Thoughts: To Be Grateful

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Like it or not, the holidays are always a prompt to reflect on the theme of the day. New year’s for how to improve on yourself. Valentine’s Day for how to appreciate your loved one. Thanksgiving for how to be grateful.

I wrote a long journal entry today about gratitude and remembering how it can change everything. Failures become opportunities. Enemies become reflections. Ailments become reminders. Talent becomes empowering. Grievances become trivial. Gratitude is not something that comes naturally to everyone. It’s a habit some, including me, need to consciously practice. Without the conscious practice, it’s easy to focus on the woes of life rather than appreciate the many blessings each of us have.

I’ve had these themes in my mind for some years now, but there’s always insight to be had and room to grow. That’s really the beauty of life. We have so much to learn and discover. Our happiness can be based on something as simple as being able to wake up without pain everyday and to see the sun rise. It sounds cliche and saccharine, but it’s honestly true. From there, your life may know no bounds as you are no longer tied down by the invisible constraints of dissatisfaction and negativity. Because gratefulness does not mean contentedness. It means cognizance and humility and optimism, the things to give you the drive to make the most of everything in your life.

Here’s some quotes around this theme that I saved, and thought I’d share here:

I believe that if you don’t derive a deep sense of purpose from what you do, if you don’t come radiantly alive several times a day, if you don’t feel deeply grateful at the tremendous good fortune that has been bestowed on you, then you are wasting your life. And life is too short to waste.
— Srikumar Rao
A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.
— James E. Faust
“This is the true joy in life — being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one… being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.
Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.”
— George Bernard Shaw

 

Happy Thanksgiving
-MC

 

 

 

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