The Art of Gratefulness

If you learn to appreciate more of what you already have, you’ll find yourself having more to appreciate.

The word appreciate has several meanings. One is to be thankful or show gratitude. Another is to raise or increase in value—such as how a good investment appreciates with time. I think that by appreciating—practicing gratefulness—the things we have and want in our lives also increase.

In our hectic, fast-paced lives, it’s easy to forget about the many things for which we have to be grateful. We tend to be goal-seeking, achievement-oriented people.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, it’s vitally important that we not lose sight of the things that are near and dear—things we all too easily take for granted.

What we focus on expands. If we focus on the problems in our lives, they tend to increase. If we focus on the good things we already have, they too, have a tendency to grow.

I see it as another form of prayer. When we worry and fret over things, we make them bigger than they really are, as well as attract more of the same. That’s negative prayer—prayer in reverse.

Focusing on what we HAVE and what we WANT “appreciates” these things—they grow.

Just before going to sleep each night, my wife and I share at least three things for which we're thankful. We call it doing our "Gratefuls". It takes only a few moments, but it directs our thoughts on the good—on the things we wish to increase in our life.

I suggest making the conscious consideration of your blessings a daily rather than yearly occurrence. If you do, you’ll find them taking on an even greater presence.

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