In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you -- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

Do you know that our attitude is defined by the way we think and feel concerning life? Everything starts with the way we see the world; which sets off a reaction, habits, or response.

Gratitude fends off envy. Envy has a massive power to transform us, but only if we let it. By concentrating on gratefulness, we move the emphasis far from things we may feel are missing in our lives.

Gratitude keeps us centered.  We're not panicking over what we can accomplish but simply basking in the day-to-day glory of what is.  And yet gratitude combines nicely with ambition, helping us to be gracious to the people who help us in our achievements.

Gratitude aids us to not grumble. We often mistake the remarkable power of our words. A simple negative comment or complaint can damage another person's day because it can damage the way they see their life, either as they compare their life to yours or as they start focusing on their own negativity.

How to Cultivate Gratitude

Help yourself cultivate gratitude. Here are a few little things we can all do every day.

Choose your friends wisely

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)

If you want to be more grateful, spend time with grateful people.  Spend time with positive people to be more positive, joyful people to be more joyful, critical people to be more critical, irritated people to be more irritated.

If you strive to be spiritually strong, supportive, empowering, intelligent, energetic, and positive, seek those characteristics in others.  Help your friends develop more positive traits by living those positive traits yourself.  Know what kind of friends will help you nurture your soul, and set out to find some.

Assist your friends to cultivate gratitude

Before you say anything about a friend's situation, remember that everyone's situation is unique.  People can be perfectly happy until someone tells them they're being mistreated.  Suddenly, they're upset.  Don't let your friends wield such power, and work to not wield such power yourself.

Day by day, hour by hour, make a goal to stop complaining about your own lot.  Make a pact with your friends to cut the complaints from your conversations.

Offer the gift of gratitude to your kids

One of the most lasting contributions we can make to our children is to help them understand that we don't deserve anything and everything just because we live and breathe.  Help them to be satisfied with the simple things while giving them the innate power and ability to achieve whatever they want in life by living in such a way yourself.

Say Thank You

Whom in your life do you appreciate?  Let them know, whether it's your mom, your kids, your friends, your husband, etc.

You don't have to spout some corny line.  A heartfelt "thank you" often does the trick.  Make it a habit and your attention will suddenly turn to all the things people do for you.  Write thank you notes regularly - not just after a gift exchange - and be mindful of all the ways you show your appreciation by the things you do in return.

Spend 15 minutes writing a letter to your children.  In this note, tell them how much you love them, why you're thankful for them, and all the ways they have enriched your life.  This can be something you give them now or after they have grown.

Be mindful of the little things

Today, strive to be aware of all the aspects of your personal, professional, and family life for which you are thankful.

Take a few minutes today to appreciate nature.  Go for a walk and notice only those things that are beautiful.  Whether you focus on the stars above or the tree in your backyard, try to notice the details.  Give thanks for the beauty that surrounds us.

Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance, speak often of the importance of a Gratitude Journal, in which, at the end of each day, they record five things that they're grateful for.  Regardless of whether you record these items, spend some time each day to focus on the little things in your life that make each day special.  Perhaps it's your child's toothless grin.  A warm home.  Delicious food enjoyed with family.

In conclusion, let's work on focusing on what we have - not on what we don't have - and all the ways we can help one another have more gratitude for their own lives.

Question:  How do you appreciate the people and things around you? Or do you have any contribution to this article? Please leave a comment below.


Credit: Susie Michelle Cortright


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