Think for just a moment of all the things that require
practice: grammar, arithmetic, cooking, and even the guitar.
Practice is probably something you think you’re done with
when you leave school or give up music lessons. But, have
you ever thought of practicing the fine art of gratitude?
It’s quite possible to attain great wealth, the best
education, and an exceptional quality of life and still be
unhappy. This occurs when people live with an absence of
Once gratitude becomes part of your nature you begin to see
the connections between your success and creature comforts,
and the talents and contributions of others.
* The farmer plants, waters, fertilizes and harvests the
tomatoes you enjoy.
* The truck driver delivers the food to the market that will
soon feed your family.
* The baker kneads and bakes the bread for the sandwich
you’ll eat for lunch.
* The engineer and architect design the bridge that allows
you to get to work.
* The furniture maker’s handiwork creates the furniture in
your living room.
* The plumber fixes your leak, clears your drain and plunges
* The teacher educates and inspires your children to be the
best they can be.
* The customer provides the support that enables everyone to
* The performer engages the imagination and entertains your
* The seamstress sews the beautiful clothes that make you
* The physician and nurse help to bring your beautiful baby
into the world.
It’s quite humbling to think of all the roles that complete
strangers play in our daily existence. The sheer ingenuity
and effort required of others is one of the most compelling
reasons why we must make gratitude a daily practice.
One of the best ways to cultivate gratefulness is to count
your blessings by thinking of all the good in your life as
well acknowledging the contributions of others. This is
important for three reasons:
Positioning. By focusing on the positive things in each and
every day, you position gratitude so that it has top of mind
Perspective. By looking for goodness and nobility in
yourself and others, you are reminded that there are lots of
good people with good intentions in the world.
Power. By being appreciative for challenging lessons and
adverse situations you are demonstrating grace under fire.
That grace results in greater personal power, self-
confidence, momentum, and energy.
Practicing the fine art of gratitude is not only among our
most important positive emotions, but one that links
directly to physical and mental well-being. It’s in our
self-interest to feel gratitude because it makes us better
Like other attitudes, gratitude can be cultivated. We don’t
have to wait for someone to shower us with gifts before
feeling thankful. We can develop gratitude by reflecting on
the gifts that are already ours. This reflection can be done
for a minute, a day, or throughout a lifetime.
Gary Ryan Blair