Personal Growth & Development

The Gratitude Principle…a Choice You Make

Are you looking for a path to elevate your physical, financial, relational, mental, and emotional capabilities? How about gaining a higher level of control over your environment, personal growth, purpose in life, and self-acceptance? And living each day with more happiness and a lower level of stress? The answer may surprise you. It is the attitude of gratitude.  

So, what is gratitude? Dan Sullivan, founder and president of The Strategic Coach, offers the following definition: “Gratitude is an internally generated capability that allows an individual to create and discover unlimited meaning and value in every situation and relationship in life.”

Simply put, gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research shows the surprising life improvements that stem from your attitude of gratitude. Giving thanks makes you more resilient, improves your health, reduces stress, and strengthens relationships.  

Author Angeles Arrien wrote, “Gratitude is a feeling that spontaneously emerges from within. However, it is not simply an emotional response; it is also a choice you make.” 

Arrien suggests four ways to express gratitude: 

  1. Recognize the good in your life 
  2. Accumulate and learn from the experiences of growth and change 
  3. Exhibit kindness, compassion, and forgiveness in work and your personal life 
  4. Safeguard your family, yourself, your business, your employees, and your clients’ businesses 

Research Shows that Gratitude Heightens Quality of Life.  

Psychological research evidences that daily gratitude exercises result in higher recorded levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. In addition, people who practice daily gratitude experience less depression and stress, are more likely to help others, exercise more regularly, and make greater progress toward achieving goals. Furthermore, those who live with an attitude of gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have stronger immune systems, and have stronger relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude.

The Gratitude Principle 

In the book, The Gratitude Principle, Dan Sullivan states “We all love the grateful person, especially if he or she is talented and successful. The grateful individual is deeply appreciated and people go out of their way to assist their progress because there is something happy and special about them. Conversely, we quickly take a disliking to the person who shows no gratitude for the opportunities, advantages, and support others have provided. We want to put obstacles in their way.”  

The Gratitude Principle is simple and basic. You can achieve endless progress and success in your life as long as you are increasingly grateful each step along the way. On the other hand, lack of gratitude (ungratefulness) is one of the biggest obstacles toward personal progress.  

Sadly, many people in today’s society, both rich and poor, feel sorry for themselves. They look around and see others getting ahead of them. When they self-reflect, it seems like they have nothing. And, as life moves forward, they find it more and more difficult to improve their situation. Why? They have no attitude of gratitude.  

Unlike many human skills, The Gratitude Principle can be learned and mastered. The skill can be acquired at any age. It is never too late to fully train and develop gratitude.  

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