Why Wait to be Grateful?

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Note: written initially for my self-development blog and posted here for those who want success, who want to understand how success actually "comes to us," (and why it sometimes doesn't).

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.

Proactive Gratitude: Why it Works


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.

Don't Wait and See



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.

Don't Ask for Success, Prepare for it Instead


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.
#grateful #wait
  • Profile picture of the author elusian
    Absolutely right! I love this article by the way. Thank you for sharing. By simply allowing yourself to feel grateful you elicit the same emotions, whether the event has manifested itself yet or not. The really cool thing is that once you start doing this on a daily basis things just seem to start going your way. Either way you get to feel fabulous.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
      Originally Posted by elusian View Post

      Absolutely right! I love this article by the way. Thank you for sharing. By simply allowing yourself to feel grateful you elicit the same emotions, whether the event has manifested itself yet or not. The really cool thing is that once you start doing this on a daily basis things just seem to start going your way. Either way you get to feel fabulous.
      You got it.

      Thanks for the kind words.
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    • Profile picture of the author DreBeltrami
      Originally Posted by elusian View Post

      Absolutely right! I love this article by the way. Thank you for sharing. By simply allowing yourself to feel grateful you elicit the same emotions, whether the event has manifested itself yet or not. The really cool thing is that once you start doing this on a daily basis things just seem to start going your way. Either way you get to feel fabulous.
      It took me years to accept that gratefulness lends itself to greatness, but you nailed it. Think it, believe it, prepare for it and chances are you'll get it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
        Originally Posted by DreBeltrami View Post

        It took me years to accept that gratefulness lends itself to greatness, but you nailed it. Think it, believe it, prepare for it and chances are you'll get it.
        The Force is strong with this one. Sense it, I can.

        In short:

        "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melody Beattie
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  • be grateful to anything and everything that helped shape your life
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  • Profile picture of the author andrewmax
    We must do things right in the way, it should be done without waiting to be grateful to get real satisfaction
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  • Profile picture of the author origin
    be grateful for the small things in life and you will appreciate the bigger things even more.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
      Originally Posted by origin View Post

      be grateful for the small things in life and you will appreciate the bigger things even more.
      Great point, and something many people overlook. Anyone can be grateful for winning the lottery or receiving a promotion. It takes a better, more conscious person to be grateful for, say, clean drinking water while living in a first world country.
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      • Profile picture of the author Odahh
        Originally Posted by Dain Supero View Post

        Great point, and something many people overlook. Anyone can be grateful for winning the lottery or receiving a promotion. It takes a better, more conscious person to be grateful for, say, clean drinking water while living in a first world country.
        i don't know what i will be grateful for about being in the states when i get back in a few weeks ..though being american turns out to have it's perks when outside the country .

        i like the lifestyle i have very grateful for the opportunity to live the way i am now pretty much stress free ..just bored lol ..

        when you get to see how poor live in other countries ..and even if you are considered poor in the Us you have much better living conditions than developing countries poor do ..
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        • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
          Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

          i don't know what i will be grateful for about being in the states when i get back in a few weeks ..though being american turns out to have it's perks when outside the country .

          i like the lifestyle i have very grateful for the opportunity to live the way i am now pretty much stress free ..just bored lol ..

          when you get to see how poor live in other countries ..and even if you are considered poor in the Us you have much better living conditions than developing countries poor do ..
          Well said, sir. Thinking about the less fortunate is a great way to cultivate gratitude.

          So this:

          "when you get to see how poor live in other countries ..and even if you are considered poor in the Us you have much better living conditions than developing countries poor do .."

          Pretty much answers this:

          "i don't know what i will be grateful for about being in the states when i get back in a few weeks .."
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          • Profile picture of the author Odahh
            Originally Posted by Dain Supero View Post

            Well said, sir. Thinking about the less fortunate is a great way to cultivate gratitude.

            So this:

            "when you get to see how poor live in other countries ..and even if you are considered poor in the Us you have much better living conditions than developing countries poor do .."

            Pretty much answers this:

            "i don't know what i will be grateful for about being in the states when i get back in a few weeks .."
            well technically..the personal gratitude .. is once i get back in the states it will be easy enough for me to straighten out my financial situation ..and i can find a way to make money remotely..so i do not have to live any where near where i earn my money .

            so i can then live any where of many places outside the US ..where for the money that would be considered poor or low in come in the states ..you can live real comfortably .

            and i am grateful that i am living in a time where it is both easy to do and there are many options to do it and a growing number of people doing it .

            I will be more grateful if i can avoid going back to the states ..lol .
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  • Profile picture of the author joomdev
    I am SO elated over last week's linkup turnout! There were quite a few new bloggers who linked up last week and I just want to say HELLO & WELCOME! I really encourage you all to check out some of the other gals who have linked up. Also, would you all be annoyed if I changed the hashtag once more? I'm trying to shorten it a bit- let's go with #gratefulheart - that way your Grateful Heart post can be any day, not just Monday.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mousumi
    Wonderful post Dain :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
    True, but if you learn to "want" more in the proper way, as explained above, then you have more to love.


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    • Profile picture of the author grantveronica
      Being grateful is priceless. This is so true.

      Btw, I love your article. Don't stop inspiring others.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pilotben
    You are spot on.Such and excellent post. Since I started a routine in the morning just feeling grateful for everything and giving thanks to abundance in my life, everything started to change. Even the way I see myself. I'll take this post to heart and implement it immediately.

    Kind regards
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    • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
      Originally Posted by Pilotben View Post

      You are spot on.Such and excellent post. Since I started a routine in the morning just feeling grateful for everything and giving thanks to abundance in my life, everything started to change. Even the way I see myself. I'll take this post to heart and implement it immediately.

      Kind regards
      Thanks, good sir.

      May the Force be with you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
      Originally Posted by John Jonas Phil VA View Post

      Gratitude is also a better coffee in keeping us motivated to work.
      Touché.

      Coffee in general is a poor choice for just about anything other than masking fatigue (due to a poor diet).

      If coffee drinkers/defenders knew how energy transfer actually works in our bodies, or how our brains actually channel creative thought, they would realize that caffeine has no place or role in either process.
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  • Profile picture of the author st0nec0ld
    I'm glad I've found something that is so light and inspiring, while everything else is so stressful. Relieving.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
    Odahh,

    Replace "will be" grateful to "already am" grateful, even if that for which you're grateful hasn't yet happened. It's precisely this pre-preemptive gratitude that will increase the probability of its happening.
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  • Profile picture of the author dbostian
    "Visualizing your destination" is such a simple yet effective way to stay focused on goals. It's kinda how I've kept at it.
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    • Profile picture of the author holleythompson
      do things as if its your last day every day. yeah a cliche but i still think we should be saying a lot of thanks to everyone doing their simplest tiniest deeds. always always be grateful because (like what i read above) its next to greatness. gratefulness lets out a positive vibe in humans and it only makes people feel good. thanks this is a nice post btw.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    Write your goals down everyday, and remind yourself each day why you made those goals in the first place.

    Dain Supero has explained the benefits of visualizing yourself at the finish line, so I think it is worth doing on a daily basis to stay motivated.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
    As tvon mentioned above: persistence, persistence, and persistence.

    Day-in-and-day-out dedication is a must if you want maximum benefit from these techniques, as it is with anything worthwhile.

    The comforting part with this method, though, is that you are guaranteed to see results.
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  • Profile picture of the author RVS3
    Great post. Act as if you have it, and you will have it.
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