As you sit here reading these words, pause for a moment and take a quick assessment of your life. Chances are, you have access to food, shelter, and other basic necessities. You might also have family and friends who care about you. For the most part, you live a comfortable life. And the truth is, most of us who have access to the internet to read blogs like www.marcandangel.com share these same good fortunes with you.
However, as busy human beings, we rarely see life this way – we are often disappointed by what we have, and so we think we need more… more comfort, more validation, more certainty, more possessions, more food, more excitement, etc. Angel and I do this too, because we’re just as human as everyone else. So I’m not criticizing anybody – I’m just being honest.
Our collective problem is this:
If we always want more, more, more… we’ll never believe we have enough. And that’s not the truth.
The truth is, life is a continual journey, constantly evolving and changing, and the resources we possess at any given moment are exactly what we need to take the next step forward. In other words, we always have enough (even if it’s just barely enough). But we have to be aware of this – we must be grateful for where we are and what we have – to make the best of it.
That, of course, is easier said than done.
Being grateful seems simple enough, but this state of mind is incredibly difficult to maintain when life upsets or disappoints us. Nevertheless, when we’re feeling upset or disappointed, that’s actually when a dose of gratitude is most beneficial.
So what can we do?
When Angel and I discuss the importance of gratitude with our course students, we often get a “Yeah, yeah, I know…” response. But the truth is, most of us don’t know – because in the heat of the moment we’re terribly forgetful.
In the haste of our busy, stressful lives we neglect many of the fundamentals of gratitude, and thus miss out entirely on gratitude’s most positive benefits. Thus, the mantras below (excerpts from our book and blog archive) can serve as good refreshers for all of us. Just pick one and repeat it silently to yourself for 60 seconds whenever you catch yourself thinking you need something more than what you have at the moment.
- When life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have.
- The richest person isn’t the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least. Wealth is a mindset. Want less and appreciate more today.
- Happiness comes a lot quicker when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.
- The greatest secret to peace of mind is letting every life situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and then making the very best of it. (Angel and I discuss this further in the “Happiness” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- Happiness does not start when “this, that or the other thing” is resolved. Happiness is what happens now, when you appreciate what you 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.
- No, you won’t always get what you want. But remember this: There are lots of people who will never have what you have right now.
- Be grateful for your life. For your health, your family, your friends, and your home. Many people don’t have these things.
- Remind yourself how fortunate you are to be experiencing this moment right here, right now. The more you appreciate it, the better it’ll be.
- Choose to smile today by taking life moment by moment, complaining very little, and being thankful for the little things that mean a lot.
Rituals for Expressing Your Gratitude
Again, with all that we have going on – with all of life’s stressful distractions – it’s sometimes hard to remember to be grateful throughout the day. So I recommend forming some simple gratitude rituals to help you remember.
Here are three good examples, but I don’t recommend trying to form all of these rituals at once – try one at a time for 30 days, and see what best fits your personality and lifestyle:
- Wake up, repeat one of the above gratitude mantras to yourself as a morning meditation, and reflect on what you have to be grateful for.
- Keep an evening gratitude journal where you record the small wins of each day.
- When you sit down for a meal, close your eyes and give a moment of thanks to every person who made your meal possible (farmers, chefs, waitresses, etc.).
There are other gratitude rituals you can try too, of course, but these three are good starting points. (Angel and I build simple, life-changing rituals with our students in the “Goals and Growth” module of Getting Back to Happy.)
And then just keep reminding yourself that you have more than enough to take the next step forward. I think you’ll find that you always do, and by appreciating this fact more frequently, you will begin to see what a miracle each moment truly is.
What are you most grateful for? Do you have any other thoughts on gratitude to share? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a reply below.
Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive new articles like this in your inbox each week.
Photo by: Susanne Feldt
Marsha Lee says
I’m truly grateful my lung cancer (not related to smoking) is in remission… and that I’m now getting ready to finish my graduate degree. I’ve made incredible progress over the past 18 months.
Always, always love your supportive words and strategies of wisdom. Your blog’s emails and 1,000 Things book have helped me stay positive and motivated through the darkest of days, and for that I’m am grateful to you.
I am so grateful to be on this blog and have read your such positive thoughts. Thank you and God bless.
Marc Chernoff says
Marsha, we’re sending you good vibes for continued strength, positivity, and determination. You are strong, and such an inspiration. Keep going! 🙂 And thank you for supporting our work.
Great post, Marc and Angel. This one arrived in my email inbox at the perfect time. I really needed a little gratitude reminder. And I love the practical gratitude rituals you’ve presented at the end of the post. These ideas are worth implementing, sharing, and re-reading too.
Right now, I’m thankful for my mom’s health. She’s been battling pneumonia over the past two months, and she’s finally making a recovery.
Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for this.
And thank you for your website, your book, your coaching, and all that you share. You are appreciated.
And I agree with Peter. I, too thank Marc and Angel for reminding me to always remember to be grateful for whatever I have each and every day of my life — and I do. I also thank Marc and Angel for being such an inspiration in my life.
Marc Chernoff says
Peter and Betty, you are both welcome. Thank YOU for the extra kindness and support.
I’m grateful for the fact that my eyes are open. And I’m so grateful I have a chance at happiness — just the simple fact that I can even envision it, also makes me feel alive and hopeful. I know now the main things I need is good faith and the willingness to be grateful for all opportunities I’m working towards. Also, I hope the ones I’ve accidentally hurt along the way can eventually forgive me and give me a chance to remake amends…because I’m grateful I have forgiven those who have wronged me in the past.
But more than anything at this moment, I’m grateful for your blog articles and your happiness course. Both have helped me rise above some seriously troubling issues this past year.
Marc Chernoff says
Your progress has been inspiring, Caroline. And I absolutely love your sentiment! 🙂
I am grateful for this growth opportunity that involves a work challenge I have never experienced before and an unexpected change of living situation. My total life is in flux. With the unknown comes great opportunity. Peace and love to all. And I will take all the strength that is needed.
Horace Kun says
I’m really thankful to you Marc and Angel — most especially for the blog articles and various encouraging emails.
When I started law school my desire to be the best in my class was really great but one thing I lacked was motivation.
Thanks to God I found this blog,your emails and encouraging articles motivated me and made me think I can be the best save for the brutal competition. Thankfully I’m glad to report positive results.
Thanks again ?
I truly am grateful for this post today, someone I loved dearly betrayed me and it has been really tough this past month in dealing with what happened. This makes me see that not all things are hurtful right now and I do have so much to be thankful for.
Thank You ….
Ivan Piniella says
Beatiful, thanks to share 🙂
I have what I need all the rest is extra
Just a big huge THANK YOU FOR THESE EVERYDAY BLESSINGS…….
Thank you for this wonderful reminder! I am grateful about every day of my life… I am grateful for my fiancé’s health, his multiple myeloma is in total remission. I am grateful for my son who will, in August 10, turn 29 years old. I am thankful I found Marc and Angel, they have helped me to stay focus on what is important and continue to be positive.
One of my friends recently commented that I am not only happy, but I am also content. What a wonderful compliment he gave me! I believe that this is because I make a habit at bedtime of reviewing my day and being grateful for various things that happened. Of course every day isn’t great, but when I remember the events of the day, there will always be something good that happened, and I choose to focus on that.
I don’t know how to say thanks. That much your mantras giving me support to my daily life.Thank you so much.
S. Hughes says
I’m SO grateful for everything, Marc and Angel! … I have severe panic disorder and what keeps me sane is gratitude. Thanking God for even the smallest things provides more comfort than Xanax! Spreading good will, sharing inspirational quotes and sending blessings daily also helps. Thank you for the reminder! – I love you guys and will certainly “pay it forward.”
I am grateful I share in Love with the man who is my soulmate, even though we have both been hurt by our fears and they continue to keep us apart. It is truly a gift to Love without possession or blame, just pure Love.
Going through a tough time brought out friends that I never knew I had. My family has been there, too. Grateful every day for ALL.
Stephen Roe says
I’m grateful for so much it’s hard to put it into words. But in particular, I’m continuously reminded of how many liberties we have in my country (the US) and most of the western world. I know some people involved in working towards social change. There’s a lot of room for improvement in that area, but the fact that we can even protest an injustice and work to change it is still incredible to me.
I lived for years in another country where the crumbling rule of law left citizens quiet about their problems and largely helpless. Seeing the opportunities we take for granted every day makes me grateful.
What you said about wanted more, Marc, struck a chord with me as well. I was just reading a study this morning that said people get into cycles with achievement. Success in one area causes a sense of pride, which leads to a more challenging goal, and so on.
Your article also reminds me of the reply Rockefeller gave when asked how much money was enough–“just a little bit more.” It’s a continual cycle of wanting that will continue forever if we let it.
Thanks again for the encouragement and reminder!
Marc Chernoff says
Excellent perspective, Stephen. Thank you.
Kim Britton says
I am most grateful for my 3 healthy adult children, my son in law and my grandson. I am grateful to be healthy and able to perform the things I do at the gym. I am grateful for the book The Secret and the e-mails I get from Marc and Angel
I am grateful to be blessed with good health to be able to go to church daily ( mass and communion) and have a grace-filled day everyday. God is great and my faith keeps me going. From the moment I wake up till the time I close my eyes at night, I give thanks to the Lord for all the blessings He bestows on me and my family daily.
Thank you Marc and Angel for your blog email articles which I just joined. They are truly inspiring. I’ll have to share them to my friends and encourage them to join . Once again thank you.
Ann C says
Your number 4 reminded me of my friend who lost her daughter and then her husband two years ago and now is dealing with cancer herself. She has such a beautiful faith but she is at peace and believes it is what it is and will be what it will be and she will be ok with whatever comes. I love her for her example.
I’m grateful for your blog! I read it everyday, and it has helped me in so many ways. Just yesterday my partner and I were having a disagreement, but instead of escalating into a rant, I was able to control my temper and “not act like a two-year old.” You talked about this in a recent post, and it really helped me. My biggest problem is not reacting get when my buttons get pushed. I’m making progress. I was able to stay calm, she walked away, and several minutes later I was able to express empathy for her frustration rather than focus on my anger – my typical move. She softened immediately, she apologized for getting so angry (a rare move on her part), and we went out to dinner as we had planned. The evening wasn’t ruined. So that’s my mantra: don’t act like a two-year old. So simple. Not always easy! But so helpful. Thanks so much.
Marc Chernoff says
Love it! Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Thanks, Marc and Angel for yet another encouraging, uplifting and insightful post. I hope that your followers are truly inspired. I can attest to the peace and joy that contentment brings to the soul, body and mind. My mantra is that when I leave this earth, nothing goes with me. I have faced hardship but I am still standing. I may be weary but I am still strong. God’s grace is sufficient for me.
I’m thankful for life, my God & all He has blessed me with! Great read guys! Thanks for sharing.
Oh! It’s always interesting and pleasurable to read your write-ups. Keep encouraging us. Most times, they are just what one needs at that point in time. Thanks a million!
Grateful to have you in my inbox. Thanks much.
Payel Dutta says
Thank u so much Marc & Angel for the lovely post….I am really grateful for everything in my life…..specially my artistic talent, really happy.
Adam Luckey says
Thanks for bringing such powerful truths! Not sure what faith you are of but no matter what I can truly tell you have hearts of Love and I know God is so proud of what you guys are doing with this blog! Much love guys!
I am grateful for people like you in the world that desire to be a positive force for Good!
I absolutely love this!!
Gratitude is the best practice, it makes you realise how lucky you are even if you feel all you have is a roof over your head…that’s still something to be grateful for. There’s a lot to be said for praying at the side of your bed…or giving gratitude as we like to say now. Give thanks every day.
I am thankful for heating and warm clothing ?
I honestly am just so grateful for these mantras. They picked me up in an instant and I found myself smiling after reading the first one. So thank you Marc and Angel. I keep forgetting I have so much to be thankful for and I need to be constantly reminded of those, so I think these mantras will do exactly that. 🙂
I’m grateful for the fact that i woke up this morning and have all the basic necessities to live a happy life. The thing with gratitude is that it keeps you balanced, grounded and helps you realize how lucky you are. Thanks so much for this post. keep up the good work.
i am grateful for life, i am grateful for my family and all those around me. i am grateful for my work.
Dear Marc and Angel
I simply searched ’18 things I wish someone had told me at 18′ and one of your posts came up. I am extremely grateful to have stumbled across your absolutely lovely blog. I’m someone who always tries to see the ‘glass half full’ – even when those around me do not share the same mindset. I feel like I have finally found a blog that I will constantly be able to search through for that boost of positivity on the good days and on the days when I may not feel the best.
Keep on doing your good work. Keep on prospering and God bless.