The United States’ holiday Thanksgiving is coming up shortly. It’s a day when we express our thanks for the gifts we’ve been given, spend time with our families, watch American football, and eat ourselves into oblivion.
It’s also an opportunity for me to talk about how sincere gratitude can change your own life. Gratitude is so much more than just thankfulness. We can express our thanks for gifts and kindness from others, but that’s really just appreciation. Gratitude doesn’t require an exchange of anything. Gratitude is about filling yourself with gratefulness. Gratefulness for everything and for nothing.
It’s not about a 21-day challenge to express your thanks every day for the daily blessings of your life. Gratitude is an abiding sense of thankfulness for nothing at all.
It’s not about testifying in front of others with your appreciation. When we develop an abiding sense of gratitude, we let go of control and our desire for more things.
It’s not about listing your blessings. When we develop an abiding sense of gratitude, we confer blessings on others without an expectation of gratitude, nor even acknowledgment.
When we develop an abiding sense of gratitude, we receive without forgetting and giving without remembering.
When we develop an abiding sense of gratitude, we build connections with our fellow humans and start to get past the I and the me and get through to the us and the we.
How to Develop Sincere Gratitude
Gratitude is difficult. It’s not about remembering your manners and saying “Thank you” for the kindness of another, although manners are certainly important. It’s not about reflecting on your blessings, although that’s not a bad idea either. Gratitude is about letting go of competition, entitlements, and consumerism and replacing them with a focus on helping others have a better experience. Gratitude is about being present in the now. Gratitude is about giving of your time to help someone else have a better life. Gratitude is not about changing others, it’s about changing yourself. Gratitude is about being grateful for…nothing at all.