If you’re always grateful for the little things, it’s hard to avoid happiness. It’s a lack of gratitude that often keeps us feeling down.
In the NEW edition of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently, Angel and I ask readers this question in the first chapter:
How often do you let go of what you think your life is supposed to look like, and sincerely appreciate it for everything it is?
If you’re anything like the rest of us, it’s probably not often enough.
Because finding sincere gratitude is much easier said than done in the hustle of life, especially when hard times hit. The truth is, most of the time we create tragedy in our lives out of fairly minor incidents. Something doesn’t go exactly as planned, but rather than learn from the experience, we freak out about it and let stress become us. Or we resist the small bits of progress we’ve made because we can’t achieve exactly what we want all at once.
Here’s an excerpt from 1,000 Little Things with some proven ways to find sincere gratitude when everything seems to be going wrong. Of course, we’re not suggesting we should rejoice at living through disappointing or painful life experiences. But there are ways we can find gratitude as we grow through them, nonetheless…
1. Be grateful around difficult people.
We expect people to treat us kindly, fairly, and respectfully. But the reality is some people won’t. They will lose their tempers or act foolishly, regardless of how we treat them. This must be accepted.
Don’t lower your standards, but do remind yourself that removing your expectations of others—especially those who are being difficult—is the best way to avoid being disappointed by them.
When you’re forced to deal with a difficult person, you can be grateful for having other people in your life who are far less difficult. You can be grateful for having a way to practice being better at patience, communication, and tempering your expectations. You can think of this person as a teacher who is inadvertently helping you to grow stronger as a person. And, at the very least, you can be grateful for them because they serve as a great reminder of how not to be.
2. Be grateful when you catch yourself starting to complain.
Many of us have developed a subtle habit of complaining when things don’t go quite our way. Gratitude is the antidote. Each time you notice yourself feeling bitter, or complaining, notice the story in your mind about “how life should…