Can we look at gratitude differently?

Dr. Purushothaman
October 18, 2013

We hear a lot about gratitude these days. We are encouraged to list the things that we are thankful for. In fact Matthew Ashdown and Brad Morris, the GratiDudes, created a "Gratitude dance". This is great! The world needs more people with an attitude of gratitude.

But what if there is more to gratitude than being thankful for the positive things in my life? When I first think of gratitude, I think about being thankful for the things or people that I already have in my life.

But can I be thankful for my challenges? Can I be grateful for my failures? Can I be thankful for people who have the things that I desire? In other words, can I thank God for people that I envy?

Now you tell me that I should be thankful instead envying others. "That seems impossible, I can't do that," you state. But, let's ponder what this involves.

Imagine that you are a consultant in a network marketing company. You've tried to achieve a certain level of success in the business, but you haven't reached your goal yet. You are envious of those people who have reached the level of success that you want. You compare yourself to them and always come up short.

What if you had a different perspective on the situation? What if you no longer saw your colleagues as competition but considered them as an example of what is possible in the business?

What if you were thankful for the example that they demonstrate? What if instead you praised them and asked them how they achieved their success? You began to treat them like allies and compatriots instead of competitors.

Also, can you be thankful for the challenges you experience or your failures? Are you learning and growing from these experiences? How has this experience transformed you? Have you grown as a result?

How can you take action in both areas? Are you envious of anyone in your life - a business associate, a friend, a colleague? Make a list and indicate why you envy them. What can you learn from them about business or relationships?

Thank God for them. Do something concrete to demonstrate your change in attitude. For example you could email them congratulations on their success. You could also ask them for tips on how to build your business.

Is there a challenge or failure that you have been condemning yourself for? Take a different look at the situation. Ask yourself, "What am I learning from this situation?" What are your successes in the situation? What did you do well? What could you improve? Journal about this situation and choose to be thankful.

As you are thankful for your challenges and the people you envy, your energy will shift. As your energy changes, you are freed to discover creative solutions to your problems.

You will achieve the success you desire. Your attitude of gratitude leads to your success.

Read Related Recent Articles