Habits of Happiness 1 – Gratitude

From our e-book “Filling our Life with Celebration”

GratitudeGratitude is perhaps the one habit that can bring immediate positive effects to us. I call it a habit because it must be develop over time. It is useless to say that we will be grateful for all that we have from this day onward. In a day or two, we will probably go back to our old habits of craving for what we do not have.

Gratitude is an antidote for craving. Craving for what we do not have, is perhaps the most unnecessary mental suffering that we bring ourselves. It is fine to want the necessities in life but we have gone far above these things. Desire for the things we lack becomes a real problem when it burdens our minds and denies us the ability to appreciate the things that we already have. It steals the joy out of our lives and the pleasure of spending time with our loved ones. There are many mails floating in the internet encouraging us to spend more time with our family but these mails are addressing the symptom and not the cause. It is similar to how most modern medicine work; they address the symptom and not the cause.

It is not effective to suppress our desires. It works in the short term and often comes back stronger. A more effective way of influencing our habit of craving is to develop the habit of gratitude. Once developed, the habit of gratitude will focus our minds on the important things in our life and draw more happiness to us. This does not mean that we choose to live in lack. What it means is that the things we want will be drawn to us effortlessly. When we are joyful, the entire universe conspires to keep us that way.

As we practice the development of the habit of gratitude, most of us will come to the realisation that we already have everything that matters to us; our health and the well-being of our loved ones. I just need to hear my loved ones laugh to make me feel grateful to life.  Every morning when I wake up, the thought that my loved ones are sleeping soundly and safely in their beds is sufficient to brighten my day.

The habit of gratitude also acts as an antidote for worry because it brings our focus on what truly matters to us. Most of us worry about a million things, most of which are a waste of mental energy. Gratitude will gradually lessen our fear of losing our possessions because they pale in comparison to, say, the health of our loved ones. If you are reading this, I can comfortably assume that you are better off than a majority of the world’s population. That is something to be thankful about!

I want to take this opportunity to thank my friends who read this book as I was writing it and gave me words of encouragement which I value very much. I am grateful for your encouragements and please know that you play an important part in the production of this book. Thank you.

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