Gratitude is such a building block of having a successful life, that I truly believe without it... true success and happiness are not remotely possible without it.
That may seem like a strong statement, but this is SUCH a powerful mental shift - if Ego is put aside.
I may be getting ahead of myself a bit, so let's start from the beginning!
My nature tells me to go back to the definition as the beginning point of knowing "What Gratitude IS"... so that's what I did! In leveraging my time & resources (I LOVE relying on others with expertise, and LOVE to give others credit) so...
I've used some quotes and information on this, for my first segment, from the Positive Psychology Program B.V. The Merriram-Webster Dictionary is a "go-to," but the definition is very dry - and not too inspiring!
"the state of being grateful"
So... yeah. I think we all knew that one!
I do love the more emotion-evoking definition from the Harvard Medical School, which says that gratitude is:
“a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”
Robert Emmons is a leading researcher on gratitude in psychology - he says that gratitude:
“has been conceptualized as an emotion, a virtue, a moral sentiment, a motive, a coping response, a skill, and an attitude. It is all of these and more. Minimally, gratitude is an emotional response to a gift. It is the appreciation felt after one has been the beneficiary of an altruistic act” (Emmons & Crumpler, 2000).
He and coauthor, Robin Stern, say in another writing that:
“gratitude has a dual meaning: a worldly one and a transcendent one. In its worldly sense, gratitude is a feeling that occurs in interpersonal exchanges when one person acknowledges receiving a valuable benefit from another. Gratitude is a cognitive-affective state that is typically associated with the perception that one has received a personal benefit that was not intentionally sought after, deserved, or earned but rather because of the good intentions of another person” (Emmons & Stern, 2013).
We all may be programmed, from a young age, to say "please" and "thank you" for someone else providing for us. But, in an understanding of it - feeling the emotion from it - it's very far from superficial. Showing and/or stating aloud our Gratitude really causes us to FEEL that our cup is overflowing!
A well-known Law of the Universe is that what we give, we get. Therefore, Gratitude begets Gratitude.... not that we're doing it for that purpose.
Being Grateful is simply acknowledging goodness. Validating that LIFE is good.
Gratitude CANNOT come from a place of "I." We must put away Ego, or self, to truly come from a place of Gratitude. In doing this, we can then be fully focused on someone ELSE. The goodness present is outside of ourselves.
Showing Gratitude is, in turn, very cathardic. It releases strong emotion - such as overflowing joy!
Gratitude is an important building block, which first spurs our own growth, touches our inner, then social circles - and ultimately touches society as a whole! A successful society is not possible without this beginning as a character strength.
My philosophy on Gratitude: You can be grateful for something you paid for or something you just receive for no reason, but it's more meaningful, it's more pure, if it's something unexpected. That you were not owed. An altruistic act!
For some additional definitions, catch the replay on the vid below!
There are many reasons WHY Gratitude is Important (and I actually mentioned a few in the paragraphs above, oops! 😀), but 4 reasons stood out in my mind.
LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE
Plain and simple, you will attract the type of person you are.
Jim Rohn really put this best: "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."
RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM
Your brain WILL LOOK FOR whatever you decide will be your main focus. I won't go into the RAS in-depth here, but I have touched on this before.
This is a concept to be aware of, because it validates that how we spend our thoughts is of utmost importance!
The presence of Gratitude will manifest itself and improve ALL areas of your life!
BE GRATEFUL! It's EASY! It's FREE! (Just do it!)
IT'S A SELFLESS ACT
In order to have TRUE Gratitude, emanating from the innermost, pure heartspace... it cannot be dependent on YOU or how YOU feel. Ego must be displaced. The spotlight is put onto someone ELSE in an altruistic way. In this act, you take on the role of Servant, the role of humility.
There are, of course, MANY more reasons you may want to or SHOULD show gratitude. These were the top that resonated with me as I move along my journey.
I'd love to hear more comments below on why YOU feel Gratitude is important!!
1) Tell someone face-to-face how much they mean to you.
Put DOWN the PHONE! I love utilizing technology and my phone (use it for good! LOL) BUT there is a time and place to just have a good, old-fashioned face-to-face chat. This can be a great way to reconnect with a friend, old or new, and reinforce what is important to you.
Their body language and the look on their face when you tell them why/how you are grateful for them will be a huge boost for you!!
2) Pack a lunch or goodie bag and give it to someone you meet.
I LOVE this one! I was recently in Chicago and passed a homeless man on my way to grab a bite to eat - whilst in the pub, I placed an extra order that would be ready to go as we finished up. The bag of hot food was given to the homeless man as we again passed by - I share this, not to brag that I did something great, but to share a possibility of a token you may give someone.
The concept of creating something to hand out - such as a Blessing Bag - is a unique way you can give to another person. That can be as simple as placing some common items into a Ziploc - such as chapstick, socks, granola bars, beef jerky, hand wipes, etc - that anyone could use. And, hand them out to someone you may see that is in need.
You might ask how giving someone else a goodie bag shows your gratitude?? You are acknowledging your abundance by giving to someone else. And not expecting something in return!
3) Put a sticky note somewhere random, so someone will be impacted by your gratitude!
LOVE this one! This will DEFINITELY put a smile onto someone's face!
Smile at someone! It's contagious! It's free! You will never run out!
Most of the time, you will get a smile in return, but if you don't... it was not wasted. If someone cannot muster a smile, they may be dealing with issues you cannot even fathom - a death of someone close... exhaustion from working an extra shift so they may feed their family... being brought to their lowest point by any number of reasons.
But your smile may just be that beacon of light they needed today - even if they could not yet give one in return.
5) Call someone you know is going through a rough patch, then… LISTEN!!
Listening is a lost art. This world moves so quickly that we are POISED to give the next answer before the question is hanging out in the air (like in one of those cartoon bubbles!), quickly, faster, ahead of the next person...
Put aside yourSELF and fully concentrate on someone else. Think of someone that may really benefit from you calliing them up (or visiting in person!) and BEING. HEARD.
With no expectation of giving them that soluton you think they desperately need.
With no expectation of you speaking at all.
But empathizing. Hearing.
6) Call, email, or write to the 5 people that are closest to you to let them know how they have impacted you!
You got to the place you are, because of mentors. These may be family members, friends, business associates, or someone you have never met! Think of the 5 (or 2, or even just 1) people that have impacted you the most and let them know.
It might come as a complete surprise to them!
Your mentor may not be living. You can still write a letter - get your thoughts onto paper and it will provide you with a lot of clarity. 💜
7) Give an anonymous donation.
I actually did this, this week! It feels really great. It could be $5, or giving your time. But know that it's a Law of the Universe that the more you give, the more you gain. This isn't the catalyst for giving, it's... just a bonus!
In taking this another step further, give to a charity/cause regularly that resonates with you.
8) Pay for the person in line behind you! (Toll, coffee, drive-throughs!)
My aunt used to live in the San Francisco area and when she would pay toll for passing over the bridge, she would sometimes pay the toll of the person in the car behind her.
There are stories of this, often around the holidays, where people in a coffee drive-thru pay for the person behind them. It's fun to see this keep going!
Who can you surprise today?!
9) Send a video or post to someone you know could use the inspiration!
Do you know of someone that can use more Gratitude in their life? Or would love some tips about Inspiration? Send them an appropriate video or blog post!
Sharing is caring (and that's not just a rhyme, it's TRUE!)!
10) Leave a huge tip! Wait staff and service employees often have a thankless job – surprise someone today!
Leave someone a larger than normal tip! No, a HUGE tip! Service jobs can be very thankless, so surprise someone today!!
There are literally as many WAYS to show Gratitude as there are people on this planet! However you do it, SINCERITY is the Name of the Game.
How do you show others Gratitude?
Gratitude is great. Awesome. Life-changing.
You need to do something WITH it, for it to really work.
I should back up a bit... I've been listening to "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" by Dr. Joe Dispenza. This stuff is backed up by scientific data. Like neuroscience. #science
This is a concept brought up in the book.
Neither will work on its own.
You cannot only have Gratitude.
You cannot only have a Vision.
These two elements paired WILL PRODUCE a desired result.
Check out this video for more!
That means it is NOT OPTIONAL.
How do you speak of being Grateful?
Is it mostly (or entirely) in regard to something from the past? Something you have receivED, someone that HAS BEEN brought into your life, or something that catapultED into your life?
Notice above, everything is IN PAST TENSE!
You are being thankful for the past. In stating your gratitude, you are asking for more of that.
In order to make a change, you MUST state your thankfulness IN PRESENT TENSE for what you have not yet received.
In doing this, you are re-wiring your brain.
"The neurons that fire together, wire together. "
You are moving your brain into the space of thinking this has already happened!
And, in effect, changing your world!
Start doing this today!
Clearly realize your Vision. Then begin to focus on that Intent, stating your Gratitude that it has already happened!
Realize that your brain and the Quantum Field hear this and they will product what you ask for.
There have been many instances of people asking for JUST what they NEED. And they are given EXACTLY THAT.
So, don't be afraid to ask for what you WANT!!
*You get what you ask for.*
Check out the video on this VITAL TIP below!
If this was the first time you've heard of some of these concepts, they may seem a bit foreign.
They are resounding Laws of the Universe, and if you are true to these, you WILL be catapulted into a dream life you cannot even fathom - I promise you!
Blessings and Abundance to you!
If you'd like to enjoy the Audiobook I referred to above (Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza), check out this link: bit.ly/2t0rBsn
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, my name is Chondra Rankin! My passion is teaching and inspiring YOU how to become prepared to grasp the luxury of designing your life well - so you can live your life... your way!
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