When we focus on gratitude for what we have, we open and awaken our minds. Gratitude boosts your power, just as if you had Marvel Comic’s Soul Gem.
Complaining is draining. Gratitude is power. The three ways gratitude boosts power are
- Gratitude Balances Expectations and Reality
- Gratitude is a Great Mindfulness Practice
- Gratitude Creates Abundance
The Happiness Infinity Gauntlet
This is an excerpt from my upcoming book The Happiness Infinity Gauntlet. Keep an eye out for posts placed throughout the blogiverse in which my most pure and powerful friend will protect the various Infinity Gems from the Mad Titan, Thanos.
Gratitude focuses our action towards abundance, so we work to explore, build, and give.
In contrast, complaining directs us to scarcity, causing us to dwell, tear down, and take? Where gratitude gives direction to our action, thus velocity towards what we want, complaining confines us to inaction and stagnation. All those differences are a direct result of where we focus our attention.
Gratitude is a Huge Part of Spirituality
Gratitude in Christianity
Here’s a verse from the Bible.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thess 5:16-18
Gratitude in Judaism
One from the daily Jewish Amidah:
“We will give thanks to You and recount Your praise, evening, morning and noon…”
– from The Amidah
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Gratitude in Islam
From the Quran:
“My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.”
Gratitude in Buddhism
And from Buddha
“You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.”
Although, from what I read on the Internet, that might not be a legitimate Buddha quote. I did research it, and I think it’s pretty close.
Buddhism isn’t a religion, but it is a philosophy more and more are adapting.
Gratitude in Stoicism
From Marcus Aurelius’ Mediations.
“Pass through this brief patch of time in harmony with nature, and come to your final resting place gracefully, just as a ripened olive might drop, praising the earth that nourished it and grateful to the tree that gave it growth.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.48.2
Like Buddhism, Stoicism is a philosophy rather than a religion. Still, for a group that gets a reputation for being detached and unemotional, they wrote about and practiced gratitude frequently.
If I left out anyone, please leave a comment below with a verse about gratitude.
Yes, it’s an official holiday. It’s coming up, so I need to post about it.
The original Thanksgiving feast in 1621. Half the people who originally arrived on the Mayflower had died from the journeys and harsh conditions.
Even after losing half their family and friends, they decided to celebrate and give thanks for a successful harvest that November. They even invited their new neighbors. (Let’s not go into the details here of how said neighbors were later treated.)
They knew then–way before Instagram memes–that gratitude boosts your power. Those American settlers understood the power of being thankful for what they had rather than dwelling on what they had lost.
They Agree That Gratitude Boosts Your Power
Even back before Pinterest and Instagram, the organized religions, spiritual leaders, and philosophers understood the power of gratitude.
1. Gratitude Balances Expectations and Reality
Gratitude helps you raise the quality of your reality to a level that equals or exceeds your expectations.
The closer our reality gets to our expectations (or exceeds it), the happier we are. Everything being as it is, we can determine our level of happiness with our focus.
Focusing on what we have, on what we can be thankful for, improves our reality compared to our expectations.
Focusing on what we don’t have renders our reality less ideal.
Reality isn’t really real. We affect it. Focus shapes reality.
2. Gratitude is a Great Mindfulness Practice
Practicing gratitude positions you now where you are grateful for the present rather than dreading the future or regretting the past.
Write a Thankful list. Meditate on writing the list.
As a kid in school, I got in trouble for fighting. It was in the 70s when parents didn’t care if their kids got hurt. And I was just defending myself. I’m certain of that. I had to write on the chalkboard 100 times, “I will not fight at school.”
It worked! After writing those lines that day, I only ever fought after school.
Write Thankful lines. That will help keep you in the moment and focused on gratitude, thankful for reality instead of frustrated by expectations.
Use it as a meditation practice. Pick one to three items you’re thankful for. Sit quietly and repeat them several times.
It’s not brainwashing or hypnosis. It’s just practice directing your thoughts.
Mindfulness helps you avoid reactivity. You can respond better to challenges instead of reacting poorly, giving you the power to make better decisions.
By helping you remain mindful and responsive instead of reactive, gratitude boosts your power.
3. Gratitude Creates Abundance
Be thankful for what you have, for the abundance of your blessings, you’re freed from dread and regret and free to focus on and work toward creating more.
That sounds like a Bible verse. If you’re able to read this post, then you’re one of the wealthier people in the world.
If we have all this to be thankful for, imagine what else we could create.
Or we could focus on what we don’t have and how hard or impossible it is to get what we want out of life.
Neither of those options is more real than the other, gratitude or complaining, abundance or scarcity. It’s our focus that gives or drains our power and happiness.
“If we have all this to be thankful for, imagine what else we could create.”
Let’s Practice Now
Use the comments below. Tell us three things for which you’re thankful.
What are 3 things that you’re thankful for?
- Practicing gratitude increases positive emotions, reduces depression, improves relationships, and builds resilience. Here are 3 powerful ways to become more grateful.
- Here’s why you should appreciate Gift Wrapping.
- So many of our diversions–the ones that form habits–are to escape reality. We should practice presence and live in the moment instead of trying to escape the moment.