Gratitude is Not Stagnation

Those of us striving towards our goals are often told to stay hungry in order to avoid stagnation. This is sound advice since losing our hunger and drive for success can lead us to laying down our arms, so to speak, and becoming too soft. Once we have become soft and effeminate in the comforts that success has brought us, it becomes easy to slip and lose everything that we worked so hard to get.

Stay hungry like a wolf, but thankful for what you have

It is possible to lose even more, however, when we fail to be grateful for what we do have in our lives. Whether it is a Fantasy Island-esque lesson from “the Universe,” an epiphany from GodJesus (and the Bear), or just a result of our action or inaction, failing to be grateful often leaves us with less than what we started with when we first embarked upon our journeys towards success.

Why Do We Lack Gratitude?

There are several reasons why we may fail to show gratitude towards the good people and good things that we have in our lives. Firstly, we may have a mentality that causes us to feel ungrateful. A victim’s mindset, for instance, may cause us to feel like we are not getting what we deserve, and thus, have nothing to be thankful for. Although victims do exist in the hierarchy of the power dynamic, there is likely always something that we can be thankful for depending on our purview. This is not to say that one should accept being a victim and be thankful for it, but rather that as one seeks to escape victimization and attain victory, that they can and should find legitimately good things in their lives to be thankful for.

Billboard telling us to be grateful

On the other hand, the belief that one should always remain hungry and dissatisfied can lead one to believe that they should not be grateful. When seeking greener pastures, it is easy to forget about the fields that have sustained us on our travels. Forgive me for trying to be poetic: When we are mashing towards a goal, it is easy to focus so much on attaining that which we are reaching for that we forget about the good things that we already have.

How Gratitude Can Help Us

Being grateful for what we have can be seen as a trait of weakness, but in reality, it can be one of our greatest strengths. People in our lives like to feel appreciated. Failure to show this appreciation can lead to us losing them, sometimes when we need them most. Not maintaining items or relationships that we have allows them to deteriorate, which in the end, leaves us at more of a loss rather than the gains we were seeking.

When we are grateful, not only can we maintain what we have, but we can also boost our morale. Focusing on what we lack all of the time can lead to a negative mindset, or a scarcity mindset. While gratefulness might not solve all of our problems, taking a little bit of time out of our day to reflect upon the things and people that we cherish or appreciate can give us a much needed boost of cheerfulness. As small as this boost of morale may seem, little things like these can often be enough to put us on a better path.

From here on, I will try to spend at least a few minutes each day thinking about what I am thankful for. This is something that I have seen author Florian Ulrich of Life Science Mentor do habitually on Twitter. It seems to be a great way to start the day and will assist in starting a daily agenda. It also gives us more to think about, and in the case of bloggers and authors, more to write about.

Although we are all striving to get more out of our lives, being thankful for what we have can help us to center our minds and clear out the clouds of negativity that can loom over us.