Gratitude is a respected quality; a desired characteristic. It is the recognition of grace, mercy and favor.
So what defines an “Attitude of Gratitude” and what does it look like? Before I answer that question, let’s explore what it does not look like.
It is not:
- Taking things, people, events, opportunities, promotions, protection, safety, wealth, employment, education, life, health, etc. for granted.
- Failing to say “thank you”.
- Disregarding those who have helped you along the way.
- Using people to accomplish your goal and then tossing them by the wayside.
An “Attitude of Gratitude” is a constant willingness to express appreciation for all that you are, all that you have and all that you hope to be and accomplish. It is a lifestyle of appreciative expressions towards those who touch your life in some positive way. That attitude can be expressed in many different acts of kindness and appreciation.
How do you practice gratitude? Do you give gifts, make phone calls, or return favors?
Here are a few more suggestions?
1. Exercise integrity at all times. Be real, be open and be you.
2. Be intentional.. keep a journal or calendar of kind acts that you can do for others.
3. Forgive those who have wronged you.
4. Count your blessings and share your testimonies.
5. Help an elder complete a chore.
6. Run an errand for the sick and shut-in.
7. Volunteer at a nursing home, childcare facility, hospital, homeless shelter, etc.
8. Use kind words to encourage someone.
9. Share positive quotes with coworkers, friends, family, passersby, etc.
10. Attend a child’s sporting activity, concert, awards ceremony, etc.
11. Send someone flowers just because.
12. Say “thank you” and “I appreciate you” and mean it.
13. Send a random text showing your appreciation for someone’s kindness towards you.
14. Encourage someone who is depressed to begin living an “Attitude of Gratitude”.
15. Spend time with a widow or a parent who has lost a child and just listen.
16. Contact someone from your past who made a great, positive impression on your life.
17. When dining out, give a larger tip than normal.
18. Compliment someone on a talent, skill, or strength that you admire.
19. If you enjoy a book that you read, write a review.
An "Attitude of Gratitude" encourages the recipient, but it also strengthens the giver. In order to make a conscious decision to show appreciation, you must first think about the "who" and "what". Who would you like to encourage, thank, appreciate or edify today? What is the most effective, meaningful way to do that? What do you have to be thankful for? What can you do O show thanks for the things that you have?
As you begin to think on these things, you will realize how many people and things you have to be grateful for. You will start noticing the small gestures that you have overlooked, disregarded, or even taken for granted. The more you show appreciation for who and what you have, the more you will want to show appreciation. Then that attitude will become contagious.
I encourage you today to make Gratitude Your Attitude.