The ‘Gratitude’ Dilemma Unsolved


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As you will soon find out, showing gratitude for everything, ranging from mundane trivia to life-changing events is frequently touted as the route to happiness. Gratitude can be adequately defined as a form of self-acceptance that shows your appreciation for your surrounding situation. You can be grateful for practically anything: the tangibles and the intangibles, the gains and the losses, the past and the future. Certain religions and schools of thought have included and vigorously propounded it in their doctrines. Show gratitude for how your past had shaped your present, show gratitude for all the luxury that you have, show gratitude for every relationship and opportunity you encounter… and for the ether that holds everything you know. They have considered it to be an act of love and how it can ‘nourish the soul’. In other words, showing gratitude allows you to see the world in a better light and help you to undermine all your frowns and woes. The desired outcome is for man to realise how small their worries and histories are, and develop a deeper insight into their purpose in life. For believers in the law of attraction, gratitude is an indispensable ingredient in the course of manifesting your wants. Without gratitude, you will be attracting the opposite of what you want instead. In short, living a life of gratitude not only helps you to boost the quality of your life by increasing the frequencies of feeling bliss and avoiding a grim life, but you will also ‘grow’ in a spiritual sense. If the act of showing your gratitude becomes a daily task, doesn’t the expressed gratitude become overly superficial? Most people overcome the problem by ‘trying or pretending’ to be sincere. This has two outcomes, either they have mastered it by becoming emotionally attached, or they can’t handle the inner conflict and give up. However, being emotionally attached will eventually lead to complacency of your current level of attainment. When the gratitude expressed is tagged with emotions, you will also define your achievements or assets, such as the relationships you have, the tangibles that you own, the deeds you have performed, with unrealistic subjective value. This form of complacency can be harmful. There is a very high chance of missing crucial opportunities when complacency sets in. You may overestimate the risks of losing your current possessions, and complacency will convince you that you already have everything you need. The deadly combination of overestimated risks and complacency will overshadow the potential for future growth. So the question that I want to pose to the reader is this: How do you find the balance between being grateful and complacent? How is it possible to live the habit of showing gratitude sincerely every moment of every day and yet retain a strong drive for personal growth? Most importantly, how should one go about expressing gratitude?

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