If happiness is the vehicle, gratitude is the engine.
Have you ever noticed that some people can’t seem to be happy, no matter what? Happiness isn’t an event or an occurrence, it’s a choice. When you start off your day being grateful for the good things in your life, the other things fade into the background.
Money doesn’t buy happiness. I’m grateful for everything I have that money bought, but the happiness comes from that gratitude, not the money. Have you ever witnessed someone who has nothing and the pure joy that came from a simple gift (a book, a pair of socks, a box of crayons)? It is moving. How can someone with nothing be so happy with something so small? The same way someone with so much can be unhappy with everything they have. It’s not a money issue, it’s a gratitude issue.
Gratitude shifts the spotlight away from your flaws and shines it on your blessings. I’m not coordinated when it comes to dancing or athletics. I can’t seem to get my legs to do one thing while my arms do another. The struggle is real. That isn’t one of my gifts. I used to wish that I would be a great athlete and excel at sports. Instead of dwelling on the things I’m not good at, I’m choosing to see the things I am. I understand that no one is great at everything. I focus my efforts on the things I love and have discovered the gifts I have. There is no way I would ever trade any of the gifts I have for the ability to catch a baseball or get the choreography on the first (or second or fifth) try. You have the gifts you have for a reason…use them. Be grateful for what you have and don’t obsess over what you don’t. I promise you will be so much happier!
There are always more things to be thankful for than not. Focusing on the upsetting things steals your happiness. It’s funny that as I’m writing this, the rain is pouring down, but the sun is still shining. A beautiful sun shower. Don’t miss the sunshine in the rain. It’s a good representation of life. When the sun shines all the time without rain, you have a desert. Nothing grows in the desert. The rain is necessary for growth. Love the sun, but be grateful for the rain.
Gratitude comes easier for some people, but like anything it takes practice. Practice seeing the good in every situation. It gets easier and easier. A grateful heart is a happy heart.