Thanksgiving week always brings about talk of what we’re thankful for in our lives.
Of course there are the basic answers like family, friends, food, a place to live, indoor toilets and any opportunity to eat massive amounts of pizza from NY.
The other day, as I tried to go beyond my usual list of things I’m grateful for, my thoughts turned into a question…
What are the results of being grateful vs. the results of being ungrateful? What are the different “side effects” or manifestations that occur on a physical, emotional and a cognitive level?
To clarify, when I say “ungrateful” I mean active complaining or ingratitude — in other words being negative.
“What you are thinking about, you are becoming.”
– Muhammad Ali
When we’re being ungrateful, we’re keeping in mind something that we’re not happy about — something negative, unwanted, bothersome or just plain annoying.
In this state of being, we get stuck in the mucky-muck of negativity. We use our energy dwelling on something we’re unhappy about instead of using that same energy to find solutions. And in doing so we help solidify what we’d really like to change.
When we’re grateful, the outcome is very different. We’re being positive, freeing up & refreshing our energy to move forward instead of holding ourselves back. Sure, there may be things we’re not happy about, but when we’re focusing on something positive, we’re letting go of being negative about something else.
I’m not saying to pretend to be grateful for something that just plain sucks. But why not think about something that doesn’t suck? Why not make a plan to make that particular issue less sucky, instead of just dwelling on it? Are humans so driven to misery that we can’t do this simple thing?
Muhammad Ali said it so beautifully. What we think leads to what we speak. What we speak leads to how we act, and in turn the reality we create.
There was a time when I was so unhappy with my job that I became physically ill and almost died. I was so ungrateful for everything good in my life that my personality became very negative, my soul spiritless. And in turn my body started failing me (I had Crohn’s Disease).
Getting sick turned out to be one the greatest gifts of my life. It woke me up (which was my body’s intention in the first place) and empowered me to make the changes I needed to make.
Although I am aware of the benefits of being grateful, that doesn’t mean I always am. It’s a constant battle to remain mindful about my thoughts (no pun intended).
I’d like to leave off with a question:
Can you allow yourself to be greatness? I’m not talking about ego here, but the greatness that comes with being grateful, positive and true to who you really are.
Anything is possible. The simple choice of being grateful just might change your life.
And remember, you are not alone…
– The Road to Nowhere: It’s Not Too Late to Recreate Your Reality
– The Magic Quarter: Creating Your Own Reality
– Anything is Possible
– Out of Energy. Out of Time. Out of Luck?
– Can You Let Go of the Need for Control? The Sedona Method, Part 3