What is gratitude? Webster’s dictionary defines it as a feeling of appreciation or thanks. I say it’s an attitude. I believe that gratitude is the key that unlocks the door to abundance in every area of our lives. How do we keep that feeling of gratitude alive throughout our lives? I’ve discovered several keys to living a life of gratitude. My hope is that they will support you in developing your own attitude of gratitude.
- Practice Humility
Arrogance is an insulting way of thinking or behaving that come from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people. They are also pretentious and proud.
Humility is the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people; the quality of being humble. I believe it is the opposite of arrogance. Arrogant people, in my experience, have an attitude that the world owes them something just because they are alive. Arrogance is an insulting way of thinking or behaving that come from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people. They are also pretentious and proud. Humble people are modest and courteously respectful. They are people who know the meaning of being of service to others. A humble person will give generously and graciously receive, whereas an arrogant one will reflect the air of entitlement.
A Grateful Heart is a Humble Heart
- Count Your Blessings Daily
It’s really easy to get caught up in this world of I want more, or I need more. What about that which you already have? Do you really need another (whatever)? Don’t you have one just like it in the closet? Think about those who have so little. In this time when there are still so many people jobless and homeless, do you feel grateful for what you have? When was the last time you counted your blessings?
Putting the material things to the side, what about the people in your life? Do you let them know that you appreciate them? That you are grateful for their friendship? Or that you are happy that someone is your parent, your sibling, your cousin, or maybe your classmate or associate at work?
Far too often, we take others and the things that we have for granted. In so many nations around the world, people have nothing in comparison to what we have. Recently, I was given the opportunity to talk to some young children from Kenya. I was in awe of the joy in these children. They have nothing, and many days, they have no food. Until recently, they had no fresh water supply. Imagine your life without water or food.
To count your blessings means to recognize all the good that you have in your life. When we consciously do this every day, we are developing our attitude of gratitude. We must first realize and be grateful for the already abundant life we have, no matter how much or how little that is before more will be given. And for some reason the more you live in gratitude, the more you have.
Counting your blessings helps to develop an attitude of gratitude and recognition of abundance.
3.) Keep a Gratitude Journal
This is something I have been doing for years now. Every day, write down at least 3 things you are grateful for. Begin with “I am so happy and grateful for (whatever).” Bob Proctor is the one who teaches people to write that they are “Happy and Grateful”. Believe it or not, just writing those words causes me to feel happy and grateful even if I wasn’t when I opened my journal.
Challenge yourself to think of things outside of the everyday stuff. It’s a stretch to look for and think of things outside of your immediate surroundings and the people who are in your day-to-day life. One way to step out of the box of everyday things to is to play the A to Z Gratitude game. Use each letter of the alphabet, one every day to create your list of things and people you are grateful for. When you see the things you’re grateful for on the page each day, it gives a new perspective.
Keep a Gratitude Journal.
You can also post your daily gratitude list here: Grateful Hearts
4.) Spend Time in Prayer and Meditation
No matter who or what you call a higher power in your life, spending time in connection with that source is an important part of living gratefully.
For me, God is the provider of all and makes all things possible. I remember a song from long ago with these words, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”, from the Bible verse, Matthew 6:33. The more I look to God, the more he blesses my life. That’s my own experience, so please tailor this to what your belief is. Someone once told me that prayer is my part of the conversation and meditation listening for God in the quiet within.
I find great peace and comfort in this practice. So no matter what your belief is, spending time in prayer and meditation offers the opportunity to feel grateful for that source, a sense of connection, and a feeling of quiet within, a feeling of peace.
Pray for peace too.
5.) Share With Someone Else
While you are counting your blessings, writing in your gratitude journal and playing the gratitude game or while in your quiet meditation time you may come upon the name of someone you haven’t talked to in a while; give them a call and let them know that you are grateful for them today. I recently had this happen to me, and the person was so glad to hear my voice. We had a great conversation and caught up on what had been happening in our lives. We were BOTH grateful for the conversation and the renewed connection
Do you have old glasses? Seek out people who will recycle them to the elderly or the homeless. What about that cell phone you just replaced?
Pay it forward. When you are going through things that you no longer need, instead of throwing them out, why not give them to an organization that will use them to help another. Gently used coats and clothing are collected by a number of organizations. Do you have old glasses? Seek out people who will recycle them to the elderly or the homeless. What about that cell phone you just replaced? Women’s shelters set these phones up as emergency phones that dial 911. You never know if that old phone will save someone’s life. What about blankets, and housewares? Far too many people live their lives on the streets or in shelters. Any and all of these things that you may have thrown out can help someone else.
Being grateful for what you have, and then paying forward to someone else who will use it really warms the heart. Gratitude is contagious, so share your attitude of gratitude with someone else!
I’m Grateful for you!