Monday, May 23, 2011

Gratitude 101

Yesterday I got an email telling me the boy scout and the group working on his Eagle Project had just about finished and the project was looking very good.  This is good news and, of course, I will write a letter of thanks to this scout and copy his scout master.  I am grateful for the good work and the good news.  Of course.  I'm a nice person.  This is what nice people do.  Right?...  Right.

Grateful people do more than this.  A grateful person will hit reply-all on the email and thank the person sending the good news out to everyone.  A grateful person won't wait a week, or a day, or even an hour.  A person with true gratitude in their hearts will reply to this email IMMEDIATELY.  And, then sit down and get that thank you note out RIGHT AWAY.  Because, you can't say thank you too fast or too often.  It's a great way to be and I want to be this way.

I'm learning lessons in gratitude.  I wonder why this is such a challenge for me.  Well, it's not really a challenge, it's just not something I think to show IMMEDIATELY.  And, I've learned it is best to show gratitude immediately.  Don't get me wrong.  I say "thank you" when someone opens the door for me, pays for my lunch (haha), does me a favor.  I wasn't born in a barn.  Really.  Gratitude is more than saying "thank you."  Gratitude is a way of being.  You must have an Attitude of Gratitude.  This is something that can be developed.  This attitude of gratitude takes time and work.  I think some of us develop this attitude at an early age and God bless them.  They are so nice to be around.  Some never develop it.  We all know some individuals that exhibit a sense of entitlement.  It isn't attractive.

I am a person without a strong attitude of gratitude.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say I don't think I consider myself entitled, but I do have an unfortunate attitude of "if it's your job to do it, don't expect me to heap praise on you."  This is an unattractive quality.  See, you're getting to know me better every day.!.

So, how does one develop this gracious spirit?  I stumbled across some bloggers I LOVE and they had lists of items.  I mean these lists were in the four and five HUNDREDS.  LOTS of items in the list.  One day I asked what the list was and was told they were gratitude lists.  They got the idea from a book.  I need to read this book.  But, until then I've started the gratitude list.  I wanted to add to it every day, but I haven't.  And, the reason I haven't is because I don't look for the things I'm grateful for in my day to day life.  And I should.  There are TONS of things I'm grateful for.

Also, when one finds oneself sinking into the negative.  Alert!  Alert!  Alert!  This is a red flag.  You are not being grateful.  The focus is off.  You can pull out of this nose dive.  This is where a gratitude list will come in handy.  Think of four or five things you are grateful for.  Maybe a post-it on my computer screen would help at the office?  Maybe a note in the bathroom would help at home?  Until it becomes my nature, I have to use any tools I can find.

I must not compare myself, my husband, my son, my home, my job, anything... with anyone else.  This comparison does NOT lead me to an attitude of gratitude.  This leads to covetousness or jealousy or despair or fear.  Not to gratitude.  Being in my moment.  Living where I am, right now.  This leads to gratitude.

I'm going to continue with my Gratitude List and download Ann Voskamp's book to my kindle and move forward in gratitude.

Photo credit


  1. nice...gratitude is a great attitude to build...and it takes work but there is so much we can be grateful for...great on the scout project!

  2. Glad you're starting your gratitude journey! 

  3. This is something that I have to work on, too.  Ann Voskamp has a great site.  Have you been there?

  4. Guess so; that's where the link goes!

  5. Someone told me that I had a gratitude blog, I just started doing it because I so admired Clare Grant's Three Beautiful Things blog.  When I started looking for the good and beautiful in my day, I realized how much of there is.  :)

    You seem positive to me - especially with a blog handle like Happygirl.

  6. So funny.  People who know me "in real life" say, "I wonder if your readers see the irony in your blog name and blog title?"  Happygirl and Being Happy are my goals.

  7. starting is easy, I find keeping it going to be more challenging.  But I read this post, dear bappyhappy, and sat down and wrote 405-414.  Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. i agree with joybird. . . getting started is easier than keeping it going.  but many days, it is the making myself sit, making myself be quiet, finding those little things along the way to be grateful for---that is what has changed me.  and helped me to see life from a different perspective.  a grateful heart will forever change your path--it is a worthy pursuit :-)


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