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November 28, 2013

Gratitude is a Game-Changer. And Yes, It’s a Choice.

“The antidote for lack is gratitude. Gratitude is a choice, an attitude, an approach towards life.” –John-Roger

In the self-help world, people throw around terms like “gratitude” and “wellbeing” all the time. They sound esoteric. They sound idealistic. And it’s also easy to start numbing yourself to them. So that you’re eventually like, “Yeah, yeah, I get it, be grateful. Blah, blah, blah.”

I kind of hate this.

I hate this because it belittles the concept of gratitude.

It allows us to pass over it, without really practicing it. And practicing gratitude is pivotal. Because the act of being grateful for something, anything can honestly change your entire world, not to mention your day.

Because your perception is your greatest tool.

And your perception is simply one choice away, always.

If how you view the world is not a choice one makes, how do you explain that some people see the world as kind while others see it as hostile? Same world.

We choose in every second how to perceive ourselves, our circumstances, others’ actions and others’ words. And in that perception lies the key to personal freedom and happiness.


Here’s an example.

Say I think that the world is out to get me. People are out for themselves and all they want to do is screw me over. They don’t think of me, they don’t support me and they don’t care about me. They’re always working from an agenda, and I will always be the one to get the short end of the stick.

I bet you know people like this. It’s really common and of course, it’s normal, because we use cues from our past to dictate how we see the world, and often this is done subconsciously. If I see the world this way, chances are I’ve gotten “screwed” in the past, been let down a lot and am generally unhappy with my lot in life.

The issues with this perspective is that when we perceive the world this way:

  1. We cannot feel gratitude for anyone or anything because we always feel like people are acting from an agenda and expect something in return. And…
  2. We can never feel love, connection or support from others because we’re always assuming that anything anyone does has to be out of self-interest and personal gain.

This perception is a choice.

An alternative viewpoint…

We could just as easily listen to people words and accept them. We could choose to not make assumptions. We could release the thought that we “know better” or that we “see what they’re doing.” We could choose to take people at their word, rather than trying to decipher hidden meanings and uncover secret self-serving schemes.

When we see people and circumstances in this way (perception), can you see that the world will be a much kinder place?

And when we perceive a kind world, it makes it a thousand times easier to be grateful.

And gratitude changes the score. In fact, it takes the score cards away completely. Gratitude is genuine. It’s honest. It’s selfless.

Gratitude it turns what we have into enough.

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