There are a lot of people around the world that believe gratitude is a key ingredient to living a full life. I could easily fill this blog with profound quotes about the value of gratitude from people you probably have heard of and respect. Having gratitude is something to be grateful for. Many people feel genuine thankfulness for much of what life has to offer. Some people know that gratitude is important, but have difficulty cultivating a true appreciation of the life they have. They may talk about being grateful but don’t really have a felt sense of it. They talk it but aren’t able to fully walk it.
There are people who seem to be naturally grateful and thankful and demonstrate their appreciation on a regular basis. Those lucky people tend to feel a level of satisfaction with their life even if not everything is the way they would like it to be. But, come on, no one gets things to be just the way they want them to be. We may have moments when everything falls in place and we glow with a fullness and appreciation for life. Celebrate those moments, cause, we know, they don’t last.
Learning how to take the time to acknowledge the things in your life that please you, requires effort and patience. Some time ago Erich Fromm, PhD wrote The Art of Loving. It was his contention that love takes work. So does gratitude. We all know if you want to get from point A to point B you are going to have to do something. If you want to build your gratitude muscle you are going to have to work it out. Instead of just going from one thing to the other all day, take time to look around you and acknowledge those things that touch you and please you. Allow yourself to dwell on these things. See if you can do that throughout the day. It doesn’t have to take long, but give yourself permission to take some time outs during the day to appreciate the moment and maybe even those that share it with you. It rarely hurts to tell someone you are enjoying their company. You can even tell yourself that you are enjoying how you are living right in this moment.
Remember these three words: be here now. Whenever you can, take some time to not think about the future or the past and just be here now.