Why Wait to be Grateful?
Go ahead, be grateful for all the good things to come
As with most traits, there are varying degrees and intensities to which people embody gratitude. On the sour end, we have the ignoramus who would ride his or her high horse past you without a word or a nod even if you held open the door. On the other hand, we have monks who spend a considerable chunk of their day expressing gratitude for all that is, for each breath and moment.
Most of us stand somewhere in between. If someone goes out of their way to do us a favour, we feel thankful and usually let them know. If something amazing happens to us-a promotion, a victory, success of some sort-we then feel grateful, lucky, and even blessed. But the feeling wears off, doesn't it? We soon regress to our neutral, get-through-the-day mode until something good again comes our way.
What I described above is a reactive response to some event we perceive as beneficial to us. It's gratitude as we all know and practice it. Don't get me wrong, this sort of gratitude is absolutely essential and without it, sooner or later, we would all start behaving quite obnoxiously toward each other. But I wonder if we can take gratitude a step further and turn it into what I call a proactive response.
At the most basic level, gratitude as we understand it is a hardwired thought response to anything that gets us closer to where we're going. If you're trying to finish a race, you're grateful for everything that gets you closer to the finish line: your car, your skill-set, your "luck", your pit crew. If you're climbing the corporate ladder, you're grateful for anything that nudges you closer to the top: a raise, a promotion, that prestigious client or project.
As soon as something happens in your favour, you think, "Hey, this is nice," and this thought makes you "feel" certain emotions: happiness, excitement, hope, ambition, etc. The point is, your thoughts tell your body how to feel. And here's the interesting bit: study after study has proven that visualizing something and experiencing it elicit the same mental and hence physiological responses.
Put differently, if you visualize a scenario in which something goes your way and thereafter mentally summon the thought of gratitude, your body will still "feel" the same emotions. It will think that the event actually occurred in reality, not just in your mind.
Everything that was, is, or ever will be started as someone's imagination
By now you know that visualization and physical exertion affect the body in nearly identical ways. For example, when you think of a traumatic past event, unpleasant thoughts surface, which instruct your body to feel sad, anxious, angry, and so on, as if the event had just happened. Likewise, if you can vividly visualize a future event for which you should be grateful, your mind will instruct your body to feel the appropriate emotions.
This is great news. It means, among other things, that you can dramatically increase your chances of success (and in many cases practically guarantee it) by dedicating yourself to visualizing it. I should here clarify that simply visualizing success will not bring it to your doorstep. You need the proper state of mind, one that is receptive to and deserving of success. That state of mind is gratitude, and without this crucial component the whole thing turns into a few minutes of wishful thinking.
Remember that in a real-life scenario, when we observe a beneficial or favourable event, it leads to the thought that we should be grateful, which instructs our bodies to feel good emotions. This combination of thought and feeling is a state of mind, when what you think aligns with how you physically feel. The old saying "my heart's not in it" simply means the opposite, disagreement between mind and body.
Wishful thinking and day-dreaming, as I said above, usually don't work because by engaging in either one or the other you're asking without being prepared to receive. In other words, it's thought without feeling, without a complete and focused state of mind to drive your request. In still other words, it's fake, because true thoughts always lead to a feeling and an accompanying state of mind.
When you visualize success and (as you naturally would) genuinely feel grateful for it, your body mentally and physically prepares itself, at a cellular level, to receive it. That is the astonishing powerful of genuine, concentrated thought in the form of vivid visualization.
So if you want to be someone, get somewhere, or do something but aren't sure of each and every turn or twist along the road, just dedicate yourself to visualizing your destination. Don't worry about the steps right now. Use right now to create a scenario so vivid that your body becomes convinced of its reality.
You will be surprised, to say the least, at how often you will realize your end goal, and precisely the way you imagined it. The fun part then becomes sorting through each connected and interconnected step that led you there.
12BET | Live Casino Malaysia