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Gratitude is the Platform for Optimism, so Check Your Attitude!

“We moderns have an arsenal of tranquilisers (sic) and pain killers at our disposal, but our expectations of ease and pleasure, and our intolerance of inconvenience and discomfort, have increased to such an extent that we may well suffer from pain more than our ancestors ever did.”

Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind


Somebody recently sent me a link to this short video reminder that the spirit of Christmas is not just reserved for a single day of the year, it’s also waking up every day with an attitude of gratitude.

Being grateful for the blessings in your life, and not whining about blessings that have not (at least not yet) showed up in your life, is more than just a way to be a better person. It is imperative to your future success at assuring that those desired future blessings do show up.

That’s because gratitude is the platform upon which optimism is built. If you are not grateful for what you have in your life today, what on earth makes you think that your circumstances will somehow magically change to make you be more grateful in the future?

Furthermore, if you lack an attitude of gratitude today, even if things do change for the better in the future, you’re less likely to be grateful for new blessings than you are to be resentful for the fact that, whatever those new blessings are, they’re not enough. Why? Because gratitude is a habit of mind. If you don’t practice it now, it’s not going to magically kick in later.

One of the reasons I’m so emphatic about encouraging people to embrace The Pickle Pledge (below) is that complaining – about anything at all – is the antithesis of gratitude. Instead of being grateful for the blessings in your life, you are expressing resentment for the fact that, for all the blessings you have, it’s not enough. The world has not bent over backward to sweep the “inconvenience and discomfort” described by Harari out of your life.

During this week of Thanksgiving, take to heart The Pickle Pledge and turn every complaint into a blessing or a constructive suggestion. Make a personal commitment that your faith and your gratitude for all that you have been blessed with will shine through in your attitudes and in your actions.

Make it a habit and you’ll find that you wake up every day more optimistic about your future, and that this new spirit of optimism will inspire you to do the things that create even more gratitude.


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