An attitude that reflects thankfulness or gratitude does not originate with “things” on the outside.
Being grateful comes from the heart and is motivated by your view on life.
Mark, an 18-year-old student is given a car with a great deal of fanfare from the family. His response is disappointing to his family because this was the car he talked about, since he was 16, that he wanted. It was his dream car…they thought. He’s polite and thanks to his family but there is no enthusiasm in his voice.
Yes, he’s happy to have a car of his own, but the depth of gratitude is lacking. You see, he has access to his parents’ cars to drive whenever and wherever he desires. In fact, although this is a brand new car and the latest model, it’s a step down from those of his parents. His friends had come to expect him to drive a more expensive model car and he had failed to correct them when they assumed or implied that that was his car.
Bobby is an 18-year old whose family runs the local organic farm store. Bobby’s parents have been concerned that he has to get up so early in order to catch the school bus that takes him across town to the high school and he’s challenged every week to get to classes at the Junior College where he’s dual-enrolled.
He gets home pretty late four nights per week because he has to take the last bus to get home from his part-time job. Unknown to Bobby, his parents have been saving for a car for him.
With excitement in their voices, his parents and two younger sisters invite him to walk outside with them, opened the garage door and revealed his ‘new’ car. With unbridled joy on his face, he twirls his mother in the air and hugs his dad while repeating, “Thank You.” He tells his sisters to jump in as he was going to take them for s short ride.
Bobby received a 7-year old used car, in excellent condition, and to him, it was as if it just came off the new car lot. He was so grateful!
Both of these young men received something of value, but only one was motivated from the heart to show gratitude in its fullest sense.
Do you have to skip about and shout out to show gratitude? No, you do not. It’s all reflected in your attitude.
People who can live a life of ease can be missing this quality in their lives. People who are considered poor are often (not always) the most grateful. Perhaps this is because they make do with less, so that when they receive they show more appreciation.
Of course, there will always be exceptions to every rule.
Making it a Habit
Being grateful emits from recognizing the real value of people and things in your life. When you focus on the good, you cannot help but have a better attitude and experiences.
Make it a habit to focus on things that create a sense of gratitude in your heart.
Suze Orman summed it well when she said, “When you are grateful; when you can see what you have you unlock blessings to flow in your life.