words by: Kevin Bille
Hey, what’s the good word!
Gratefulness. What better time to talk about this than during the season of Thanksgiving, as well as with everything going on in our world.
As Oprah Winfrey once said, “be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
This is something that I feel affects all of us from the inside out. It allows us to place our focus on all the things we have been blessed to receive and not on the lack of what we don’t have.
Being grateful can affect you personally in many positive ways, such as an increase in happiness as well as a reduction of negative emotions and depression. Grateful people have better relationships, more resilience, less stress, and better health. Who doesn’t want any or all of that?
When discussing this value with others, I tend to hear excuses: people create barriers that get in the way of displaying gratefulness more consistently. One such barrier is that we get caught up in going after what we want instead of being grateful for what we already have. We take that which is precious and dear in our lives for granted. Another barrier to gratitude is this assumption: “People already know I’m appreciative, so why do I need to say it again?” Practicing gratitude for others is like watering a flower: you need to keep repeating it over and over again to nourish the spirit.
To me, gratitude is a choice and mindset that we can control. We need to make a conscious effort to choose it every day. Even when we get busy, it is important to slow down and choose gratitude. Grateful people have a deeper appreciation for people, opportunities, and possessions. They don’t take anything for granted and are not entitled.
Once you get used to looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted. Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want. Gratitude should not just be a sometime thing, it should be an all the time thing, the kind where you notice the little things, and where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations. Today, start bringing gratitude to your experiences instead of waiting for a positive experience to feel grateful; in this way, you’ll be on your way toward becoming a master of gratitude.
So, ask yourself this: what is one specific thing I can do to show more gratefulness? Write a thank you card to someone. Say a prayer for that close friend. Write down five things you’re grateful for every morning. Express appreciation for your possessions and opportunities. You become more pleasant to be around when this is a key value in your life.
Now that’s GOOD STUFF!
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