The Not-So Secret Ingredient To Happiness

Posted on Mar 5, 2012

kb2646Do you find yourself comparing your life with others’, marveling at how other people seem “to have it all together”? Sometimes we can lose ourselves in wondering how we measure up to some standard set by ourselves, our families or by the community at large. Comparison keeps us in what I call “The Mindset of Lack,” and this mindset leads to misery.

The antidote is gratitude.  Gratitude is more than being thankful when someone does something for you. Gratitude is a practice. It is training your mind to focus on the positive, to see the beauty in simple things, to know that every day is a gift.  For truly happy people, gratitude is a way of life.

Maybe your life isn’t perfect but the choices you’ve made and the challenges you’ve faced have brought you here. Even if “here” is a place that needs a little adjustment, that’s okay.  There are always gifts in any present moment.  I try to spend a moment everyday, alone and with my children, to express gratitude.  We call it our “gratitude attitude.”  Some days it may feel like an enormous act of creativity to find things for which to be thankful. For example, I once had someone ask me how to be grateful on a day when her entire family had a stomach flu. I told her that she could choose to be grateful for indoor plumbing. Forcing yourself to dwell in gratitude will remind you of how good your life really is and will definitely lighten your mood.