Do you ever think, “I was never born with confidence, its just not in the cards I have been dealt,” or “I was always fairly unhappy most of my life.” Depressing start I know, however, did you know you can actually change that relatively quick? Being happy and confident can actually be taught? We are going to learn how to be more grateful.
The top characteristic that I have learned that sky-rocketed my mentality, networking, relationship-building, anything, is by far:
Being more grateful is by far the “secret sauce” in terms of networking and it may not be the reason you think. I understand it may be too vague or philosophical, but reminder this site is about being extremely practical.
The reason this characteristic is so valuable is due to the simple reason:
No one does it!
Complete mood changer
Has your entire mood turned around due to a simple thank you for being you text? Yes, yes it has. Simply showing gratitude for an invite to lunch, or someone sending you a funny meme. Which you should DEFINITELY show gratitude for that.
You will be amazed how much a few simple words of gratitude will change your day. Even walking around here in Hollywood, there are plenty of homeless people and I do help them out when I can, however, I am so grateful with the hand I have been dealt.
Nonetheless, I have plenty of bad days where I am very reactive and let emotions take over. Through this practice you will notice that you will be extremely aware of your emotions.
Now, I would like to mention that you do need to practice
gratitude at all times, no matter the context. If you are having a shitty day,
getting fired, family member is ill, or just one of those days where nothing
going your way, you need to remind yourself that, thank you for waking up
today, even if you don’t believe it.
It’s easy to be grateful when everything is going well and your happy, the ones who are truly grateful can identify it’s a bad day, but you are still alive and have a roof over your head. That’s where I want you to be.
But if this site is strictly about practicality, how do we practically practice gratitude other than saying, “oh, thanks?”
Let’s talk about it.
As a reference to my post about watching the words you say, gratitude can actually be ingrained into one’s subconscious very similar to that introduction post. You will notice that your mind will start to be more at ease and you will be genuinely happy.
Unfortunately, there is no actual metric that once you reach it, you are done. That is why it is referred to as a “practice,” you are always practicing and never done. DO NOT let this discourage you however, your subconscious will eventually grab it and you will inherently begin to say thank you, even if it doesn’t make any sense, just like a true Minnesotan!
“Enjoy the movie”
“Thank you, you too” – I have done this way too many times.
Also, side note, my roommate and I were walking to watch the basketball game and it was a blizzard. As we were walking to the gym, a bald guy came up to us and said, “Man, I wish I had hair!” Of course, what did I reply with? The only thing I knew what to say, “hahaha, same.” WHAT. I’m not bald.
Anyway, lets begin.
You will need to remind yourself to say thank you
Those bad days happen, I get it. Traffic, boss, a small breeze, I have been there. However, I truly believe that reminding yourself consistently over time how grateful you are, your subconscious will absorb it. You will notice that traffic will not nearly bother you, even if you live in a city like Los Angeles or New York.
Let’s think even more micro.
I mentioned a lot about gratitude affirmations in my meditation post here, this is a very small practical way to begin. If you consistently do short, 5 minute affirmations, your subconscious will being to repeat that to yourself and you will notice a huge difference in your mood. You can find these gratitude affirmations on YouTube or apps like headspace, calm, and insight timer (free!)
Second practical way.
Another great way other than saying, “thank you.” Is by respond by saying, “I am very grateful for what you did.” As you continuously say this, you will begin to believe it and it will come off very genuine (hopefully it is!) then it will become second nature as well. Which is a huge point of this blog, to form consistent, positive habits!
A more difficult way to practice gratitude but can yield amazing results.
This way is more difficult because it is harder to be consistent opposed to meditation and simply talking. It is having a gratitude journal and writing in it every day. Rather than speaking internally and saying, “thank you” or “I am grateful for today,” you would physically write similar affirmations in a journal. This way will produce more results because the act of writing will help internalize and retain everything that is being written.
A great metric to see your success
I know I mentioned above that there is no real metric to know once you have reached the end goal, however, there is a way you can ensure you are making progress. That way is a classic saying.
I am sure you know this and have been told this saying countless times: the grass ain’t always greener on the other side. It’s also a Chris Brown song. This saying is incredibly dense and can take a lifetime to fully understand. I am sure that gratitude affirmations will help you never have to experience the negative side of this saying.
The saying is quite self explanatory, it basically means that once you mow the lawn its obviously not as green as your neighbors. Just kidding, it actually means that once you get that expensive car, house, boat, anything, you will not be satisfied. Or, socially, you are finally hanging out with the cool people, but you realize that they are not nearly as fun as the crew that you left and I’m sure there are plenty of other explanations.
The beautiful thing about gratitude, is if you practice graditation (clever), that feeling will not happen consistently. If you are grateful and happy with what you have now, you will never experience the feeling of always wanting more and never be satisfied. Still be ambitious of course, but do not ever say, “ill be happy when.”
I have friends who make more money than I could imagine, but they are miserable, and my couch surfing friends are ecstatic about life. The saying is very true and if you follow these small practical steps, you will notice a huge change in your mentality which will then to a huge change in your life.
If you would like even more context on what I am saying, make sure to check out the book, “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It is extremely dense but will definitely give you some more philosophical tips on how to be more grateful.
Lastly, I would love to hear one area you are happy about. That could be your physique, career, or relationship. Post the one thing you are the most grateful about below!