“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
What can I say? Great minds think alike.
It would appear my idea of cultivating a heart of gratitude is not a new one. The concept has been talked about and analyzed over and over. And yet, it seems our world’s population has become more self absorbed than ever. It is the human condition.
The topic has been discussed as far back as ancient Greece, when Epicurus said, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Yes. It’s tough to be grateful when you are always pining for the next bignewgreatmusthave thing.
So, what’s the way out from this mess of whiny, unsatisfied, self-absorbed attitudes we carry with us?
The key word here is cultivate.
One definition of cultivate is to “try to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill).”
A heart of gratitude must be acquired. It is a conscious decision, yes. But can you wake up one day and decide to turn the moaning and complaining to thanksgiving and gratitude? You could. And then do it again the next day. And the next. And the next…. until you live a life of gratitude.
In her article for the Huffington Post, “7 Habits of Grateful People,” Lindsay Holmes outlines seven specific habits to work on in order to procure an existence filled with gratitude. That’s right. HABITS. Meaning, you do these things more than occasionally: journal, don’t avoid the negative, spend time with loved ones, mindfully use social media, know the value of the little things, volunteer, and get moving (exercise).
I feel grateful most of the time. But am I really living a life of contentment and gratitude? Probably not. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have many good consistent habits, especially not all seven on this list. It’s one reason I signed on for this Write31Days challenge, to at least get the habit of writing under my belt. Perhaps it’s also the reason God laid this topic on my heart.
Whew. I have a feeling this is going to be good for both of us.
Let’s explore those 7 habits together, shall we?
See you tomorrow ~
… Or am I grateful that I’m thankful?
Which brings up a point – WHAT is the difference?
The dictionary isn’t much help –
I mean, really – what are we to do with this?
Especially when we then look at this?
If THANKFUL and GRATEFUL are synonyms, then shall I just call it a day & forget about going deeper into this idea of cultivating a grateful heart over the next month?
No. Look closer.
We can have a thankful heart. We can have a grateful heart. They are similar, but I would say they are indeed different. There is a certain depth to gratitude that isn’t present in thankfulness. Call it semantics, but I think it’s more than that.
It would seem gratitude is a state of being, and thankfulness expresses that gratitude.
Gratitude is a feeling. Thankfulness is about expression.
I’m excited to explore this topic and go deeper. I’d love to know your thoughts ~
Do you think there is a difference between being grateful and being thankful?
I’ve been invited to participate in a 31 day writing journey this month.
This is no small thing. For me, 31 days of doing anything consistently is a stretch, especially writing. Ideas are not a problem, my brain is constantly overflowing with subjects to write about – it’s actually sitting down, fingers to keyboard I struggle with. Since my theme word for 2014 is DEEPER, it follows that I should be diving deeper into all aspects of life: my faith, my family, my recreation, my voiceover work, and yes, my writing.
So, here goes. For the 31 days of October, I’ll be exploring one topic: GRATITUDE. Let’s go deep into the subject of gratitude, and what it takes to cultivate a truly grateful heart while living day to day in a whiny, self-absorbed world. We will be learning together. I’m pretty sure it will be good for both of us.
Let’s connect on all things social media, and be challenged to change our minds and our hearts to live in purposeful gratitude. Subscribe to this blog, follow me on Twitter, watch for me on Instagram, and like my Facebook page. I’d love your comments, too – feedback is the kick in the pants every writer needs. Just sayin’
Look for these hashtags:
See you tomorrow!
Cultivating a Grateful Heart in a Whiny, Self-Absorbed World.
Welcome to 31 Days of Gratitude! For the month of October, I’ll be contributing to the Write 31 Days challenge introduced by a lovely blogger named Myquillyn over at Nesting Place. She’s the type of person you want to get to know over coffee. In her kitchen. Overlooking her barn. (To be fair, I have no idea if Myquillyn’s kitchen has a barn view, but still. A girl can dream, can’t she?)
Anyway it seemed like a good idea at the time, and I’m all about learning and growing.
Links to all 31 days will be posted here as the month progresses ~ Here we go!
Day 1: The Gratitude Journey Begins
Day 2: I’m Thankful to be Grateful?
Day 3: Cultivate the Habit of Being Grateful
Day 4: I’m a Journal Hoarder
Day 5: Bad Things Happen to Good People
Day 6: It’s the Little Things…
Day 7: Grateful for the Hard Times
Day 8: Just Stop It!