Personal Growth · Success Is

Success is: Practicing Gratitude

I’m a dreamer. And being a dreamer is good, but not when it takes away from your satisfaction in the right now of your life.

Sometimes I can get so caught up in the things I’m reaching for that I forget to practice gratitude for what I have. Essentially, I forget to live in the present.

I’ve had to consciously incorporate a practice of gratitude into my life. This is what that looks like for me.

1. I’m knowledgeable about the way people live around the world.

We live in such an affluent culture. It’s easy to look around me and think, “I’m poor”. In fact, I used to say that to people. But now I know if I have a place to sleep at night and food to eat, I’m actually incredibly wealthy.

2. I cultivate an attitude of enough.

Or wealth. Or abundance. Whatever buzzword you want to call it, really. Since I have a place to sleep and food in my stomach, everything else is like winning a prize. “Look at this money I have to pay this mechanic bill! We have heat in our home and we can afford to turn it on! Omg look I have a washer and dryer!”

I used to have this ongoing anxiety of not enough, like the world owed me something. Then I finally figured out enough was whatever I said it was.

3. I try to extend that attitude of enough to people around me.

When I had constant anxiety over never having enough, it sort of seeped out like a gross chemical leak into my relationships. Nothing anyone could do for me was enough. It’s a super easy way to kill your happiness and the happiness of people around you, and I don’t recommend it.

Now, I have the idea in my head that no one owes me anything, so when my husband does a few chores or a barista fixes a problem without asking me, I’m just grateful.

4. I write letters. (This is super fun.)

Around the full moon I write thank you letters to people who’ve impacted my day to day living. Some recent recipients have been Sarah Bessey, Alexandra Franzen, Beth Maiden, and the President.

The point of these letters is to express gratitude and hopefully offer encouragement, no strings attached, but it’s super fun when they write back!

 

How do you practice gratitude? Is there another practice you use to keep you grounded in the present?

 

Read the rest of the Success Is series here:

Success is…

Knowing My Priorities

Directing How My Time is Spent

Making My Creative Life a Priority

Investing in My Spouse

A Balanced, Fulfilling Work Life

Knowing Myself

Constantly Learning

Managing Money Well

Good Family Relationships

Pursuing Spiritual Meaning

Practicing Gratitude

Nurturing Dreams for the Future

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14 thoughts on “Success is: Practicing Gratitude

    1. It’s been a good practice for me! And it’s a good reminder that even, say, my favorite author is part of the human race too. Somehow I forget that until she answers my email.

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