How Gratitude Breeds Success
One of my favorite quotes goes something like this: “Your gratitude determines your attitude, and your attitude determines your altitude.” Time and again, people from all religions, non-religions and different walks of life have proven it true: positive thinking, or “gratitude” has power behind it. When we look around us we can continually find that people with positive attitudes get positive results, and people with negative attitudes get negative results. I believe so strongly in the power of gratitude and its connection with success that in my recent introduction of our Fruclassity Concept, we’ve labeled gratitude as commandment #8. So, how does a positive attitude, or more specifically, an “attitude of gratitude” help one breed success? Here are some factors that I believe help make the difference between failure and success for the person who chooses to be grateful.
Gratitude Expands One’s Thinking
When we choose to walk through life being grateful, we tend to view the world with different eyes. Instead of seeing doors closed, we see them with the potential to be open. Instead of seeing a project or goal as “too big to even try”, a grateful or positive attitude sees that it might be a big project, but it also sees potential ways around any roadblocks. Gratitude trains the mind to say “I can do it if I try” instead of “I can’t do it” because gratitude keeps in mind past successes, victories and challenges that it has overcome.
Gratitude is Encouraging
Gratitude, when done right, is like a having your own personal cheerleading team leading you to victory. Sometimes people are grateful in a fearful way. They’re so focused on the fact that they have more than they deserve that they spend much time being afraid to lose it. We see this with millionaires who hoard money and dumpster dive even though they’ve got a 7-digit bank account and a more-than-modest lifestyle. Fearful gratitude is not good, but true gratitude, where we accept and enjoy our success, encourages and takes the focus off of “me”, allowing us to focus on reaching our goals in a way that includes benefits not just for ourselves, but for those around us. True gratitude encourages you, and it helps you to encourage those around you.
Gratitude Improves Self-Esteem
One of my favorite Biblical proverbs reads “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” A lack of gratitude breeds low self-esteem. “My life sucks. Nothing ever goes right for me. I can never have/do/go blah, blah, blah.” On the other hand, the person who practices gratitude often finds that their self-esteem is high simply because true gratitude takes the focus off of themselves. When you spend your time being joyful and grateful for all that you have, you think more about how you can share your skills or gifts with others, or how you can use those skills and gifts to make a more quality life for yourself, than you spend worrying about losing what you have. I’m not talking about the accumulation of “stuff” here when I say a more quality life for yourself, I’m talking about learning what makes you and/or your family truly happy. True gratitude breeds a sense of self that allows for an objective view of your life and of where you want it to go.
If you haven’t already, try spending the next week being truly grateful for the things you have, the things you’ve done in life and the opportunities that lay before you. Try thinking of yourself in your heart as a success instead of as a failure. Once this gratitude mindset becomes a habit, you’ll likely find that success not only finds you, it chases after you.