"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself." Tecumseh (1768-1813).
History is laden with famous figures who practiced gratitude, and whose achievements put them amongst the greatest human beings who have ever lived: Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama, Leonardo Da Vinci, Plato, Shakespeare, Aesop, Blake, Emerson, Dickens, Newton, Einstein and many more.
Albert Einstein's scientific discoveries changed the way we see the universe, and when asked about his monumental achievements, he spoke only of giving thanks to others. One of the most brilliant minds of all time thanked other people over a hundred times a day for the work they had done.
Is it any wonder that so many of life's mysteries were revealed to Albert Einstein?
Is it any wonder that Albert Einstein made some of the greatest scientific discoveries in history?
He practiced gratitude every single day of his life, and in return he received many forms of abundance.
When Isaac Newton was asked how he had achieved the scientific discoveries he made, he replied that his success was only possible because he stood on the shoulders of giants.
The scientist, philosophers, inventors, discoverers, and prophets who practiced gratitude reaped its results, and most were aware of its inherent power.
In the United States of America, a time is set apart every year for a family holiday of getting together and giving thanks.
It is a time of love, showing of gratitude, and giving.
It is a time where families come together and strengthen bonds that bind. For many Americans, it is a period of happiness and is always highly looked forward to by both the old and young.
National Thanksgiving Day is an Holiday celebrated and instituted by one of America's greatest president; Abraham Lincoln .
He understood that the survival of the nation depended on their ability to continue seeing and appreciating the good things they had, and expressing their gratitude practically by blessing one another.
The last Thursday of every November was then set aside particularly for giving thanks and appreciating the numerous benevolence which the nation enjoys.
America as a country has grown from strength to strength, and the secret of their success may yet lie in their ability to show gratitude for that which they already have.
The writer G. K. Chesterton had the right idea when he said;
"we need to get in the habit of taking things with gratitude and not taking things for granted."
Gratitude puts everything in a fresh perspective; it enables us to see the many blessings all around us.And the more ways we find to give thanks, the more things we find to be grateful for.
“While gratitude is pleasant, it is not easy,” Emmons notes. “We have to work at it.”
Counting (and recounting) blessings has benefits. Research shows people who practice gratitude feel greater joy and connectedness, cope better with stress, and experience less illness and depression.
Below are some reasons why we must be grateful:
Reason #1: Being Grateful Makes You Happier and Healthier
Reason #2: Being Grateful Helps You See More Blessings
Reason #3: There Are Sad Consequences of Ingratitude
HOW TO SHOW GRATITUDE
The expression of showing gratitude is closely intertwined with the attitude of selfless giving.
Whenever you wish to appreciate a special blessing in your life, look for ways by which you may enrich others; especially those less fortunate than you.
This world will become paradise if the majority of people live the golden rule, 'Do Unto Others, What you want them to do unto you'.
To be truly happy and live a fulfilled life, we must cultivate the habit of Thanks-Giving, and ingrain the attitude of always staying positive by daily recounting our blessings and expressing gratitude for every little blessing that comes our way.
For many people, they feel there is nothing to give thanks about or show gratitude for until they acquire a big house, a large bank account and become internationally famous; and so they live their lives grumbling and complaining, bringing gloom and abysmal-dismal wherever their pitiable lives take them.
You do not have to be satisfied before giving thanks. In fact, the best time to give your ultimate thanks and show your most sincere appreciation; should be at the times when things are most difficult for you, and at the times when the storms of life assail you with its chilly billows.
Giving thanks should be an attitude, it should be your lifestyle. It has even be scientifically proved that those who recount their blessings just before they sleep, usually have the best of night rest.
You should try this practice- just before you go to sleep, while on your bed, list at least ten things you are genuinely grateful for, and thank God immensely for everyone of them.
PRACTICAL GRATITUDE - Take time to enjoy something you own but have ignored — a piece of jewelry or a flower vase — and express your gratitude for its beauty by dusting it off and using it.
Pass on a gift that you have received but that is sitting unused in a closet. Keeping gifts in circulation is a very good sign of gratitude.
Choose one thing you use every day — perhaps a favorite pen or a cooking pot — and say a prayer over it, acknowledging how it helps you serve others and God.
Show your gratitude for the gifts of nature by taking the time to enjoy them. Planting a garden, flower or tree will be to you a constant reminder of the awesomeness and power of a Creator God- whose power is resplendent in all nature and created things.
Go on a quiet, meditative walk through your house. Stop and say prayers of thanks for all the good experiences you have had in each room. As you are moving around your community today, notice and acknowledge the many blessings you receive from living there.
Before and after every meal, be grateful for the food by savoring each piece with all your senses.
Realize that your acquisition and enjoyment of this meal is not due to any inherent power within you, but rather as a result of both plants and animals ability to yield because of the grace of a loving Creator.
Find a special way to express your gratitude to a part of your body; close your eyes for moment and imagine how life is for people who are blind.
Or try using sign language as a means for communication with your friends.
Review every one of your body parts and the role it plays in making living possible for you.
Just as Zenedine Zidane (Legendary world footballer) once recounted;
"I used to cry everyday for not having boots to play football, but I stopped crying when I saw a person who loved to play football, but had no legs".
WRITING ABOUT GRATITUDE - Keep a gratitude journal. List three things you’re grateful for today. Every evening write down a few things you were thankful for.
Do it again tomorrow. And make it a habit. This simple practice will tell greatly on your character development as it relates to showing thanks and gratitude.
Write a letter to a relative in which you acknowledge the special role he or she plays in your family circle. If possible, include an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner.
Write a letter of appreciation to an author whose book has been an inspiration to you. Send it through his/her website.
Write a tribute in your journal to the person — living or dead — who has lifted your spirits and helped you understand that you are a child of God.
Write in your journal about a difficult person (even an enemy) who has taught you something you needed to know about yourself and/or your community. End your entry with an expression of gratitude for this insight.
NOTE- The key here is not to focus on the person, but rather on the lesson and experience that you have gained from your dealings with them.
SIMPLY SAY THANKS- Always say thank you for every satisfactory service you receive, it doesn't matter much if you are paying for the service; always say a sincere thanks.
You can also decide to take this further by telling your friends about the service or place so that their business can grow.
Give sincere compliments, compliments are really expressions of gratitude.
When we say “I love your new look” in a sense, what we’re really saying is “Thanks for bringing some more beauty into the world."
When you find someone or something they have done nice, tell them you truly appreciate it, the feeling of good and worth your simple compliments will achieve can only be measured with a lifetime.
And when you are on the receiving end- When someone compliments you, accept it with a smile and a “thank you.”
Don’t try to argue with a compliment or convince someone that you don’t deserve it.
To express your gratitude to a good friend or family member for always being there for you, surprise them with a gift out of the blue, plan a party just for them, and stand by them when they need you most.
Family and friendship are usually the most unappreciated forms of relationship albeit their being all a person truly needs in this apathetic world.
Remind your family and friends every now and then of the sincere gratitude you have for all they have done for you in the past, and all they are likely to do for you in the future.
Thank a person at work for doing his or her job well.
If you are a boss that gives due and warranted appreciation to your staff and followership, it will boost their morales and strengthen the bond.
This also applies to teammates, no matter how insignificant a person's role may be in a project, sincerely let them know that you and the entire team are truly appreciative of it.
Though the workplace today is plagued with sycophants, you should be different - identify what you wish to sincerely thank your boss for, and let them know. You don't need to overdo or impress your boss- an unexpected thank you card or note will do.
Show activists and people dedicated to humanity causes in your community that you are thankful for their efforts by showing up at a meeting or volunteering time in their offices.
Volunteer when you can, we are given so much in life, we must give back. Returning the favor is a way of demonstrating that we acknowledge our own abundance.
Practice mindfulness to be grateful. Make a specific point of constantly looking for things to be grateful for. I promise you will find them.
“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.”
And most importantly never ever forget that a mind that is grateful to the Creator of the Universe, is a mind that is contented and full of life.