By Tapiwa Mhlanga
“A grateful heart is the beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, contentment, happiness, love and wellbeing.”
-James E Faust
Ever found yourself wishing you had this and that or you were more like so and so? As women we are constantly searching for more in our lives. But what happens when your desire to succeed overshadows your appreciation of what you already have? Gratitude is like a charming gardener, it makes our souls blossom. Without it, our souls wither.
Every so often, we tend to forget that real happiness doesn’t come from acquiring new things, but rather from recognizing and appreciating what we already have. Yes, it’s absolutely OK to desire and strive for better but never let this drive dwarf the importance of appreciating what you currently have. The secret to having it all is knowing you already do.
Do you remember when you wanted what you currently have? …No? … I thought so.
I’ll admit it isn’t all that easy to be thankful especially in difficult situations. When faced with problems, our minds tend to focus on the negative rather than solving that problem. Despite being faced with problems, it’s still necessary to focus on the good that’s happening in your life. Don’t consume your mind with negativity. Instead, focus on the positive and deal with the negative. We need to look beyond our desires to the essence of who we are. Our identity is not defined by our possessions and neither should our lives. Gratitude is the attitude that gives us fortitude to overcome our darkest hour.
Want to be happy? Be grateful. Gratefulness births happiness. An excellent way to attract happiness is to act as if you already have what you want. Gratitude is the antidote to fear and anger. It’s the cleanser of the soul. A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U. is an eight digit code that opens the door to more blessings. Be grateful for small things, big things and everything in between. No beauty shines better than that of a grateful heart. Go on; share that positive energy with everyone you interact with.
Here are stunningly simple exercises that can have profound effects on your well-being and your outlook on life.
• Mention 3 things you are grateful for every morning (don’t make any repetitions)
• Keep a gratitude journal – jot down 3 things your grateful for daily (don’t make any repetitions)
• Keep a gratitude jar – Think of at least three things throughout your day that you are grateful for. It can be something as benign as a coffee at your favourite coffee shop, or as grand as the love of your significant other or dear friend. Do this every day, write down what you are grateful for on little slips of paper and fill the jar.
Over time, you will find that you have a jar/ journal full of a myriad of reasons to be thankful for what you have and enjoy the life you are living. If you are ever feeling down and need a quick pick-me-up, take a few notes out of the jar or read a few lines from your journal to remind yourself of what is good in your life. We need to look beyond our desires to the essence of who we are. Our identity is not defined by our possessions and neither should our lives. Remember, ‘’Gratitude is wine to the soul. Go on and get tipsy!’’