Finding and Expressing True Gratitude

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The following is a guest post by Jason Anthony.

Do you know the difference between having thanks and truly being grateful?

It has been said that you do not know what you have until it is gone, and that is a lesson that could not be more true for me.  I used to sort of bounce through life offering thanks to many around me in a cordial kind of way, but I didn’t really consider what it meant to have a real appreciation for what it was I had.

It took the loss of my employment, my vehicle, and a personal relationship for me to really feel what I no longer had.  Those events were a few in a series of events that moved me to change my entire perspective on life.  Of those, learning to be fortunate and content with even the smallest things still reigns as an important part of my ongoing refinement process.

There is much today that we take for granted and by applying a little shift in your mindset and philosophy, you can really build upon and honor the wonderful reciprocity that the world has to offer.

 

Saying And Feeling Are Two Different Things

As a child you were taught to say thank you, almost automatically, and for many it’s carried over into adulthood.  When you purchase your coffee in the morning on the go, checking out at the grocery store, or even when it comes to interacting with the ones we love, it’s easy to let those two words just spill out without much thought about it.

The result is a lack of personal understanding and deeply shared connections.  When you fail to understand and feel what it is someone or something has done for you, it goes unappreciated.  A “thank you,” has become more of a triggered response, ranking right up there with saying “goodbye,” right before hanging up the phone.  It just gets blurted out.

In using a diluted approach to gratitude you miss out on the real worth of an experience.  The details and factors that led up to it, as well as the action and intentions behind it all have a significant purpose.  Part of finding and respecting that purpose is in its acknowledgment.

Focus On Why
Instead of giving thanks, give your reasons.  Much like in A Love Note To The World, providing all the reasons why you have thanks is one of the simplest ways to tap into true appreciation.

Not just in words alone, but by deeply acknowledging what it is you appreciate.  In doing this you can put yourself in a wonderful state of harmony.  Tell them and express to them the reasons why.  Confess what it is that moves you to feel better inside as a person.  What were the words?  What were the actions?  Spare no effort in the act of making it known.

 

3 Places To Express Gratitude

Your thankfulness can be placed anywhere and in any shape, size, or form.  I’d like to share with you my idea of the three places that are most vital to leading a fulfilling and happy life.

1) With Others
With super-busy lives it’s easy to pass up the opportunity to recognize what those around us have done.  It can be in words or even a symbolic gesture, but make the time to slow down and really focus on the connection and appreciation you have towards others.  Let them know how much they mean to you, and often.

2) With Yourself
A lot of emphasis is placed on what others can or have done for us, but also take the time to thank yourself.  Each thought, decision, and action you take is a favor to you in its own way and something to be proud and grateful for.  Being grateful for who you are and what you deserve is the mark of having a healthy sense of self-worth.

3) With The Way It Is.
From time to time things will run awry or not go as planned.  Rain delays exist.  Such is life.  One of the most profound places we can put acceptance and thanks is into our misfortunes and failures.  Although perceived as “negative,” instances, these are the circumstances in which we can learn the most from, and being aware of the potential for growth behind those lessons is phenomenal.

No matter how big or small, the practice of expressing your thanks is one to adore and develop with great enthusiasm.  I am thankful for both the opportunity to share my ideas here, as well as reinforce them within myself.

Jason Anthony is the founder of EvenMinds.  He shares principles and philosophies with others so they might be inspired to design an extraordinary life for themselves.  Visit today to make gratitude a part of your everyday tradition.

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