Focusing on Gratitude

This post has been revamped from a previous post that I contributed on A Beautiful Exchange in order to share this message with all of you.

Grateful, I have Everything I need

In a society where success is often measured in cars, houses, jobs and wealth, it is becoming increasingly common to lose ourselves in our quest for glory. We become so focused on trying to ascend the professional ladder and building the perfect life that we lose sight of all the little things that once brought us joy. Date night, snuggles with your fur babies and drinks with your friends become things of the past. Who has time for all of that when you’re on the path to greatness?

Our vision becomes warped by the images of perfection implanted in our minds, while our lives become stressed by the desire to turn those visions into reality. We want a Pinterest perfect home filled with all the things – TVs, laptops, iPads, etc. We want to be world travelers jet setting across the globe. And we want a picture perfect wardrobe to cover that awesome body we’re working towards. But what if we already have everything we need? What if the secret to our happiness is just realizing what is right in front of us?

Gratitude, Appreciation

Sitting here, in my sparsely decorated home that is the epitome of a Pinterest before photo, I have everything I need. And so do you. For that, we should be grateful.

Making time to remember all the things we already have can help us find peace, love and acceptance for the life that we are already living. So let’s tune out all of our desires and wants for a moment and take some time to focus on gratitude.

How to focus on gratitude:

1. Breathe.

When life’s stresses are bringing you down, hit the pause button. Take a walk around the office or neighborhood. And just remember to breathe. This will help you clear your mind allowing you to refocus your thoughts.

2. Refocus.

Refocus your thoughts onto everything you have – family, health, home, strength, faith, etc. Remembering all the wonderful people and things you already have in your life will remind you that things are actually pretty good.

3. Write a list of everything you’re grateful for.

Take the time to create a list of all the things you are thankful for. When you feel stressed by the need to succeed, pull out this list and read it. By the end, your struggles for glory won’t seem so important.

4. Remember there are many kinds of success.

Success doesn’t have to mean having a large home with the perfect job and family. Success can be learning to compromise with your spouse, perfecting your patience with your children, nailing that Pinterest craft or making someone smile. So remember to appreciate all your little daily successes, big and small.

5. Just repeat, “I have everything I need.”

When all else fails, look in the mirror and repeat, “I have everything I need.” These 5 words will help you remember that your life is already meeting your needs. Everything else is just extra.

What are you grateful for? And what tips do you have for focusing on gratitude?

 

  • PREACH! I love this… and it is sooooo true! I am terribly guilty of sometimes feeling like I need things because society tells me that I “should” have them… People think that because I’m a lawyer, I am supposed to live in some immaculate home and take amazing vacations… And I know young lawyers who do — but they are doing it on family money or are racking up extra debt, things that Adam and I either don’t have or refuse to do!

    But the moments I appreciate most in life are free. I recall one night driving with Adam to some stupid errand at nighttime. It was summer and there was cool breeze on the air. He opened the sun roof to his year 2000 car that makes a clunking sound and we rolled down the windows and just sang and laughed together.. That moment was priceless and it embodies everything I have to be thankful for: love, life, and laughter!

    Thank you for this powerful reminder of that!

    -Kate
    http://www.theflorkens.com

    • Oh, yes! Taking on more debt is definitely not something anyone should do. People do way too much of that already.

      And it’s moments like the one you described that are most precious. Years later when we look back, it’s not going to be all the stuff we had that we remember. It will be all those little moments. 🙂

  • Love this!!! I have been trying harder to focus on all the little things in life that I sometimes take for granted. They aren’t so little for people that don’t have them.Also, I love looking up at the stars at night, watching a sunset, standing near the ocean, seeing a chipmunk in the grass on my walk into my office.

    • You make a great point! All those little things may be huge things to someone else. 🙂 Lately, I’ve been enjoying laying out on the hammock enjoying the nice Texas Spring weather. 🙂

  • Wow nicely written piece! So true…living in the moment is something I’ve been trying to focus more on this year. Worry less about what is next or planning for the next thing but enjoying what I’m doing in the moment. I’ve very grateful for the life I have, and finding my husband and the life we have together. I could not have created a better match 🙂

    • Thank you so much! 🙂 I’m so glad that you’re taking the time to live in the moment. It’s so nice to look around and appreciate all the amazing things we have right now, especially when you have such a great person to share it with.

  • I love this. Everything about it. So easy to forget sometimes, but so important to remember that we have Enough.

  • What a great post every single one of those tips are perfect especially the first one. I have to do that many times a day 🙂

    • Oh, yes! I always have to remember to just pause and take a breath, especially on those crazy days. 🙂

  • It is so easy to focus on the negative and not on gratitude. Love your perspective here!

  • Considerer

    Ahhhhhh this is right up my street, and I’m glad you’ve come to such a robust conclusion about gratitude and its absolute necessity in life.

    As to your lists – YES! Definitely: my way is to run the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop (each weekend, all weekend) and list my ten, then spend time reading other peoples’ Tens, and sharing in all the triumphs and joys and (the best ones) lists when life SUCKS but there are still things to be grateful for 🙂

    • That sounds like an awesome blog hop. It’s wonderful to focus on and promote positivity! I’ll definitely have to participate in your hop. 🙂

      • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we’re live 🙂

  • Great post! It’s so important to remember to be gracious in life and to take things one step at a time.