What do you believe the most attractive trait a person can have is? And I'll give you a clue. It's not a body part!
The correct answer is…gratitude. That's right, besides being the healthiest human emotion, gratitude is also the most attractive trait. Which means, people gravitate towards grateful people! So, when it comes to sales, leadership, marketing, or even just being a human being, if you want to be great...
begin by being grateful.
I'm not proud to say this, but I was not always a grateful person. In fact, my first memory of ever truly feeling grateful wasn't until I was 15. At the time, my two brothers and I could no longer live with our parents. My dad had to choose, between us and his drug addictions. He chose his drug addictions. My mom had to choose, between us and her boyfriend. She chose her boyfriend. But my grandparents welcomed us into their home with open arms. And I remember feeling so grateful, because I knew they didn't have to let us live with them, but they did anyway. They chose us, and for the first time, I chose gratitude.
It's a choice.
The sad truth is most people don't choose gratitude. Why is that? I believe it's because they were never taught that they could or how and why they should. You see, growing up we learn by example, and gratitude is something that is rarely seen. Instead what's more often shown is fear, discontent, and entitlement.
So we worry, we complain, and we appreciate…almost nothing.
The key to cultivating a thankful heart is this. We must recognize that gratitude is a choice. GRATITUDE IS A CHOICE! Let's all say that together. Gratitude is a choice.
Choose it often enough and you begin to experience some of it's many benefits. For example, did you know that gratitude dissolves discontent? It extinguishes entitlement! And it furnishes freedom from fear!
What does Choosing Gratitude look like?
So what does it look like to choose gratitude? Taking into account the past, the future, and the present, I'm going to share with you 3 very practical ways you can choose gratitude at any given moment.
And to make it easy to remember, we're going to use the acronym A. R. E.
Because, at any given moment, you either ARE grateful, or you're not.
A stands for Appreciate.
R stands for Receive.
E stands for Embrace.
When looking at the past, gratitude appreciates what has been given. It recognizes, "I have been given many gifts!"
When looking at the future, gratitude thankfully receives what is to come, both the good AND the bad. It recognizes that trials and tribulations are both temporary and teachable moments.
And when looking at the present, gratitude embraces the now. It recognizes, "This moment is a gift." And in doing so, it acknowledges and celebrates everyone's infinite unsurpassable worth, including your own.
And one of the best ways to embrace the now is to consciously appreciate each of your senses. How often to you consciously appreciate your senses? I've actually written a poem designed to do just that. It's titled Coming to Your Senses.
Coming to Your Senses
Have you ever really wondered how fortunate you are?
Have you ever thought your blessings could outnumber the stars?
First, imagine if you suddenly lost your sense of sight—
Would you miss seeing the differences between day and night?
Now, imagine if you lost the ability to hear—
As silence whispers in both ears, could you persevere?
Now, imagine if you suddenly lost your sense of smell—
Could you bid the sweet scent of flowers and fresh air farewell?
Now, imagine if you lost the ability to taste—
What joy could come from eating if all flavors were erased?
Now, imagine if you suddenly lost your sense of touch—
Does just the thought of such a loss make you feel very much?
While each sense is sensational, there's only one you need:
It's the sense to give thanks…the sense from which all gifts proceed.
I hope this poem helps you to see that each sense is a reminder of the countless gifts you can be grateful for, if you choose to.
So remember, gratitude is a choice, and true success begins with a thankful heart. With that as your foundation, it's going to be not to break through to your next big breakthrough!
(This is an excerpt from The 7 Key Abilities Book, chapters 3 and 4.)