“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
Have An Attitude Of Gratitude
At this time of year, our thoughts naturally turn to Thanksgiving and thanks giving. That is good. However, the act of being grateful, of giving thanks, is too important to relegate to only one day each year. Indeed, gratitude – being thankful – is one of the keys to the Excelerated Life.
The importance of being grateful has been recognized and taught by many people, from the apostle Paul to New Thought teachers to positive psychologists.
The Importance Of Gratitude
“. . . be thankful,” wrote St. Paul to the Colossians. “. . . singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (From Colossians 3:15 – 16 (New International Version))
And to the people of Philippi, he counseled, “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe . . .” (From Philippians 4:6 – 7 (Common English Bible))
Wallace Wattles, introducing the idea that thoughts become things in The Science of Getting Rich in 1910, wrote about the “law of gratitude”. “There is a law of gratitude, and it is absolutely necessary that you should observe the law if you are to get the results you seek.” [Wattles] He deemed the act of gratitude so important that he devoted an entire chapter to it in his book. Wattles considered the practice of gratitude to be a primary means of staying connected to Universal Mind. “Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude. Having received one gift from God, they cut the wires which connect them with him by failing to make acknowledgment.” [Wattles]
One of the best things you receive by living a life of gratitude is joy. The root of “gratitude” is the Latin gratus which means pleasing. Peter McWilliams interprets this to mean that when you are grateful then you are pleased, not by the things you are grateful for but by the feeling of gratitude itself. “In other words, to feel pleased, be grateful.” says McWilliams.
In the field of Positive Psychology, scientific research proves the beneficial effects of gratitude time and again . One of the oldest and most well-established methods for increasing positivity and well-being in one’s life is the practice of gratitude. It is also one of the easiest to do.
Try these five ways to show gratitude and make it a part of your life through daily practice.
Think small. Don’t wait till you land your dream job or get that great new car to express gratitude. Be thankful for the small things, too. This helps to prevent complacency and taking others for granted.
Choose to be grateful. If you are only grateful when you get what you want, you are a victim of circumstance. Choose instead to express gratitude actively on a daily basis. The gratitude list can be a tool for doing this.
Choose one thing each day that you usually take for granted or that goes unappreciated and express gratitude for it.
Acknowledge one ungrateful thought per day and substitute a grateful one in its place.
Avoid expressing gratitude when others are upset with you. This can give the impression that you are glossing over their legitimate feelings. Clear the air before you express thanks. And certainly don’t try to deflect an issue by showing shallow gratitude that isn’t grounded.
Great Treasure In Small Things
Keep your gratitude strategy fresh by varying it and not overpracticing. Research suggests that variety is important.
You may choose to write in a journal some weeks, send a gratitude letter on another week, send a thank-you note to a friend some weeks, and express gratitude through some other creative way on other weeks.
“The great treasures of life,” said Gary Ryan Blair, “are found in the smallest events of our daily living.” If you want to have more, do more and be more, be thankful for what you already have, what you’ve already done, and who you already are. Be grateful for the small events and great treasures in your life, and express your gratitude freely. That is embracing the Excelerated Life!
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Excelerated positivity — building the skills in positivity that help you flourish — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life, a life of flourishing, of well-being, meaning, and purpose.
Colossians 3:15-16. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+++3%3A15+-+16&version=NIV
Philippians 4:6-7. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+4%3A6-7&version=CEB
McWilliams, Peter. Life 101: Everything We Wish We Had Learned About Life In School — But Didn’t. Allen Park, MI: Mary Books / Prelude Press, 1991, 1994
Wattles, Wallace D. The Science Of Getting Rich. Holyoke, MA: Elizabeth Towne, 1910