I don’t know a lot of people who would argue up against the value of giving thanks, such like the surface apparently I am simply preaching to your choir here. It’s easy to enjoy it for all the blessings we’ve in our life like family, friends, health, food, shelter, etc. Expressing gratitude is linked to numerous benefits starting from better mental and physical health, to improved relationships and productivity.
I recently entered gratitude to a search on Google and yes it returned 109,000,000 results, and I noticed a disturbing trend. Based on the top links that went back it appears that lots of people are using gratitude for selfish aims. Among the top links that went back on page one out of my search were: “The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About,” “Can Gratitude Make Millennials More Successful?” and “7 Surprising Health Benefits of Gratitude.”
In my experience, the only real genuine practice of gratitude is the place where it is done to enrich others. In fact, during my regular practice of gratitude I specifically ask the recipient not to ever acknowledge it, but instead, whenever they feel compelled to answer, to send out a similar message of gratitude to someone in life OTHER THAN ME!
I feel that expressing gratitude for selfish reasons could eventually backfire in a similar manner I see general selfishness and greed eventually revisit bite people. It’s not simple to do, however in the long run, helping others will satisfy you a lot faster than only shopping for yourself.
Our society has grown to be obsessed with results, to its detriment, during my humble opinion. I have found the need for results makes those very results significantly less likely to occur. That’s why my focus relies primarily on process and purpose. Unfortunately, I do not have plenty of time to go into process and purpose (and can in a future article) as I would like to tackle another issue with how people practice giving thanks.
The other problem I have together with the way people express gratitude is simply because often concentrate on the easy things. If you’ve read my blogs before, you might have likely seen me utter the term: ‘Life is 10% how are you affected and 90% how you will react to it” (although I now believe it’s a lot more 3% and 97%). I have personally discovered that once I learned to embrace unhealthy things that have happened if you ask me, and also to be grateful for them, it accelerated my growth exponentially.
As a young child, I used to curse the belief that life has not been fair and frequently felt sorry for myself. I think a huge reason I felt that way was because my mother passed on two days before my fourth birthday. Regardless of the cause, all feeling sorry for myself did was produce a bad situation even more difficult.
I eventually realized there were a positive side to losing my mom in a young age. It helped me a more sensitive and empathetic person and people traits serve me presently. I’m even grateful for all you people who bullied me or took benefit from me when I was down, for I would not have access to gained the dear skills or knowledge I have, otherwise. These experiences forced me to understand how to problem solve for a young age and think on my small feet. All of these traits and skills are vital on the work I do today.
In addition, I also suffered deep depression and anxiety after my mom died, but fighting those battles forced me to be a better person. Though it took for a long time than I would have liked, I like anybody I am today.
Having said all the, if I could choose, I would stop trying all of these benefits in a very second to possess my mother back even for a few days. But I can’t choose, so I have learned to experiment with the cards I have been dealt in the forward looking way.
It’s simple to fall into the trap of contemplating what would have or might have been. In my case it may be if my mother had lived. But those fantasies are loaded with inaccuracies while they envision an idealized version of anybody I am now, along with the reality is I may have became a completely different person. Perhaps even an entitled spoiled momma’s boy with almost no compassion, for those I know.
If you wish to accelerate your growth, learn to own gratitude for the things which you missed out on or that went wrong, as well as the things which went right, so when you choose to express it outwardly, practice it to enrich others to never receive any benefits on your own.