Quick quiz: What is gratitude?
Short answer, it’s a word or a feeling. We toss it around saying how grateful we feel for X, Y, and Z, but do we stop and think about the meaning of this term? It’s more than just a feeling.
By definition: Gratitude is the quality of being thankful.
Redefining Gratitude As A Character Trait
If we recognize gratitude as a quality, a trait that we may possess, and we focus on the concept of being thankful, then we gain power over life’s challenges for which we have no control. In the face of a challenge, most people focus on the negative, and it’s very easy to let those emotions take over—feelings of being powerless, victimized, or offended. However, these emotions negate any good that might be present or still to come.
For example, let’s say you pursued a new job opportunity and when the offer was supposed to come, they canceled the whole thing altogether. How would you handle it? Emotions may bubble to the surface like anger, resentment, and shame, filling you with negativity. However, none of those emotions will turn the situation into something useful or positive. What if there could be more to this story?
A Mind-Set Shift To Gratitude
Enter gratitude, a state of mind in which you work to recognize the positive and fuel new, better outcomes. In the scenario above, let’s add in ways of being thankful. The whole interview process was a good confirmation that you are capable of such a job; the company may have been experiencing changes that would have affected you in the future, so you dodged a bullet; or the people might be new connections that lead to the next opportunity.
Imagine if you changed your mindset and began to look at reasons to be thankful for the outcome, then empowerment and pride in yourself could replace the negativity. Possessing the quality of being thankful means you will look at the reasons this experience benefited you instead of the reasons it held you back.
Embracing Gratitude To Receive More
By opening yourself to Gratitude, and making it a routine part of your daily planning, you position yourself to receive more of the wonderful stuff you want. It may take some work and practice to truly possess this quality of thankfulness, but the great news is the more you come from a place of gratitude, the more you will change your perspective for good.
Allowing yourself to feel grateful for a “negative” experience will change your outlook, renew your spirit, and broaden your perspective. Instead of a shallow understanding, you might feel a deeper sense of calm and appreciation. This now opens you to other possibilities and gets you in the right frame of mind to receive good things.
Getting To Gratitude Starts Now
There are many ways to practice Gratitude and develop this quality within yourself. There is a space for gratitude in your Best Planner Ever to make this part of your daily planning. You can also learn more about Gratitude in the Plan Your Ideal Life Book (which includes a printable daily gratitude practice).