By Ken Honda | Published January 11, 2022
It’s possible to switch into a state of gratitude immediately, in any given moment. So why do we find it so tricky? Often, it’s simply because we forget, we let our ego take over, and we focus so much on ourselves that we have trouble being considerate to others.
An active state of gratitude in theory should be easy to maintain, but we often find ourselves upset, resentful, entitled, or just irritable throughout our daily lives even if we wake up with the intention to feel grateful all day.
One secret to staying in a thankful mood is remembering that you can’t be in a state of gratitude and resentment at the same time. Remembering is actually key, because when we find ourselves overwhelmed and stressed, it’s not that we’ve failed some kind of gratitude challenge – we simply forgot and we let our ego mind take over. It loves to find reasons to complain, be upset, compare itself to others, or feel like it deserves more.
Here’s another secret – Humility.
What does humility have to do with gratitude? Everything – when you’re humble, it takes your ego almost completely out of the picture, allowing it to take a nap the back seat so you can stop fighting with it for control of the steering wheel.
When you can quiet the voice of your ego, you approach the world from an entirely different perspective. It throws entitlement and deserving out the window and makes space for appreciating every single thing that shows up in our lives.
The third secret is simply to practice compassion. Often, it’s easy to fall into forgetfulness because we are so focused inwardly on ourselves and our own problems that we forget to look up and see how our actions affect other people.
It’s never a bad time to reach out to someone and offer help, say hello, or just connect and listen to someone else to get you out of your own narrow head space. The trick to being compassionate to others is to see them for who they truly are and their greatest potential instead of seeing them through the lens of your own ego which likes to focus on faults and mistakes.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you catch yourself “failing” to be in a state of gratitude, either. Be compassionate not only to others, but also yourself. Practicing compassion, gratitude, and humility are all wonderful ways to shift your life into a better place almost instantly, but we have to remember than no one is perfect and it’s okay to mess up and forget. That’s just part of being human. What’s important is how you react when you realize you’re off track – You can choose to be upset, or you can choose to shift into a state of gratitude again.