Truly I tell you, gratitude is the key to abundance. For if you are grateful, surely you will experience an increase in all the good things you feel you are deserving in Life. Gratitude does not come from a “this is too good to be true” feeling. Nor does it come from feelings of lack and desperation, such that you are dependent upon external factors as if the world owes you anything. Gratitude comes from a realisation, a proper understanding of things, that goes as deep and as true as that of a mother’s love for her child. Thankfulness cannot be faked or forced. You can train a child to say “Thank You” when he is given something good, but you cannot cause him to truly experience deep feelings of gratitude and appreciation in his heart. Perhaps this is why grateful people have always been in short supply. I am referring to the truly grateful, not the masses that only profess gratefulness by the tongue but do not possess it in the depths of their hearts. However, like any other tendencies, true gratefulness can be slowly and steadily instilled in one’s being by consistent and diligent observation and practice. How does abundance come into the picture of gratitude? To give a weird but vivid analogy, imagine a person living in a dark, claustrophobic and almost airtight pod. Let’s say, for the sake of this analogy, she is able to live solely on air. Her only supply of air streams in from tiny almost imperceptible holes puncturing the surface of the pod. These holes also happen to bring in a little light into her pod. Abundance is the virtually infinite supply of air that exists as a plenum outside her pod. Gratitude is the hole that punctures the pod, allowing some air and some light to enter it. As she lives and breathes in the pod, she is able to notice the tiny holes that have been sustaining her throughout her life. As she has been paying attention to only a fixed area of tiny holes, she thinks those are the only holes that exist to nourish her with much needed air, when in truth, tiny holes dot the entire surface area of the pod. Every day, she lives a life of struggle, constantly panting and heaving and gasping for air, punctuated only occasionally when she musters the courage and effort to place herself close to an area of holes and really suck in the air from outside the pod. Let’s say she is not likely to suffer from asphyxiation because she is able to survive on very minimal amounts of air. One day, she experiences a breakthrough. During one of those rare moments in which she gets the strength to really suck in air from one of the holes on the pod, she notices that her suction had caused the hole to expand in size, thus, the amount of air that streams in increases. At first, she ignores this phenomenon. But when the effect happens for a second, and a third time, she sets out to turn her hypothesis into a fact. Soon she discovers that there are actually more holes dotting the surface of the pod than she had realised, because of the increased amount of light that enters due to the increasing size of the hole. So she experiments with the other holes dotting the pod, sucking in the outside air with all her might, until eventually, she has a couple of big holes on her pod that bring in really huge amounts of air and light. Day by day, she continues this new hole-expanding effort of hers. One day, because of the increasing sizes of the holes and the number of holes that have expanded, the structural integrity of the once solid pod diminishes, and she finds that she can easily, almost effortlessly, rip apart the pod as if it were made of paper – hence, finally liberating herself and transcending into a whole new world of abundance. Bizarre as this analogy might seem, most of us live like the girl in the pod. There are tiny streams of abundance entering our self-imposed imprisoned life. All it takes is our awareness of these sources of sustenance and abundance and to expand our awareness of them, thus increasing our prosperity in all areas of Life. Everything is an asset. Are you sitting on them or are you finding ways and means of fashioning those assets into materials that you would use to design the life of your dreams?