“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
? Thích Nh?t H?nh
Gratitude leads to greatness. It can literally turn what you have into more than enough, jobs into joy, chaos into order, uncertainty into clarity, and bring peace to an otherwise chaotic day.
The easiest way to make your blessings count is to count your blessings. Acknowledging the good things you already have in your life is of the essence, because whatever you appreciate and give thanks for will grow stronger in your life.
When Angel and I discuss the importance of gratitude with our coaching/course students, we often get a “Yeah, yeah, I know…” response. But the truth is, most of us don’t know – because we’re forgetful. In the haste of our busy lives we neglect many of the basic laws of gratitude, and thus miss out entirely on their positive effects. So here’s a good refresher, for all of us:
1. The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.
- Be grateful for what you have, and you’ll end up having more.
- Focus on what you don’t have, and you’ll never have enough.
2. Being happy won’t always make you grateful, but being grateful will always make you happy.
- It’s nearly impossible to sincerely appreciate a moment and frown about it at the same time.
- To be happy right now doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re grateful for what you have and patient for what’s yet to come.
3. Gratitude fosters true forgiveness, which is when you can sincerely say, “Thank you for that experience.”
- It makes no sense to condemn or regret an important life lesson.
- Gratitude makes sense of yesterday, brings peace to the present, and creates a positive vision for tomorrow.
4. You never need more than you have at any given moment.
- It has been said that the highest form of prayer is giving thanks. Instead of praying ‘for’ things, give thanks for what you already have.
- When life gives you every reason to be negative, think of one good reason to be positive. There’s always something to be grateful for.
5. Gratitude is all-inclusive.
- Good days give you happiness and bad days give you wisdom. Both are essential.
- Because all things have contributed to your advancement, you must include all things in your gratitude. This is especially true of your relationships. We meet no ordinary people in our lives; if you give them a chance, everyone has something important to teach you.
6. What you have to be grateful for in the present changes.
- Be grateful for all you have now, because you honestly never know what will happen next. What you have will eventually be what you had.
- Life changes every single day, and your blessings will gradually change along with it.
7. A grateful mind never takes things for granted.
- What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.
- The circumstance (or person) you take for granted today may turn out to be the only one you need tomorrow.
8. As you express your gratitude, you must not forget that the highest appreciation is not to simply utter words, but to live by them daily.
- What matters most is not what you say, but how you live.
- Don’t just say it, show it. Don’t just promise it, prove it.
9. Gratitude includes giving back.
- In the hustle of everyday life we hardly realize how much more we receive than give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude.
- It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the aid of others.
10. The highest tribute to the people and circumstances you’ve lost is not grief but gratitude.
- Just because something didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the greatest gift imaginable.
- Be thankful that your paths crossed and that you got the chance to experience something wonderful.
11. To be truly grateful, you must be truly present.
- Count the blessings in your life, and start with the breath you’re taking right now.
- We often forget that the greatest miracle is not to walk on water; the greatest miracle is to walk on this green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment, appreciating it and feeling completely alive.
12. Letting go of control multiplies the potential for gratitude.
- Sometimes we put too much weight into trying to control every tiny aspect of our lives that we completely miss the forest for the trees.
- Learn to let go, relax a bit and ride the path that life takes you sometimes. Try something new, be fearless, but above all else, do your best and be OK with it. Clearing yourself of needless expectations lets you truly experience the unexpected. And the greatest joys in life are often the unexpected surprises and opportunities you never anticipated.
As I’m wrapping up this short post I’m reminded of something my grandmother always used to say when I was growing up:
“Life should be lived with a little more GRATITUDE and a little less ATTITUDE.”
Honestly, that’s what I strive for on a daily basis. And I’d be honored if you’d join.
Let’s consider how fortunate we are – let’s consider it every day. The more we count our blessings, the more blessings there will be to count. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
What are you grateful for today? How has gratitude affected your life?
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.
Photo by: Scott Vincent
Another simple and profound post, Marc and Angel. Thank you. Gratitude is so very important.
I am truly grateful for all those times in the past when I prayed that “If somehow I get get through this difficult time, I will never ask for anything else” And guess what? Every single difficult time I eventually got through.
And I realize that I ask/pray for more sometimes without remembering how much I already have. So your perspective on this is helpful.
More than anything at the moment though, I’m grateful for your website and your coaching course. Both have helped me rise above many issues this past year.
Kerry Montgomery says
I’m grateful not only for being able to read this but the fact that my eyes are open. I’m so grateful I have a chance at happiness just the fact that I can even invision it, also makes me feel like a new me. I know now the only thing I need is God and to be grateful for all the ones who been there to help me through. I hope the ones I hurt can eventually forgive me and give me a chance to remake amends….Thanks
I’m grateful for the family I have been assigned to. I’m thankful to the people who have been assigned to care and encourage me. I’m grateful to God for each and every breathe of life he’s blessed me with
I’m truly grateful my cancer is in remission… and that I’m now getting ready to take the bar exams come November. I’ve come a long way.
Always, always love your supportive words of wisdom. Your blog and 1,000 Things book have helped me stay positive and motivated through extremely tough times. Thank you.
Glad to hear about your remission. All the best!
Marc Chernoff says
I’m grateful to hear you’re thriving after cancer. And thank you for supporting our work.
Gabe Niles says
I was raised to “count my blessings” and appreciate the little things in life. These ideas sound like cliches to so many people, and yet it’s timeless advice – something that has undoubtedly made my life one of gratitude and happiness. Reading blog posts like this one are the little “tune-ups” I need now and then.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Sandra Pawula says
I agree: Being grateful will always make you happy! I have so much goodness in my life, I’m incredibly grateful. I think the key is remembering to be grateful often – as you say, every day!
Rose Costas says
Thanks very much for this post. This is a great reminder to us all. Many times we get caught up with life and forget how important it is to be grateful. I am very guilty of that. When life knocks us hard we tend to focus all the time on what is wrong with our lives and too little on what is right.
Many times I can’t seem to find anything to be grateful for but I now realize that it is not that there isn’t anything to be grateful for it only that I am not looking for anything.
Marc Chernoff says
You got it, Rose. There’s always a small window of gratitude present.
Rachel Ang says
I love no 5! Its so true that gratitude is all inclusive. and theres always some thing good in both the good and bad. Thank you for sharing! great post!
Thank you so much for this! It’s amazing how much good it can do just to stop yourself in your tracks and just appreciate because every day and every moment and every person you encounter has something to offer you. But you have to be present with them and aware to see that and being grateful really does that. It can make what could be seen as a bad situation a very positive learning experience and that’s something that can take you further up rather than bring you down.
Thank you once again!
I’ve kept the following lines with me for some years now. It speaks to the only thing that is absent from an otherwise excellent, uplifting and most welcome article. Thank you for this post, and please accept my apologies for ‘painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa’. 😉
Ordinary happiness depends on happenstance.
Joy is that extraordinary happiness that is independent of what happens to us.
Good luck can make us happy, but it cannot give us lasting joy.
The root of joy is gratefulness. We tend to misunderstand the link between joy and gratefulness.
If one has all the good luck in the world, but takes it for granted, it would not give one joy. Yet even bad luck
will give joy to those who manage to be grateful for it.
We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy
that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
From: Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer by David Steindl-Rast.
Sarah Ghandour says
I love this article on Gratitude!!! Fantastic!!! Thank you so much!!!
Blessings to you both,
Marc Chernoff says
Excellent thoughts. Thanks for sharing, Patrick.
I am GRATEFUL for waking and this post being the first email i saw and read today. I’m also highly GRATEFUL for people i don’t know personally like Marc and Angel who continuously encourage me to live the best life I possibly can. Infinite thank yous, guys.
Di Hinds Williamson says
This post is, as always, profound. My life was transformed with cancer many years ago, and whatever the situation since then, I am so very aware that life is a gift. My sons, children then, are now grown men, and I feel privileged to witness their lives, and the gift of their children’s lives. I married a wonderful man just three months ago. I feel intense gratitude, and just occasionally, such a wonderful moment of amazing peace. I felt this at lunchtime, after yoga, when I walked into our tiny city courtyard garden, and close to the back door, nestling amidst the flowers, was a tiny bird. It didn’t move, and fixed it’s gaze at me. I walked along the path to water my clematis, and saw a resident frog perched on the edge of a washing up bowl, motionless. The pervading sense of peace was awesome. Deep gratitude.
Marc Chernoff says
Beautiful story of triumph and love. Thank you for sharing a small slice of your life with us. 🙂
Janet Komanchuk says
Thank you for reminding us of the importance of gratitude. At the height of my chronic, painful and debilitating fibromyalgia I lost sight of the many blessings in my life. Iinstread I wallowed in self pity and my gloom and doom attitude.
Thanks to the beautiful work of Joy of Healing I’m so grateful to be in remission, pain and prescription free, for nearly 15 years. They helped me to recognize and resolve all of the unresolved issues in my life that were making me so very ill. I appreciate each and every pain free step I take.
I look beyond myself and truly see and appreciate those around me. My glass is so much more than half full and I am grateful. My challenges have been opportunities for me to learn and grow.
Marc Chernoff says
I love your sentiment, Janet. Cheers to rising above life’s obstacles.
What a profound jumpstart for Monday morning. One of my blessings is that I came across your website; it has enriched, saved and put me on my feet again . Awareness and insight into the little common moments that make us relish and learn from the trials and tribulations in life.
May the Holy Spirit continue to enrich you in order to bring richness to our lives with positive inspirations. God bless?
Thank you for this great reminder. I am thankful that I somehow found my way to your blog and email, which I always enjoying reading because you have helped me shed some light in many aspects of my life and that of others. I am reminded yet again that there is so much good in every situation and instead of focusing on what is wrong, I can be present in every moment and find much to be thankful for.
Thank you so much for this post. Gratitude is high on my list of things to be mindful about. I haven’t been great at this over the years.
I am grateful for the past fifteen years, spent with a man who loved and adored me. Unfortunately we are no longer together but I am eternally grateful for the time that we had. I am so glad our paths crossed as we both have an amazing son – a blessing in its highest form.
Gratitude. I have had soooooo many challenges in life and an equal or even greater amount of blessings too. Yet I am one who easily gets caught in that whirlwind of worry and dissatisfaction. Posts like these remind me to look around and see and appreciate all of my blessings.
Its amazing how much I achieve when I am in a happy and grateful state of mind; I achieve so much more, I feel so much lighter and I am also reminded that life is a short journey- why waste so many of my days by deliberately bringing myself down.
Gratitude. It is something so very important but often overlooked. Thanks again you guys for another marvelous post. Wow. You guys are helping to make me into a better person and you don’t even know me 🙂 Thank you. Thank you for your words of advice, thank you for being positive role models and thank you for giving me something to smile about every few days.
Blessings from Jamaica
“To be happy right now doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re grateful for what you have and patient for what’s yet to come.” You said it all. It really is that simple. Thank you.
I open my eyes each morning and begin my prayer by giving thanks.
I believe that this habit has affected me immensely in a positive way. I start my day with a smile.
Thank you, Lord, for this warm blanket.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to dream and work towards my goals.
Thank you for giving me options.
Thank you for providing me meds that I don’t pay for.
Thank you for this apartment.
Thank you that I live in Nelson.
Thank you that I can read.
My friend and I just started doing a gratitude challenge for the month of August -nothing extreme, just writing down 10 things we are grateful for at the end of each day. I was glad to find and read this article, it’s a great reminder as to WHY I need to be grateful. Thank you!
I am grateful for hot tea, freshly grown cucumbers from the garden, and cuddle time with my dog.
Gratitude is such an important practice for a happy and healthy life. Sometimes it can be so hard to slow down and appreciate what we have because, especially in the west, we are trained to be so fast-paced and goal driven. Just this weekend, at a family bbq, I realized just how hard I am on myself. In my mind, I’ve done nothing, but I listened to my mom and friends talk about me to other family members and I realized I’ve done some cool things already…that I don’t always need to be running towards something else…that it’s okay to sit, chill, and be happy about things I’ve done and am doing in this moment.
Beautiful post! It really got me thinking xoxo
therese brooks says
I am grateful for my divorce. Although it was accompanied with a searing experience of betrayal and abandonment, it also allowed for the development of personal resources which have enhanced my new identity as a single person. I do not fear being alone as I have learned to appreciate the rich value of my own company. My long, mostly happy marriage offered an experience of family and partnership; my singleness offers delicious freedom and self-direction.
Thank you for this lovely post. It is always a pleasure to receive your emails. They have been so helpful for me during this process.
Mercy Ekwere says
Thank you Marc and Angel. I am grateful for the day I found your website. You have been a huge blessing to my life. I feel like I have known you personally. I love you both. Keeping doing the good work.
Three years ago my husband, already diagnosed with dementia, had a stroke that left him paralyzed on his entire left side. I was told the day he had the stroke that he would never walk again, would never return home. As you can imagine, this was a profound shock to me and the wonderful life we had enjoyed was changed forever. The grief of losing him bit by bit sometimes has me on my knees, but when I start listing the things I have to be grateful for, my entire attitude and perspective changes. I try to maintain an attitude of gratitude even on my bad days. Thank you for this reminder!
Today I’m grateful for my “regular paycheck” job…it’s giving me the ability to see parts of the country I’ve never seen before. Today, I’m off to New Orleans for the first time. SO EXCITED. Wish I could’ve brought my photography gear, too, but it’s all about the experience today.
Luna Darcy says
Hi Marc and Angel,
I go to bed with a grateful heart and when I wake up, I start the day thankful and grateful for still being able to breathe.
No matter what circumstances we are in, let to us focus on the positive side of life. Let us dwell on the blessings we receive.
Thank you for another insightful post.
Thank you for this beautiful article. In grateful that you wrote it. I learned gratitude from yoga and daily meditation. It has helped me grow. I continue to help by giving food to people. And also by posting only uplifting photos and messages on my Facebook. I am grateful for my apt, my puppy coco puffs. My friends. And most of all my good healthy and perseverance in life.
Having gratitude truely does expose the magic in life! A must read is Rhonda Byrne’s, The Magic. a 28 day magical practice of daily gratitude. It changed my life, my experiences with people, my self confidence and the aura i exuded. It truly lived up to its name. Give it a try, its so worth it:-)
with love, light and gratitude
I am very grateful that I found your blog Marc and Angel and always look forward to your emails. Love your book as well.
What a fabulous article! I always try to have an “attitude of gratitude” and thank God for all the blessings in my life. We don’t always realize how fortunate we are until we see someone less fortunate (visit a hospital, for example, and you’ll be counting your blessings continually.)
Love your inspirations and look forward to reading them every day!
Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
I’m grateful for the growing number of folks who discover this magical power.
It was the prime mover in overcoming horrendous, debilitating palindromic rheumatoid arthritis. I was crippled for years.
Discovering the power of gratitude was the turning point.
I am today pain free – my spirit is once again centered. Just seeing or hearing the word gratitude makes me smile … thank you
I’ve been struggling with gratitude every now and then and reading this I’m able to overcome my fears but still struggle with letting go. I pray to GOD and I try to do it everyday but still struggling with anxieties. So your bulletin and reading about other people who are going through worse situations helps me realize how I should live my life no matter how difficult it is looking at the challenges I’ve gone through and really truly face the harsh realities and joys of LIFE, helps me write affirmations and reminders myself, I should be THANKFUL each day even if I live my LIFE to the fullest alone with or without anyone in LIFE………….
Marc and Angel,
I’ve followed and shared your post for quite some time and this is my first posting. You are exactly right–gratitude. Every morning during my commute, especially those mornings when I’m ‘not really feeling it,’ I’ll start with, ” I am grateful for…” Some times it’s hard so I’ll start with the obvious—“I am grateful I have a car that works.” Then it just starts flowing: air conditioning, ability to drive, money for food, feet that work, etc.
It can be hard at times to feel grateful but it certainly can shift ones mindset by counting ones blessings, even the things we take for granted—and it’s ok sometimes when we have to ‘reach’ to come up with something.
Thank you for all you do. I appreciate the both of you.
I am sooooo grateful I made it through today!!! 🙂
Wow what a great piece – starting my gratitude journal today.
thank you so much for your great work
When I was going through a rough time, when everything seemed like it was falling apart it was gratitude that helped me through. Sometimes it can be hard to find anything to be grateful for, but it’s during those times that you realize that life itself is something to be grateful for. That as long as your alive you can find happiness again.
I love your grandmother’s saying!
I loved this post so much and it truly opened my eyes to realize how much I can be grateful for. In life people seem to be searching for happiness but ‘being happy won’t always make you grateful, but being grateful will always make you happy.’
The biggest thing that hit me was realizing that people who may not be in your life anymore were still there for a reason and we can be very grateful for them.
I am very grateful to God for directing me to this blog, the people in my life who help me make tough decisions, and the ones who continue to help me grow.
The second one is my favourite – words to live by 🙂
Grateful to have finally, in middle age, woken up to the riches that I have. I have only been practicing Gratitude over the last month or so, and my life does feel as if it has been transformed for the better. Or perhaps it;s me, not life, that has changed. Right now I most appreciate the fact all my limbs, hearing and eyesight work. I am able to maintain physical fitness, see the wonders of nature and listen to a world of music…how lucky and grateful I am for all of those things.
Akanksha Srivastava says
Thank so much for wonderful post.
It’s remind me that I’m on right track. 🙂
Bobbi Lee says
Thank you for a post that invites reflection. While all 12 resonate with me, at different times – and for different reasons – #9 and #10 have been often present in my life. That giving back is something that seems natural to me makes me grateful itself. However, gratitude over grief is a perspective I haven’t quite worn in as well. Thanks for the reminders.
MaryAnn R says
Thank you for your words that always give me new tools for life. I’ve been working on building my gratitude and one thing I’ve added to that (that you mentioned) was being grateful for even the bad experiences or relationships in life – for what they’ve taught me, for how they’ve helped me grow and sometimes in a particularly bad breakup (with a friend or otherwise) with how they’ve made me thankful for my long-time friends who have been with me through thick and thin, good and bad. I also had a 10 yr. job that ended kind of abruptly and though i did have some bad days I also made a decision on those especially bad days to write down things I was grateful for, even if was to be away from a job that took me for granted.
All that helped me to be in a state of happiness and feeling hopeful for the future instead of fearful. Oprah talked about the power of gratitude as well and I’m a full-on believer.
Thank you for helping me to be in state of gratitude instead of negativity. Your posts help me every day.
Thank you so much for this, you just taught me a wonderful lesson.
Jeremiah Say says
Excellent post. I am a new fan of yours.
MiEle B says
I am grateful God gave me another chance at life by waking me up this morning.
Braja Patnaik says
A simple but excellent post. Grateful to have found this treasure. Thanks for sharing!
Don R says
Excellent post. My friend shared it on Facebook. I especially like this quote:
Focus on what you don’t have, and you’ll never have enough.
‘Attitude of Gratitude’ is my mantra for life.
I am grateful to God, my lover, family, and friends for whatever I am today.
I give thanks for all the abundance in my life. Whatever I have achieved in life I am grateful for it and give thanks at all times.
This was so inspiring!
I just turned 50 and I am so grateful to have such a rich and abundant life: my love, my family, my friends, an awesome job, and excellent health. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post!!