It’s amazing how quickly we can connect with anyone in today’s digital, mobile phone driven world. We can instantly at the push of a button or a few strokes on the keyboard connect with friends, loved ones, research a project, shop at millions of online stores, or simply pick out a movie or song to occupy and entertain us. This awesome power of access and connectivity is a testament to the power of innovation and the human mind.
With this gift, also comes a major challenge. With instant access to information, we are also bombarded with images and highly persuasive messages that show and sell the illusion that more ‘stuff’ or the latest gizmo will magically improve our life now, take away the pain, and solve all of our problems.
So, how does this tie into gratitude? It’s a good question and here’s why: In a consumer driven society heavily laden with sales messages hitting us at every turn, we often forget that we are blessed in so many ways and have much to be thankful for even if we don’t own the latest new cell phone, brand new vehicle, or wear the season’s hottest fashions.
Here are three quick reasons why gratitude still matters in a sped up world.
#1: Life is not perfect. We all face adversity. Imagine how boring life would be if there were no challenge? Without contrast, we’d have nothing to compare or strive towards. We humans are a creative and blessed bunch, endowed with the God given ability to create, think, dream, and turn our ideas, visions, and goals into physical reality. Stop and think about that last sentence for a second! That in itself is simply a miracle and mind-numbing. What a powerful gift we each have been given and being grateful for that on a daily basis is a wonderful reminder of what we each possess. The challenge is that we rarely stop to recognize our talents or we simply take them for granted.
#2: Gratitude helps you deal with adversity. Challenge is a part of life. Hard work combined with gratitude is the perfect antidote to combat adversity when it arises. History is full of successful people in all walks of life and professions who’ve dealt with seemingly insurmountable odds, but still managed to press onward to achieve their goal. In addition, we often learn the biggest life lessons during the biggest challenges. We’ve all heard this, yet so many people refuse to believe that life is what we make of it. It’s our attitude and perception that guide the ship, not circumstances outside of our immediate control.
This is another huge reason why I’m a big fan of reading autobiographies of others. In the pages of these books we’re able to capture wisdom and insight as to how they dealt with adversity. Not only is it motivating, but it sheds light onto our own situation and helps to positively reframe what we might currently be facing.
Here’s a great quote from C.S. Lewis that really sums up this point:
“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”
#3: What you focus on you attract. This is simply the law of attraction. It is a law for a reason. It’s proven and known. If you count your blessings, guess what you get more of? If you focus on your worries, guess what shows up? I remind many of my clients and speaking audiences of this as it’s easy to focus on what’s wrong, versus what’s right. We have an entire media machine built on selling fear, tragedy, controversy, and gossip. To deny its influence is foolish.
Remember to make daily gratitude a habit you employ to help counter and deal with stress in a sped up world.