the power of gratitude
I had an interesting discussion with a client the other day about happiness.
“how is happiness possible when things can’t be changed?” he asked. “If I am depending on what others do, or the fact if I get sick, I won’t be happy anymore.” He stated.
Well, it’s true that if you can’t control it, it might still affect your wellbeing. If you get sick, you get sick. What ever sickness that may be. A cold may not be a big of a deal, but there are worse illnesses out there that can really affect your life.
The answer is simple and goes for anything you get confronted with you can’t control.
It is about what you still can do.
And that starts with your thinking.
The moment I thought of myself as someone who isn’t ‘good with women’, how many women do you think I would’ve approached in a bar on a nights out? Right. Non.
The funny thing is that the moment that I learned this, and was able to make a shift in the way I thought, all of a sudden did had the courage to talk to strange women in bars.
Thoughts create actions.
So, going back to my client asking how you can be happy is something bad happens to you?
The answer lies in our thinking. Is it possible to think differently about what is causing the shit situation? The simple question is yes. Now that doesn’t mean it is easy to do, but the solution is still simple.
Our brain is wired to protect us against danger. So being sick is a real threat to our survival. So the automated processes in your brain are steered towards how to solve this danger. And because of that, the train of thought can spiral you down in repeating worry.
The best solutions for this is following this principle:
If you can change it, don’t worry. If you can’t change it, don’t worry.
You can’t change what you can’t change. So it is no use to worry because that’s not going to fix it. Can you change the situation? Than change it, so you don’t have to worry.
But even if you Can’t change the situation, change the thinking.
And one way to do that is to practice gratitude. You can’t worry and be grateful at the same time. So chose grateful. When you feel grateful, you don’t worry. You’re not scared. You’re not in a negative mindset, because you are grateful.
And being grateful can be about a lot of things. If it’s not your health, than maybe your friends. The roof over your head. The food you’re eating. The work you do. The sun that is showing you a pallet of colours at its setting. The fresh air you breath. ANYTHING.
And that is how you still can be happy, even though times are tough.
Now does it mean you’ll never worry again? Probably not. Our mind is very good at worrying. But train this every day. When you get up, think first what you’re grateful for that moment. And when going to bed, again.
Once I started doing this, my life changed. I see more beauty in life than ever before. I can now even be grateful for the bad things that do happen in my life that I can’t control.
It’s not easy, but it is this simple.
So let me know in the comments what you’re grateful for that happened today in your life? I’ll share mine in the comments too.
About the Author
Maurice is the founder of Master Your Personality and originator of the concept of "The 5 Sources of Happiness". He coaches and trains people on how to take control in their happiness, find the love of your life and stage performance like public speaking and acting.