5 Ways An Attitude of Gratitude Can Change your Life
If you make your prayers an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving for the blessings you already have, instead of requests for things you do not have, you will obtain results much faster.
This month is gratitude month at KMMA. We teach a different Blackbelt Excellence (which is to say secret to success) every month and this is one of my favorites. In a world that can sometimes lend itself to entitlement mentality and a focus on what we want, rather than what we have, this lesson is such an important reminder for all of us as well as such a formative lesson especially for our youth. In this blog, and from the mat this month, we will focus on five specific reasons that an attitude of gratitude is important.
- We get more of what we focus on: one of the superpowers that we teach at KMMA is FOCUS. Focus is the ability to block distraction and concentrate on what’s important. This in and of itself makes it one of our most important excellences. But we also get more of what we focus on. As this is the case, the practice of gratitude for what we already have is an absolute prerequisite for getting more of what we want. When we focus gratitude for what blessings that we already have, we open the door for more blessings. When we focus instead on our problems, we get more problems.
- Grateful people are happier people: an attitude of gratitude is healthy. If you don’t believe me, just try it. Consciously and deliberately think about all the things you have to be grateful for. If you have your health, a roof over your head and adequate food to eat, you are more blessed than most of the world. If you also have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, freedom to work and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you are really blessed. If you have some people that love you and some free time and/or money to do some things other than the bare minimum of things required for survival, you are really rich. This is not to say we should become satisfied with where we are at and cease trying to be better, but only grateful. As alluded to in point one, this attitude begets more to be grateful for. Back to the exercise though, think of all the blessings you have and/or even make a list. For the purpose of the exercise you must also have the discipline to suspend thoughts about what you don’t yet have, or anything you perceive not to be grateful for; them ruminate in the feelings around all you have to be grateful for. Be grateful for the people that bless you, the environment you enjoy, and the myriad blessings of God. Allow yourself to feel the happiness that comes from focus on gratitude instead of want. Then do more of that.
- The people around grateful people are happier people. While I seldom teach from the negative perspective, it will be useful in this instance. Have you ever spent considerable time with a really negative person? Do you know someone that sucks the air right out of the room when they enter it? We won’t spend any time talking about that person right now other than to say this- we must constantly strive not to be him or her. An attitude of gratitude keeps us positive, upbeat, cheerful and friendly. Gratitude creates an energy that is attractive to be around.
- Gratitude begets gratitude. The more we practice being grateful, the more grateful we will be. Also, our own grateful attitude can be contagious, and help others focus on their blessings instead of their challenges as well.
- It is right and just and the will of God: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I for one am so grateful. In addition to all the blessings I enjoy daily, I am grateful that you took the time to read this blog. A writer without a reader is only talking to himself (though that is useful as pertains to this subject as well). I am grateful that I have great team and great students and a mission that gets me out of bed every morning. I am grateful to go now into this day and hopefully be a blessing in other people’s lives and give them more ti be grateful for. Thank you. And thanks in advance if you’d like to comment on some things that you are grateful for.
Stephen Del Castillo
Founding Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts
and one blessed and grateful man