Living a Life of Gratitude

Gratitude is defined as being thankful or showing appreciation and the willingness to return acts of kindness.  In my opinion, gratitude is an act that is rarely portrayed because everyone often expects something at the click of a button or believes that they deserve much more than they actually do.  I believe that in order to live a life of gratitude, you have to get out of your own way and practice humility.  Once you are able to adopt the characteristic of being humble on a daily basis, you will realize that there are countless things to be thankful for and you will want others to experience the same positive feeling you receive as well.  After all, who does not want to feel appreciated!


Now let’s face it.  It is very difficult to experience gratitude when you are constantly worrying, in a state of fear, or in an angry space.  If you are expecting an apology that you have not received, the promotion you eagerly want, or even chasing an appearance that is deemed acceptable by society’s standards due to your personal fear of not being accepted, it is quite natural that you may forget to stop and show appreciation for everything that you currently have.  Eventually, you end up forgetting about all of the positive things that you should be grateful for.  You may think they are small and they are not worth the time acknowledging, but all of those little things amount to big things that directly affect you and make you…you.  So be thankful!


Take some time out from your busy schedule and life on social media and really reflect on everything that has occurred in your life.  Yes, I am sure there will be bad situations, but believe it or not there are plenty of good ones too.  Make a list of all of the things you are thankful for…I mean everything.  For example, I am thankful for friends, family, the ability to make my own decisions, even the fact that I have food in my refrigerator makes me happy.  Just think…there is someone in the world, maybe even in your neighborhood, who is not able to say those very same things and could only dream of possibly having half of what you have.  However, this will not stop you from making attainable goals for yourself, but it should make you feel proud of what you have already accomplished and thankful for those who have helped you along the way, because you did not do it alone.


Ultimately, living a life of gratitude is a learned lifestyle.  To some it is quite simple and to others it is rather difficult due to focusing on the materialistic, their status, or the feeling of entitlement.  However, you cannot forget to take the time out to reflect on your life and not on the things that you want to fix, regret, or want for yourself, but what you currently have, especially those things that no one can take away.

Thoughts Have Power

Is it just me, or do you believe that every single day when your alarm clock goes off, you feel as if you are, at times, in a race? You begin to think about what you have to accomplish for the day and not only do you focus on your “to-do list”, but somehow all of the other things begin to flood your mind, including finances, family, career, and dare I say it…your life! Your mind can spin, at least mine does, on questions like, What if I fail? What is my purpose in life? Will I ever get married? (shout out to my single friends) And of course this list can go on forever. However, have you ever paid attention to how much power you allow your thoughts to have, negative or positive.


Well, I do not want to focus so much on negative versus positive thinking, but I do want to focus on the word power. Basically, power means control. Now, for myself, I prefer to be in control as much as I possibly can, but there are some instances when I cannot and will not have the ability to be in control and that is frightening to me! I often try to force myself to take control of those instances and I fail miserably because my thoughts go into overdrive, trying to think of every possible solution or scenario and suddenly, I allow my thoughts to take the wheel and eventually they drive me right into a ditch. Then, I either give up and let things take its course, like I should have in the first place, or I realize that it was simply not for me to control and I walk away. 


Yet, all of this sparked with just thoughts and it is so easy to give in to any and all of them. Most often than not, every thought precedes an action. Consciously or subconsciously, we end up making decisions based on what we think. Based on that, you should ask yourself if you have power over your thoughts or do your thoughts have power over you?