This article was previously published by Dr. Taylor Hartman and we thought it was particularly appropriate for this holiday season.
Gratitude: The Great Precursor to Happiness
We won’t be able to appreciate what gift the future may bring until we learn to appreciate what we have now. Are you grateful? Do you notice the gifts you currently enjoy every day? Or are you too busy to say “thank you?” Someone wise once said, “The trouble with living is that it is so daily.” Sometimes we need to step out of our lives to put everything in perspective. There is much to be grateful for. Trials are a part of life. We need to be flexible in facing these trials, and this requires an ability to see the good and opportunity in times of stress. Remember the saying, “When God closes a door he opens a window?” Who are we to expect a different door or a bigger window?
Accept, don't expect!
Shift Your Thinking to Be Grateful for What You Have!
A story is told of a man who complained to his guru that his home was too small for his wife, four children, and mother-in-law. The wise guru suggested that he bring his two mules and five chickens into the home for one week. The man was confused and admittedly angry, but he followed his guru’s counsel. After a week, he gladly put the animals out of the small house. This new perspective helped him realize that his home was much bigger than he had thought, and his appreciation grew much deeper…so did his happiness. You’ve heard the story of the man who complained that he had no shoes, until he met the man who had no feet.
To be ungrateful is to be selfish! It consumes one’s mind and is mirrored in all of one’s actions. Usually the ungrateful blame others for their underserved troubles. When a person is ungrateful there is no time for service or simple pleasures. There is only time to obsessively seek for gratification while the good things of life pass by. All too late, the ingrate will awaken to realize his greatest nightmare - now he really has nothing. What he had was enough all the time.
Be grateful for what you have NOW
Purge Yourself of the “If Only” Mentality
Have you ever tried to give a gift to an unappreciative person? They take the magic right out of the moment! They never seem quite content with you or your gift. Their life is filled with “if only’s:” “If only you had wrapped it better.” “If only you had given it sooner.’ “If only you had done it right!”
An “if only” mentality will destroy personal relationships. The reason I wrote The People Code and Color Your Future was to provide simple clarity concerning who we are and what innate gifts we have to bless others’ lives. Since then, I have too often heard people say, “I wish I were another color.” “If only I were this color, then I could be happy.”
Perhaps it is best expressed in this poem by Shel Silverstein:
“Trying on Clothes”
I tried on the farmer’s hat, Didn’t fit. A little too small - just a bit Too floppy. Couldn’t get used to it, Took it off.
I tried on the dancer’s shoes, A little too loose. Not the kind you could use for walkin’. Didn’t feel right in ‘em. Kicked them off.
I tried on the summer sun,
Nice and warm - knew it would. Tried the grass beneath bare feet, Felt neat. Finally, felt well dressed, Nature’s clothes (our innate color) just fit me best.
Isn’t that fun? It is in coming to accept and appreciate ourselves that we are able to appreciate tomorrow’s gifts as well as the one’s we enjoy today.
Appreciate who YOU are
Be gracious in your daily living. All too soon today’s many gifts will be gone, only to be experienced as memories. The memories will only be enjoyable to those who appreciated the experiences at the time. Faded regrets are for those who refused to see the “window” focusing instead on what “should have been” rather than on what “gratefully was.” Look in the mirror and love you. Look at your friends and loved ones and say “thanks.” See in your family’s eyes all their hopes, dreams and gifts while appreciating that you are a part of their journey through life. Instead of criticizing them, create possibilities for good memories. Accept the cards life deals you, however unfair, and play your hand out with courage. Be grateful, always grateful, you were even invited to participate in the great game of life.
Dr. Hartman has always brought a fresh perspective on life. He has always said that realizing your natural core color is like “coming home”. Once we truly realize who we are and what we want, that enables us to move forward in all aspects of life. Whether it be marriage, business, family, or other relationships, knowing yourself and others helps us realize what truly matters and how to get the best out of life.
That is why once we realize who we are, we should be grateful for that because we know that we have innate gifts and strengths that will bless other people’s lives. By being grateful for who we are we are taking part in this wonderful holiday season and enjoying the enrichment of it’s celebration.
This article was edited and posted by TJ Hartman