This week, in the US of A, is Thanksgiving. The holiday where friends and family usually come together to enjoy some good eats. The star of the table being a turkey in most households.
For today’s post, in anticipation of the holiday, a little chit-chat about gratitude. A significant pillar behind the season.
The Spirit of Gratitude
Many of us live with a scarcity mindset. Too many people adopt the zero-sum view of negotiations. “I have to get mine because if I don’t, there won’t be for me”. People will rush past you to get ahead in line only to find the light red a few feet away. But, the fact they nearly caused a wreck and had to slam on the brakes meant nothing to them because they got ahead by one car’s length.
Had there not been an understanding of abundance, the sharing that kept the pilgrims alive would not have happened. The natives felt that there was enough for all of us to have if we used the resources right. In time, the life cycle would balance out and everyone would be fine. They didn’t have to share their food, but they did.
Will not dive into the way the country has shown their gratitude other than to say… it’s not cool to not show appreciation.
The Main Point of Gratitude
Gratitude is showing appreciation for the value gained. When someone does something for you, your life has improved in some fashion. It’s polite to show gratitude. It can often encourage the giver to give more at some future point in time because they know their generosity is valued.
From a selfish position, gratitude makes it easier for you to get more. Something that flies in the face of the scarcity mindset.
The Abundance Mindset
By having a spirit of gratitude, one is valuing what one has and or is given. For those who subscribe to the idea of Karma, by showing your appreciation, the universe feels it can trust you to give valuable thanks for the privilege . More is given as a thank you for being grateful. Yes… yes… I’m totally butchering the concept.
The part I want to really zero in on today is that the spirit of gratitude opens the mind to seeing more abundance around you. It keeps you humble to what you have and allows you to be more receptive to any you might get.
In the event I get an unexpected hug… if I show no thoughtful appreciation of the unexpected hug, the person who shared it may or may not be as willing to share such again in the future. Over time, my lack of appreciation will teach this person not to waste their time hugging me.
If I am appreciative and share that with them, it may motivate them to give me more hugs. It may keep them motivated to give others hugs. It might be the actual feedback they needed to move their day towards positivity. My gratitude added value to them in ways I may never know. Because they know I value what was given, the hug, they’re more likely to feel that any future value to share is worth sharing with me over someone else.
Note: Gratitude is never about setting up the deck of cards in one’s favor to get more favor. It’s always about acknowledging the favor given.
Why is it important? Why should one show gratitude and why is that a good mindset to have?
From a very basic point, the mind likes to sort things in categories. The mind likes associations of things and categories. When you’re grateful, the mind looks for more positive feelings to associate with that attitude of gratitude. It looks for more evidence of things to be grateful for.
Think of it this way. If you’ve never owned a Fiat, you probably not aware of how many Fiats there are on the streets. (Depending on where you live, there may not be much at all). The day you own a sweet red Fiat, you start to notice all the Fiats in town that are red. As if all of a sudden everyone went out and got a Fiat.
This applies to gratitude. When you’re grateful for things that happen, it’s like you start to see all the other things you could be grateful for. You start to share these experiences. You see more of these opportunities. Abundance.
By practicing gratitude, one starts to see more abundance of things to be grateful for. While we can speak of the many positive benefits of such a mindset, today the one that will close out this post is the following…
If one wants to see more, appreciate more. Even when things look bad. Be grateful. In the mindset of gratitude, the mind also attracts the ability to see abundance. Problem solving improves, opportunity recognition improves, people give more, others share more, and in time, a solution is found.
Even if there are no problems to solve in your life, the spirit of gratitude helps you see more ways to help those who could use your help. It is not a zero sum game anymore. Everyone can eat. The table is large enough. The energy is sufficient.
Practice giving thanks. Practice letting your loved ones know how much you care about them. Never assume they know or have not forgotten. A quick thank you text goes a long way. Gratitude is not selfish. It does not wait for someone to do something or give something back. It just does.
Most people play small. Grateful people play bigger. Funny thing about playing bigger, people start to copy. They start to show their gratitude more towards you for being more grateful yourself. By sharing how you are appreciative, you’re leading change in your circle of influence.
As things change, that gratitude will come back in some way shape or form back to you. And even if it didn’t, you’re better off for it anyway because you’re just grateful you got to do something nice and that is it’s own reward.
Don’t wait for special holidays, weddings, or funerals to share the gratitude you feel. Start today. Keep it up every day. Make it a challenge. Share with one person a week something you’re grateful about with regards to them. It could be that old college roommate that helped you not miss your final. It could be that boss who let you slide on that deadline. Whomever. Just reach out and say “thank you” once a week to someone in your phone’s database.
Keep that habit going. See how much your view of the world changes. Share that below…in the comments area… if you’d like. In time, you’ll see more clearly just how abundance there is to be grateful for.
Before I forget, just because you’re grateful does not mean you don’t have any other feelings. Does not mean you pretend everything is perfect. It’s not. It’s finding in the imperfect something to be grateful for. Then, working out from that point until you’ve got more to be grateful for. In time, feelings will catch up.
Have an awesome week, holiday, and festivities. If your country doesn’t have a Thanksgiving holiday this week, that’s ok. Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to share. Glad you stop by and motivate me (by reading this) to keep creating more things for you to enjoy.