I was told as a kid "just be grateful", but no one told me why. No one showed me how or why. "Be grateful" sometimes just translates as "eat your vegetables", we know we should and we don't know why we should or how far reaching it goes. It wasn't until I was almost thirty that I was told that vegetables can literally change your DNA and help you become healthier.
It wasn't until I started being grateful that I understood the use of gratitude.
It always seemed so odd. It wasn't until I was almost thirty that I was told that vegetables can literally change your DNA and helps you become healthier. The same works with gratitude, it doesn't force you to be happy, but it "changes everything". The act of being grateful connects you to what you need for happiness.
A taproot is what happens when a seed sends OUT its roots. This is the way the seed will grow. Happiness is that seed. Gratitude only leans to being happier. I've never met a grateful person I would call unhappy. Likewise, I've never met a grateful person I'd call unhappy. They say things like "I know I should be grateful, but" and everything they say after that sounds like this: "I don't want to be happy".
I'm not saying life is about shoulder squaring, saying a few mantras and getting a move onto it and suddenly you're happy. No, just like that plant that's got its taproot, its going to go through winters, its going to face hardships, but as long as that root holds, it can hold on. You can hold on. There's a famous motivational speaker, he says: "Guard your Gratitudes". I have that written on my wall next to me. Why? Because circumstance won't make you happy. We all know that, we've all been in positions where we're having a bad time when we think we should. I mean, yesterday I took my kids on a train, let them play in leaves, supported and loved them. The first time my five year-old got told "no", he told me "you ruined my day". Guess what I said back, "just be grateful". Then I realized and I taught him. I showed him, I showed him by example. I said, "I'm grateful we got to go on the train" and I thanked him for coming with me several times throughout the day. That night, he thanked me. I am grateful for that.
To drive that point home, Paris Hilton, with a net worth of about 150 million dollars said, on live television stated "every bad thing that has ever happened to someone has happened to me". Now, I don't know what her life is or was like, but I know that that statement is wrong. It doesn't matter the circumstance, the taproot can keep us going.
I know that gratitude brings clarity. I know it can help you. I know that it can give you a sense of purpose and belonging. We'll talk more about gratitude and its effects in the next few blogs but know that just by saying simple gratitudes, you can enjoy more happiness and protect the happiness you already have.
John Shakin is a Motivational Speaker working in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He speaks on a variety of topics all focused on getting most out of what you already have. He is available for bookings at 252-207-7272.