The Power of Gratitude

“Always remember, it could be worse”

That’s a phrase I’ve become all too familiar with in the past 9 years. This statement brought clarity and a brighter outlook during a very dark time in my life. Often, we go through things and from our limited perspective we think we’ve met the worst that life has to offer. We selfishly ask “why me?” 

Have you ever wondered. “why not me?”. Probably not. 

It’s easy to take for granted the gifts of strength, perseverance, and resilience that comes only through overcoming difficulty. I remember when I complained about the things I didn’t have. It’s so easy to do, right? I didn’t see the beauty in simply being able to walk without help. I was completely free, and yet, I couldn’t see it. The same way a fish doesn’t see the water, until it’s trapped on dry land. 

When we fail to show appreciation for the things we’ve been given, life has a way of making us recognize what we have, and what’s really important. So, don’t get comfortable. Instead, build a wall around your comfort zone, and lock yourself OUT. When I could’ve locked myself inside the comfort of complaining even more about what I lacked, I learned through my experience that the comfort of complaining only creates more complaints.

See, we go through life chasing our desires like a dog chasing it’s tail. We dangle the proverbial carrot in front of our own eyes and when we catch it, there’s still no satisfaction. We have a false belief in the happiness we assume comes along with accomplishment. 

Only a very special few realize that true happiness comes when we’re grateful for the process. When we find reasons to give thanks on our journey, we learn to fully appreciate the ups, downs, lessons, and blessings. Let gratitude become your comfort, even in hardship, and you will create more opportunities to be grateful.

I challenge you to take a few minutes of each day to write down the things you are grateful for - from the least to the greatest. Once you have your list, imagine how your life would be without those things. This exercise will change your life by helping you to remain constantly mindful of all that you’ve been given.