Gratitude doesn’t have to be big, or loud, like a parade, or the cymbals crashing together at the end of a marching band number. It can be small and muted, like a library. or the quiet car on Amtrak (which I can never understand how anybody can manage, like quiet talking–REALLY?!). It can be imperceptible to others, even. It can be itty bitty, like the perimeter of an ant.
The theory behind gratitude is simple. It’s just making yourself aware of the good in your life. It not only helps to keep you in the present, it also helps to keep you clean. That is, not allowing yourself to let privilege take over, to become a slave to our “I want, must have, need to get” culture, to live in a way that celebrates what you do have and disregards what you don’t have.
In hyper focusing on what we want vs. what we have, we lose what’s right in front of our faces. You live in a “future” life instead of a “right now” life. That’s not to say that being ambitious or wanting to excel, or become more is bad. It’s good, but only if along the way to your ultimate goals, you make sure you’re not blinded from all the positives you experience on the daily. Because it’s that awareness that keeps us in the day, that means we’re living the game in real time, that ensures we’re understanding our fortunes are many if we’re looking for them.
Gratitude is a mindset. It’s easy to feel, but only if you keep it front and center, only if you remind yourself that it’s as healthy as a serving of spinach, only if you make it like brushing your teeth. It’s ours for the taking. And it’s as limitless as air. Stop for the minute after reading this and ask yourself, “What am I grateful for today?” Share if you want, or just keep it inside to fuel you for the day.