and purpose won’t overwhelm you automatically.
You have to put yourself in the position to be overwhelmed.
You have to make time to pause and think about where you are and where you are headed.
You have to force yourself to look around and realize where you are and all the opportunities still ahead.
Here are a few reasons why gratitude is your best strategy for success:
- When you’re grateful, you attract the right people to you. — “Birds of a feather flock together” might be an outdated antidote. But it still holds true. If you want awesome, appreciative clients, then you need to be that person yourself. No one likes being around a miserable, self-righteous complainer who thinks he knows everything. Gratitude changes that.
- When you’re grateful, you tend to be more creative. — Instead of stumbling over the doom and gloom of your particular situation, you’ll find yourself finding the bright spots buried in the bad news. That will give you the strength to try what no one else is willing to investigate. When you try more, you win more. Gratitude shows you the way forward.
- When you’re grateful, you make better decisions. — Instead of lashing out at those who do you wrong or letting dangerous emotions drive your next steps, you’ll find yourself making smarter decisions — that don’t come back to hurt you in the future. Gratitude is you taking that deep breath. Gratitude allows you to take a step back and look at life with clearer eyes.
- When you’re grateful, you spend your money much more wisely. — Instead of wasting money on everything that you “need to have” because of how little you think about what you already have right now, you invest in your own long term success. You are willing to say “NO”. And that’s means a much bigger “YES” in the future. Gratitude makes you smarter with your money.
- When you’re grateful, you tend to be a little bit luckier than everyone else. — Maybe you’re not actually any luckier than anyone else. But if that’s how you feel, can you argue against it? Imagine waking up and feeling like the luckiest person in the world each morning. How much differently would you act? Chances are, you wouldn’t be doing what you’re planning on doing right now. Gratitude gives you lift.
Gratitude is a decision. It’s an option that you can choose at any time.
Regardless of what’s going on around you practicing gratitude is an option.
It’s more than an option, a decision, or a choice. It’s a mindset. And a smart one at that.
You might be broke, fighting for a minimum wage that is $15 per hour. But you probably make more than $15 per month — which is the average salary of a worker in Ghana.
- Yes, you’re working hard every day.
- Yes, you make smart choices.
- Yes, you learn and grow and evolve each day.
But it’s undeniable that the launchpad for your life — where you started — is something that you had nothing to do with.
You didn’t make the decision where you were born. You should be grateful for that geographic advantage.
The same is true about countless other things that make up the mosaic of your daily existence.
For a moment, think about the positive things in your life. Think about the people you love most. Think about where you have worked.
Think about the magical moments in your life where you’re pretty sure luck was on your side.
Think deeply about all those moments and then ask yourself a simple question: “Did I do this all on my own?”
Probably not. And by the way, that’s not a smear on your work ethic or anything the least bit negative. It’s just an observation in providence.
It’s a reason for gratitude. You’re not in this all by yourself.
“You are loved. You are noticed. You matter.”
And not just in the physical world where you cultivate friends and develop new relationships.
It seems to me an undeniable fact that a Higher Being has your best interests at heart. Looking out for you. Putting in place the stepping stones to move you towards where I need to be.
And that, my friends, is perhaps the most important reason for gratitude.
But again, it’s your choice. Your option. Your decision.
But when you put it all into perspective, not being grateful seems like a crime. At best, a missed opportunity for greatness.