Thursday, August 11, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Power of gratitude

We live in a time when we have more possessions, more opportunity and more alternatives than ever before. Just a few decades a go, people would have been awestruck by the prosperity that we have. Despite all this, people seem more stress out and unhappier than ever.

There really is no reason for people to be so discontent. For the most part, we get our basic needs covered and have steadily gained more freedom to express ourselves in our work and leisure time. If anything, we should be happier than ever.

In Norway we have a saying that goes "Excess wants more". It basically means that when we have a lot, we tend to want even more. Instead of cherishing what we have, we constantly push for more. It is stressful and makes us unhappy. It's time to do something about it.

 There is a magic bullet that can help you instantly break out of this kind of mindset: gratitude. Every single one of us have countless reasons to be grateful. Most of the time we don't think about these things, instead we focus on the things we wish were different, what we want to have more of, thing we want to improve.

There is nothing wrong with trying to better oneself or ones lot in life. There is however something wrong with being so obsessed with everything that can be better that we lose sight of all the things we have that are great.

The best way I know to stay in touch with all my blessings is to start the day off with a gratitude session. I usually do this on my way to work. It simply go through all the things in my life that I am grateful for and make sure I feel truly grateful for them. A simple exercise like this makes it virtually impossible to get a bad start to the day. Instead of starting the day off angry about not getting to sleep longer, or how terrible traffic is or the latest upsetting morning news, I start my day of in a great mood feeling grateful for the many blessings in my life.

The best part of starting the day of this way is that over time you condition your mind to always seek out things you are grateful for. When you feel yourself starting to be negative and feel down about something or someone make it a point to switch your thinking to something you are grateful for. You will find that focusing on the things you already have will make you a lot happier than thinking about all that you don't have.

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  1. Håvard, I love your blog! Thanks for your words of wisdom. I really like the Norwegian saying "Excess wants more." It is so true of America. We always want to be more successful, have more money, have more power, be more popular, have more friends, have more possessions, more, more, more! But then we forget to be thankful for what we have. It is like the saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side." Or the biblical warning to not covet your neighbor's wife (or anything else your neighbor has). There will always be people out there more successful than you who make more money and seem happier. Or at least they should be happier right? Maybe more does not always equal happier after all. Thanks for reminding us of this fact. :)

  1. @Brian Groven Thank you for your kind comment. I am very happy you found my writing interesting.

    I am working on a post about not comparing yourself to other people. That means not comparing your life to people you think are more successful, but also just as important. To not look down on people you consider less successful than yourself. Happiness and fulfilment is found within yourself, not in comparing yourself with others.

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