Be Grateful and Enjoy the Benefits

Reading Level: Leisurely

Do you have a clear perspective of daily being grateful for the life you are now living—in spite of any unreached goals—and for what you already possess?  Or do you become easily disgruntled due to comparing your life and possessions with those of others’?

The other day I read an illustrated lesson for children on thankfulness in which the teacher had hidden various amounts of candy under the students’ chairs in the classroom. As the children came in and sat down, they settled in for the day’s lesson, content in their present circumstances, having nothing extra beyond that with which they entered the room. After the teacher announced that there was candy hidden under each chair, the students immediately became discontent upon discovering that the amounts of candy were not the same. The main points the teacher drew out for the students’ from that experience were:

1. Each student was content when he or she came in the classroom, having only the things that were already in their possession. They could have easily continued to be content by being grateful solely for what they already had.

2. When the students’ compared the varying amounts of candy they had received, they were immediately discontent; yet, each of them now possessed more than when they came in the room. Each of them could have felt appreciation for the fact that they had received a gift and had more than they did a few moments before.

When you start the comparison game between your life and the lives of others, you will frustrate your own ability to be grateful.

Though the above illustration seems humorous to us, as adults, we really are not much different than the children.

1. Once you start the comparison game, your ability to be grateful is greatly hindered. There is too much temptation to put emotional emphasis on not possessing what someone else owns.

2. Not only does comparison stifle appreciation for what you presently possess, but it often develops ingratitude for the future gifts you receive. One can end up subconsciously ignoring the love and spirit in which a gift was given all because it was not equal in material value to something someone else possesses.

Benefit your daily life with greater senses of happiness and fulfillment just by choosing a perspective that is grateful.

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Survey your present circumstances and make note of your appreciation for all the good you are now experiencing, regardless of any unreached dreams and goals.

Begin to expand your attitude of daily gratitude by making an actual, physical list of the people, situations, experiences, environment, and, yes, even possessions for which you are thankful. Use the list each morning and night for a few days until you are easily able to make mental notes of the various aspects of your life for which you are grateful without using the list.

Realizing the blessings you already have and actively feeling grateful for them frees you to exist in the present in a state of happiness as well as experience joy for each new gift that comes into your life! Enjoy your life now! Be happy now! Enjoy the benefits of being grateful!

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