Gratitude is the key to happiness is NOT a new idea. In fact, if you frequent the same places I do you’ve probably had the idea stuffed down your throat so many times that you’re getting a little nauseated with all that gratitude. I know, I get it. I don’t want to add to the overly-syrupy new-age-y message. And yet, as I watched this TED talk, I really just wanted this kindly older gentleman in a tunic and socks with sandals to come to my house and tell me more about the opportunity. The opportunity for gratefulness, for which he uses stickers on his light switches to remind himself to continue being grateful. Actually, I kind of want him to come to my house and put stickers on my light switches. He’s a little slow to start, but it warms up – keep watching.
I joke a lot, but he’s actually dead-on accurate. We all have so much to be grateful for – even when there is a death, or a tragedy, or abuse or serious illness there is still so much wonder in every life and every day that there is always a moment to be grateful for. Just in case you don’t want to watch through, here are some of my favorite quotes:
We can not only have grateful experiences we can be people who live gratefully.
I didn’t say we can be grateful for everything but we can be grateful in every moment.
Most of the time what is given to us is the opportunity for joy but we miss it because we are rushing through life.
Those who avail themselves of opportunity are the ones we admire, they’re the ones who get somewhere in life. The ones who fail, get another opportunity.
If you’re grateful, you’re not fearful. If you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re not fearful you act out of a sense of enough and not of a sense of scarcity.
A grateful world is a world of joyful people.
The method for gratitude, the key to happiness is as simple as this:
- Stop. Get quiet for one second.
- Look. Appreciate the things around you to be grateful for – open your senses to the wonderful richness around you.
- Go. Move ahead and really do whatever that opportunity offered to you – the opportunity to enjoy, to learn, to grow. You won’t see the opportunity if you don’t stop.
The idea is that we don’t ever stop – we rush from one thing to another like hamsters on a wheel without actually noticing what we’re doing or taking the time to appreciate anything at all. I know I can be guilty of this when I get going on a project or when things are hectic at work, but it is such a good reminder to stop, to look, and to allow what I’ve been able to see to help me move forward in a new way. Remember – the sun shines on you whether you’ve done anything to deserve it or not.
I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that a Benedictine monk sounds pretty darn wise and hits home hard with a message that is deeply spiritual. As it turns out gratitude is the key to happiness. It’s as simple as that.