Gratitude and How to be More Grateful

Why Gratitude is Important

You don’t have to spend much time reading personal development and personal growth to quickly realize that gratitude is one of the most important habits in our personal development.

Gratitude is one of the foundational components of a great attitude.

Gratitude leads to wealth, success, and happiness.

Gratitude is a choice that we make each day and that some people are more grateful in their life.

It’s typically because they cultivate the habit of gratitude intentionally.  

It’s not accidental, but have you ever thought about why you aren’t more grateful?

Maybe it’s not you but maybe it’s someone in your family, someone you live with, someone that you work with, or someone that you coach or lead? Or, perhaps, it’s one of your leaders or one of your mentors, even, that seems to struggle from a lack of gratitude or ungratefulness.

I want to talk about why that is because, for me, it’s one thing to hear about something that we should do, right?

We should be grateful. Maybe you’ve heard that or you know that and aspire to it, but I think it is also valuable to understand why aren’t we are not more grateful?

What is the cause of the lack of gratefulness in our life?

There is one central theme. There is one central commonality that ungrateful people have in common.

It’s easy to consider and treat gratitude or gratefulness as a character attribute.  

For grateful people, that’s their higher character, and for the ungrateful people, they are considered mean or they’re not as nice or as good.

I think gratefulness, in addition to being a habit and an intentional choice, is also, as a matter of fact, a very practical consideration here.

There’s a very tangible insight that some people have made. Some people have it subconsciously and some people have not made it.

And that is why they struggle with it.

rory vaden quote

How to Have a Positive Attitude

Here is what I believe is the number one cause of ungratefulness.

Ungratefulness is the result of the inability to see how things are connected.  

Ungratefulness is the result of the inability to see how things are connected.

What does that mean?

It means that when we are ungrateful, we have a hard time being thankful for what we have.

If we have a hard time being thankful for our job, it’s usually because we’re frustrated, right? Things aren’t going the way that we want, or we’re not being as successful. We’re not getting the results. We’re not advancing at the speed we want or we’re not completing projects.

There’s something that’s not working right. 

What happens is our mindset shifts to focus on the thing that is not working. The thing that is broken.

And our mindset becomes consumed with that problem.

But grateful people, rather than being focused on the problem, what they’re focused on, what they are knowledgeable of, what they are conscious of, or what they are at least aware of, is the connectedness of everything.  

For example, even though I’m not able to work as fast as I want to, I’m grateful to have a job because I know that my job is provided by a series of other people who do things that give me a job, right?

The founder, or the original entrepreneur, had to have an idea.

They had to take a risk. They had to make a bet. They had to work extremely and outrageously hard to get something off the ground.  

And then grow that into a team and a whole set of systems and processes.

And ultimately that became a company that ended up needing roles filled, which created jobs, which creates this opportunity. And if none of those other things exist, then I don’t have my job.

I’m not mindful of how things are connected, right?

If I go through the day just focused on frustrations, such as the house is disorganized or things that always break in the house, in those moments, whenever we are frustrated, it is a loss of perspective.

That’s one thing that we have studied, and we have figured out is that whenever we experienced frustration, it is a loss of perspective.

It’s that we’ve become super narrow in our focus.

Gratitude is a practice of large perspective.

It’s big picture thinking.

How to Change Your Perspective

It’s realizing the connectedness of all things.

It’s thinking that even though there’s this leak in my house, which is a bummer, and we must deal with it, the fact is I have a house. I’m only able to have a house because somebody built it.  

And somebody was only able to build it because somebody else did the work of providing the lumber. 

And to have the lumber, somebody had to cut a tree down and take the timber and make it into lumber.

And all the people that had to touch something along the way for me to even have what I have.

When we lose sight of that interconnectedness of how we have come to have everything that we have, that is when ungratefulness sets in.

But when we are mindful, deliberate, and intentional, and when we just take a moment to remind ourselves of every person and everything that has happened to lead us to where we are right now, when you just get present to that idea, when you just sit in that space for a second, you have to be grateful.

There’s no other choice.

I mean, you’re watching a video that I filmed on a phone that yes, I had to do work to earn money to pay for the phone, but I did nothing to invent the phone.

Somebody else invented the phone. A whole, huge team of people worked together to invent the phone.

And someone else, a whole team of people, created a microphone that I wear so that you can hear it.

And some other people created some lights that we use so that you can see it.

And a whole other team of people created this platform where we can upload the video so that you could watch it.

And then we used some other mechanism or platform where a whole bunch of other people was connected on, to put it in front of you so that you could be notified of it.

And there are so many points of interconnectedness in our daily life that we become immune to them.

We become unaware of them. We take them for granted.

And in those moments where we take those things for granted, ungratefulness can set in.

But in the moments that we pause and stop and we think about how the clothes that I’m wearing, the things that I’m seeing, the places that I’m working, the roofs that I’m under, the food that is going into my mouth, and in some cases, the very air that I breathe, the other people who are around me, are all the result of not just a couple people but a string of people that have all made choices and put an effort and made a contribution to me getting the opportunity right here, right now at this moment being able to experience the life I have.

And being ungrateful isn’t, to me, such an issue of a lack of character as it is a lack of perspective.

It’s that we’ve lost sight of all these extraordinary contributions that have been made throughout history to lead us to the place where I’m able to live the life that I live right now.

And we lose sight of all of that and instead, we focus on the one little thing that is broken or the one little person that is giving us annoyance or so forth.

I just want to encourage you and invite you to take a minute to sit still and realize and think about all the people, all the processes, all the work, and all the contributions that have gone into giving you the life that you have today.

If you do that, my guess is that you will find a whole lot to be grateful for.

How about you, what are you grateful for today? Let me know in the comments below.

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