A very important question that we need to ponder around is: ‘Does happiness cause one to be grateful or does being grateful create happiness?’. Well this is debatable in various levels and what we need to understand is that gratitude is the key factor that leads to success, satisfaction and overall happiness. It is generally believed that one can be grateful only when they have achieved and reached their goals. However, every phase towards reaching a goal has reasons and situations that one needs to be grateful for being stepping stones towards desired goals.
Research in the field of positive psychology has repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of gratitude to increase happiness which in turn increases work performance and goal success rates.
As stated by Charles Dickens, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, oh which all men have some.” Every one in the phase of learning and achieving big dreams is filled with levels of challenges and setback that tests one’s abilities, strength and perseverance. This is where one’s mindset, outlook and level of gratitude comes into role on their general satisfaction and happiness.
To naturally display gratitude we need to consciously practice the skill. Some ways to imbibe this skill as a habit could include: writing a journal about all the things that went well on a daily basis that lead to a new step towards desired goal. Like any other skill, expression of gratitude begins with taking conscious actions which become stronger over time and eventually becomes an effortless habit.
Gratitude is also a step towards real time goal-setting. People who practice writing and maintaining gratitude journals are more likely to set and successfully achieve personal and professional goals. Practicing gratitude helps to enhance and improve perseverance and resilience which is a necessity to achieve higher goals. Introspecting on a daily basis the things one is grateful for provides space to reflect on what has been accomplished and what more needs to be achieved. Gratitude also helps in celebrating success. Recognition of success should come from a genuine place of appreciation.
To conclude, let’s keep in mind that gratitude not only helps use reach and celebrate success but also improve interpersonal skills and mutually give and receive respect. As Dr. Abdul Kalam quoted, “In life no one will remember how you looked, walked, talked or what you did. Everyone just remembers you by the way you made them feel when they were with you.”