The Reward of Gratitude

by Jonathan Hilton

gratitude 1I have often considered that being truly grateful is an important step into bringing more of what you want in your life into your life.  Each and every day I am more and more convinced this is true.  I had often talked a good game about being grateful, really taking a moment and appreciating the things in my life, but my process was off.

What I used to do for Gratitude

I would take a moment and be thankful for things in my life, people who I came across, and things that happened to me. I think this might be OK for others but my problem was that it was inconsistent and might not recall something I was really thankful for.  I also spent inconsistent amounts of time thinking of the blessings in my life.  I would try thinking of them on the way to work, but I am easily distracted and one thing would drive out another. I was inconsistent, and sloppy with my gratitude and I was meeting a lot of blocks in my life.

My New Process of Gratefulness

gratitude 2It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out what to do differently. I was inconsistent so I needed to be more consistent.  To build that consistency and to make the topics of my gratitude consistent I had to take a moment each day to write it down.

I always try to have my notebook with me, so when I have a moment each morning I jot down my list of things I am grateful for. I would suggest this for everyone for this reason. Even though it seems a simple thing, there  is a moment of contemplation that happens when you actually write it down.  The thought has to travel from your mind through your arm to your hand and onto the paper.  My lists are not all that elaborate, because I am pretty grateful for the little things in life.

I am grateful for good cups of coffee, good conversation, something interesting I read on a blog, a book I read, having money in the bank, a text from a friend that made my day, or a long verbose Facebook message which was awesome to read. The list gets a bit long, but I have tried to keep it to what comes to mind.  I can always look back to see what I wrote before.

The Blocks are Disappearing

It may just be coincidence and those who are negative will say that is all it is, yet I do not believe in that. After a very short time, I mean a matter of days,  blocks I was having in life were melting away.  I could give specific examples but they will only mean something to me.  Making a gratitude list for me has become something real and powerful.  I know how it sounds but I can feel the difference.

Being grateful is the key to accepting more things into your life. Whatever it is.  If you are lonely, look for the times when you don’t feel too lonely during the day and be thankful for those.  If you are poor, be grateful for the things you do have, if you are not feeling well, find the moments you don’t feel as bad and be grateful for them.  If you are particularly down, find the little things around you all the time, the weather, a smile from a stranger, flowers, an unexpected fortunate turning. Whatever you come in contact with, be grateful for it.  A momentary contemplation of thanks is all it takes.

The worst thing that will happen is you will feel better about life. The best thing that will happen is that you will open yourself up to more of the same kind of experiences.  It doesn’t really matter if you believe what I am telling you or not.  Just contemplate what will happen if you do nothing different? Nothing different will happen. If you are lonely,sick, poor, or just generally unhappy, what the heck do you have to lose? Give it an honest attempt and see what it does in your life.

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23 thoughts on “The Reward of Gratitude

  1. Amba

    Jon! This article was inspirational. I have been hearing about gratitude journals from a lot of people . Seems like it’s time to convert my daily “counting off of ten good things” to an actual journal. :) Sounds like a plan! :) Thank you for your wonderful message of hope!

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Do it Amba! For me when I switched from just doing it in my head to actually writing it down. Things really started to change. I felt more grateful for what I did have and the issues that were blocked in my life have been unblocked. Really pretty quickly. Focus on what you have, and what you want will come. I am grateful that you read and comment on my blog so often, makes my day. :-)

      Reply
    1. Jon

      I urge you to do it, and all I can say is that it works for me. It has made a significant difference in my personal gratitude. What do you have to lose? I am so grateful for you taking the time to read my words and to comment on them!

      Reply
  2. Rohan 7 Things

    Great post Jonathan! It’s really interesting what a marked difference writing them down made, it certainly makes sense though.

    You definitely do have a greater focus on something you write as apposed to something you simply think. I can see how making a list would increase the potency of the positive effect :)

    Thanks for sharing, I’ll remember this!

    All the best.

    Rohan.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Thanks Rohan, you would not believe the difference it has made for me. that is all I can speak for. I didn’t want to get into what each of the blocks were but they were is several areas of life and they all unblocked. As I said in the article, what have you got to lose by trying it? thank you so much for your comment and reading this, I am grateful for that! Have an outstanding day!

      Reply
  3. thehappyhugger

    I loved this post, Jon. It does make so much sense. Being aware of having gratitude is such a blessing in so many ways. Would you mind if I shared this post on my facebook group?

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Of course not! I would love it if you shared it with your facebook group. I agree that looking at the things we have and being grateful is a blessing, and I think paves the way for other things to come into your life! Thank you so much for reading and commenting Michelle, it always means a lot to me and I am continually grateful for that!

      Reply
  4. djmatticus

    This life we have to live, in all its forms and various interactions, twists and turns, ups and downs – the veritable rollercoaster of days and years – is a miracle. Each day is a miracle. Each second alive is a miracle. Once we can see that, understand that even just a little bit, it becomes so much easier to be grateful for every “adventure” the world throws at us or we embark upon on our own.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Well said Matt and a miracle I am sad to say that for much of my life I took no notice of. I think it is important for everyone to understand and show the zest for life that you show my friend. Every day is a miracle when you consider everything that you come in contact with that is just good! From a cup of coffee to a friendly gesture to spending time with special loved ones, or even doing a job that you love to do. All of it is really kind of a miracle. Thank you so much for the comment and thought. I sense more posts on this topic. The miracle of life. Has a great ring to it. :-)

      Reply
    1. Jon

      Believe it or not it works. And what do you have to lose if it doesn’t, you will spend a minute or two feeling good about your life each day. But I have seen a lot of good things in a short time. :-)

      Reply
  5. Kozo

    You know I’m on board with gratitude journals, Jon. I completely agree that this daily consistent practice is a life-changer. Thank you for your friendship and encouragement. I can’t wait to see you post a monthly list from your gratitude journal. ((((Hugs))) Kozo

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Well I am grateful that you took the time to say, “Hello”. I enjoy having you here and reading your wonderful blog!!

      Reply

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