July 13, 2009

The Road to Happiness Begins with Gratitude

By Patrick Mahan

You can have all the money and all the material possessions in the world, but if you are not happy, then you might as well have nothing.

As Aristotle said, "Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” And the road to happiness begins with Gratitude.

Be thankful for what you already have and learn to be grateful for what God has already given you. Once you begin to show appreciation for what you have now, God will begin to bless you with more.

Think about it… if you continually give a person gifts and that person never shows their appreciation, what are the odds of you giving them more gifts? Very slim. However, if that person shows sincere gratitude, then you are more likely to continue giving them gifts, right?

God works the same way. The more gratitude you show, the more blessings you receive.

Whenever you have what seems to be a “problem”, try changing the channel in your mind and begin focusing on all the things you are grateful for. And take time to actually write these things down. Then dwell on these things until you make a strong, emotional connection.

Remember, your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. When you choose to focus on the reasons you are grateful, it is impossible to feel fear or anxiety because your body can only experience one emotion at a time.

I’m reminded of the Pilgrims who fought their way across the stormy Atlantic in wooden boats...

They suffered unimaginable horrors and diseases. They lost friends, family and loved ones. Yet, despite all the hardship, they still took time to bow their heads and give thanks to God.

And that timeless tradition became known as Thanksgiving.

If the Pilgrims could find something to be thankful for in the wake of their excruciating journey to America, then surely you can too!

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." ~ Epictetus (born c. 55 AD)

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