There is one advantage that is available to anyone, requires no investment of time or money, and can radically improve your quality of life.
This is not to say that cultivating a posture of gratitude is easy. It’s not. It’s difficult. It requires discipline in our thoughts and our emotions.
And yet gratitude that is anchored in healthy and secure identity is, in my experience, all up-side. I have never in my life thought to myself, ‘You know, I think I really just should have approached that situation with a little less gratitude. I think I would have been a lot happier.”
This is a lesson of which I still have to continually remind myself. When I do, these are some of the things I tell myself:
Don’t complain about things that come as a result of blessing
Often, the things that are blessings in our life – a new job, a new relationship, a new opportunity – come with certain demands on our time and energy. We can trip up sometimes when we get more focused on the complexities the good thing brings than our gratitude at having or experiencing the good thing itself. I try to remind myself not to complain about complexities that come as a result of blessing.
Remember that life doesn’t owe you anything
Entitlement is a gratitude killer. Yet it’s just so easy to slip into its mentality. But there’s nothing in life, whether in careers or relationships or finances or whatever, that is automatically owed to us. Anything good that comes to us is a wonderful chance to be grateful.
You’re insanely fortunate
If you can read this on the internet, that means that, just like me when I wrote it, you:
- Can read
- Have access to the internet
- Have access to an internet-enabled device
We are very fortunate to be in a position where all three of those are true.
Choosing gratitude is better
Choosing to be grateful can make us happier. It makes us more likely to be a blessing to those around us. It improves our physical and psychological health. Ultimately, it’s just a better way to live.
As we seek to cultivate a life that honours what matters most to us, being deliberate about nurturing a mentality of gratitude is an advantage worth pursuing.