The importance of gratitude in life is limitless. Gratitude is a powerful mindset which turns challenges into opportunities for growth.
When your focus is on being grateful for all that you have, it is impossible to be unhappy. The act of being thankful for all that life has afforded comes with the knowledge that anything is possible.
That is what Rob and I found when our son moved out. When our baby left home, the feeling of loneliness quickly set in. Rob and I spent the prior 25 years embracing our identity as the parents of our two children. When our son moved out, we decided that an identity crisis was in order.
A deafening silence radiated through our home as our baby moving out was the life-changing experience that we dreaded for years. Rob and I grew up together in the parenting role. With our babies all grown up and out of the house, we were forced to learn who we are and identify what we want from life.
Rob and I were able to find strength through gratitude as we watched our children find their identities from the position of opportunity rather than a crisis.
It was through their examples that we stopped feeling sorry for ourselves, began celebrating our wins with our family, and shifted our focus to our future and our happiness.
It is this experience that we found the benefits and power of gratitude. Empowered with the mindset of being grateful we were able to experience the law of attraction and start manifesting happiness.
The benefits of gratitude
The benefits of practicing gratitude are infinite. When expressing appreciation for we have, an immense feeling of inner peace takes hold. Optimism naturally comes to the forefront of our mind as we navigate through memories of accomplishment.
Gratitude is the outcome of celebrating life’s wins; both big and small. By celebrating life, happiness naturally follows and the ability to see all of the extraordinary opportunities that life has to offer become abundant.
Grab something to write with and write on. Anything! Perfection is not your focus; being thankful is…
It is a simple thought that being thankful is your focus. Once you find something to write on and write with, you will naturally experience gratitude. You will be grateful that you found something to write with and write on.
Gratitude is that emotion you feel that puts a smile on your face. It is the feeling you experience with success.
The power of gratitude
Gratitude triggers the feeling of limitless possibilities. It is the driving force that helps guide us through challenging times and allows us to go further, push harder, and accomplish the impossible.
Gratitude is a silent force that inevitably directs us to find ourselves when we lose our way.
Once Rob and I accepted that we are now empty nesters, we had to start working on defining what that means to us.
Through the conversations of looking forward, we saw that our method of managing our finances created a roadblock that held us in place. We each had our own checking accounts along with bills to go along with them. Our lives intertwined yet we were living separately.
We lived in a world of paycheck to paycheck because our only focus was on our now. This living in the now approach to life tied up 15% of our monthly paychecks with debt repayment. It was the living for the now that landed us in debt to the tune of over $50,000.
It was the process of our children leaving home that made us see life in full color. The feeling of loss catapulted us into a forward-thinking mindset that made us feel pure appreciation for what we have built together over the years.
It is that appreciation that reminded us that the game is not over.
It was that shift in thinking that allowed us to find inspiration in all that our children were accomplishing. We found the strength we needed to come together and get our house in order.
Why is gratitude so powerful?
The emotions that gratitude triggers within us are so powerful that doubt cannot exist. Tony Robbins summed up the power of gratitude with these simple words: “When you are grateful, fear disappears, and abundance appears.”
What simple words that highlight the power of being grateful.
When Rob and I realized the amount of our debt and how that debt was holding us back from being able to decide what we wanted to do now that our children are grown up, we stepped back to evaluate what resources were available to us.
We allowed ourselves to dream. Dream of where life could take us if our debt did not burden us. It was those dreams that highlighted what we have, what we have worked so hard for, and what we want to work toward.
We consumed motivational insight from Dave Ramsey and set a plan. It was January 2018 in which we set a goal that we would pay off our $50,000 worth of debt by November 2018.
The goal was ambitious. With an annual take-home pay of $80,000, we knew that we would have to practice complete focus for us to reach this aggressive goal.
It was our journey of getting our finances in order allowed us to experience the real value of gratitude. Any fear we carried dissipated. Our mindset was to celebrate all that life has to offer.
The more we celebrated, the more money we had. Before we knew it, our debt was paid off. We were able to somehow pay off $50,000 worth of debt in only six months. The amazing thing about our debt pay off journey is that it felt effortless.
Here’s our crazy story: Pay Off Debt Fast! How We Paid Off $50,854 In 6 Months
How do you practice gratitude?
Practicing gratitude must be a conscious decision in which you commit to yourself and those you love that you will focus on being thankful for all things life has to offer.
Thankful for the good, and thankful for the not so good.
We have all heard the saying “is the glass-half-full or half-empty?” When you decide to practice gratitude, the glass is always half-full.
Not only do you know that the glass is half-full, you understand why the glass is half-full.
When you look at that glass you know:
- The now is just temporary and that there is more water to come
- That the amount of water in the glass is the perfect amount of water to survive now
- The water will not only quench your thirst, but it will satisfy the thirst of those you love
No matter how you look at that glass of water, you are grateful for its existence and the gift it is to you and those in your life.
Gratitude and happiness
Gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. With the mindset of gratitude, it is impossible to be unhappy as gratitude is the force that holds your hand and walks you away from your moments of doubt and fear.
Forbes published an article a few years back about gratitude and practicing it in your everyday life. The article identifies eight items as the blueprint to live life with appreciation. This article states that:
Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. In fact, sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for.
Simple yet profound. I know that in my life, the moments of diversity have resulted in my most heightened learning experiences. The moments where past successes become my focus.
It is through the act of reminding myself of where I came from and where I am now that provides me with strength. The strength to see a particular situation for what it is by replacing my feeling of fear with my memories of past successes.
Practicing gratitude is a simple process of celebrating success. Whether you are celebrating your own success, or the success of your son or daughter, your spouse, or your best friend, it is the act of celebrating that brings happiness.
Practicing gratitude is the act of replacing thoughts of defeat with feelings of success.
Importance of gratitude in your life
The benefits of gratitude are abundant. Practicing gratitude is a selfless act that allows optimism to take hold. When you are optimistic, being unhappy is not an option.
There is a simple concept called The Law of Attraction. It is a simple concept that states that Like Attracts Like.
- Optimism attracts optimism
- Pessimism attracts pessimism
- Happy attracts happy
- Sad attracts sad
The list goes on.
When focusing on all things that life affords you, you naturally start seeking more of the same. By adopting and cultivating a mindset of gratefulness you begin living life with the “Attitude of Gratitude.”
Attitude of gratitude
The following quote from the book The School of Greatness sums up the Attitude of Gratitude the best:
If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough. – Lewis Howes, Author
When Rob and I found success with our debt pay off journey, we found the influence of gratitude in our life.
We went from two whiny, lost parents, with a mountain of debt, to a team with a purpose.
We were able to do this because we prioritized celebration. It was our mini celebrations of gratefulness that promoted strong communication, ensured that our actions were purposeful, and allowed us to enjoy the process of changing our future.
It was our actions, our engagement in the process that promoted our success. We envisioned what we wanted, why we wanted it and applied the required focus to allow it to take place.
Never underestimate the power of gratitude
I recently read a great article by Psychology Today that outlines seven scientifically proven benefits of practicing gratitude.
It is a wonderful article that shows that happiness is the by-product of gratitude. It is the act of being grateful for what life provides us rather than thinking that our happiness is dependent on the future.
I remember when Rob and I were younger I would daydream of a time in which we would make $1,000 a week. I remember thinking that at that time we will be rich. At that time, we will have no worries.
The thing about life is that milestones like that come and go yet fail to provide the expected gratification. They fail in providing any satisfaction because the target point was postponing happiness for a later date.
Live for today and celebrate the importance of gratitude in your life
Embrace your happiness today. Indulge in all the wondrous things that life has to offer. Remember that your moments of the greatest diversity are there to form who you are; to teach you. Appreciate those moments.
Share those moments of success with others. In turn, they will share their success with you. Being thankful for all that you have and all that you are must be your first thought of the day and the last thought of your night.
What role does gratitude play in your life? Help others out by leaving it in the comments section below!