CULTIVATING A SENSE OF GRATEFULNESS
'You cannot exercise power without gratitude, for it is gratitude that keeps you connected with power.'
~ Wallace Wattles
When was the last time we sat down and thought about the things that we are grateful for? For most of us, it was a very long time ago. Why is that so? We will discuss that, how to cultivate the attitude of gratitude and take it to its highest potential in this article.
Wallace Wattles, the author of a wonderful book called ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ devotes an entire chapter on gratitude. Yet, we rarely think about everything that we are grateful for. Why? It is because our brains are hard-wired for ingratitude. Our mind is designed to ensure our survival. It is excellent at pointing out threats and dangers. That is how years of evolution has made it. In our age, however, we do not face any real threats on a regular basis. Yet, our mind is programmed to find faults in everything.
If we want to cultivate the attitude of gratitude, we have to fight this powerful evolutionary instinct of the mind. We have to deliberately and regularly take out time from our schedule to make a list of things that we are grateful for. Why bother with a practice like this? It is because it feels very good. It changes our perspective. Instead of complaining about one thing that’s going wrong, we will start appreciating about many things that are going right. Such a simple practice can empower us in unimaginable ways.
Will we be grateful only for things? Let us say that we are grateful for the wonderful device on which we are typing. We know that it’s not going to be around forever. Will we be grateful for its absence also? The same thing that creates feelings of gratitude now can create suffering in the future. The highest form of gratitude is gratitude for the present moment, no matter what form the present moment takes. The present moment is a gift. That is why it is called ‘the present’. That kind of gratitude is liberation – the end of suffering. We can achieve it by working on our attitude of gratitude and with our regular meditation practice.