Focusing Our Gratitude

How can we appreciate the little things in life if we do not celebrate them?

It seems that we focus much of our conscious attention on things that bother us; while neglecting the more meaningful felicities our world is sharing.  There are many things that agitate us throughout our day, but if we pay attention to only negative occurrences how are we going to be grateful for the modest joys in life?


How often do you get enraged at red lights? You sit there and begin to feel anger pulsing through your body while urging the light to change. We become agitated and worrisome which gradually can transform into road rage. Why do we let the outcome of a red light interfere with our happiness. Realistically red lights are out of our control. The further into our commute we get, the more we let simple things such as red lights obstruct our views.

 Now, think about how often you celebrate its counterpart the green light? Why do we become so irate when we are stopped by traffic signals which also allow us to move forward? This is a small example, but it is pertinent because we authorize the negativity of small occurrences to mold the outcome of our day.We are doing ourselves a great disservice by allowing pessimistic events to shape our outlook on life.

We cannot have “good” without “bad.” Just as we cannot have summer without winter. The negative aspect of a red light should allow us to be grateful for green lights. It’s impossible to have one without the other. When we encounter acts which we deem “bad” it should remind us to celebrate the “good” deeds we come across. However, our culture primarily focuses on the bad. The news is a brilliant example of this. Our society constantly pays tribute (unknowingly or not) to horrific acts of violence and mistrust. We have conditioned ourselves to focus on oppressive circumstances. Meanwhile we are permitting the veritable joys which constantly surrounds us to slip through the cracks.


If we are able to focus so much of our energy on feelings of negativity and doubtfulness then we must also be able to observe the positive wonders our world percolates every day.   It may be difficult at first because we’re used to detecting unfavorable outcomes, but if we’re able to see cynicism and defeat so readily, we must also be capable of identifying  the beauty and delights of life.

I understand first hand how difficult it can be when we are constantly bombarded with the stifling ways of mankind. But we’re doing ourselves an injustice of untold proportions if we allow ourselves to fall victim of the one edged sword. There is always another option. You have the ability to chose which outcome is most conducive to your wellbeing. There is always a choice to be made, and that choice depends on what you believe in.

 There is such beauty in the world that’s ready to be seen, if only we allow ourselves to notice it.

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I challenge you to give up something you enjoy. Not for the sake of depriving yourself of delight, but for the opportunity to be thankful and appreciative of the happiness it brings you.  It doesn’t have to be something big, and you don’t have to go without it very long. The whole purpose of abstaining from something up is so that you are able to recognize its importance… so you are able to be grateful.


I encourage you to spread random acts of kindness. To allow yourself to entertain a stranger. It is when we step outside our comfort zones that we realize the impact our decisions have on the world around us. When we permit ourselves to engage our surroundings with an open and pure heart we realize that there are others who rely on us as much as we rely on them.

10 thoughts on “Focusing Our Gratitude

  1. you are right..There are many things around us that need our attention and are worth celeberating but we most of the times we ignore them and remain busy with the negative counterparts.

    • We must remember that with the “good” comes the “bad.” But we musn’t look at these situations as “bad,” but rather hiccups that allow us to experience and appreciate the “good” things that much more. You cannot have one thing without it’s counterpart. Everything in this life is made up of opposites. We must recognize that harmony is accepting both sides of life.

  2. Great article, I loved it. It resonates very much with me and some lines you wrote are my philosophy exactly. Not easy to walk that talk on a daily basis but it’s always good to be reminded of such wise principles! So thanks!

  3. Pingback: Focusing Our Gratitude | Savor The Sprinkles

  4. I never thought about giving up something I enjoy aka letting go. Mostly I was forced to do so and so it happens that it is more painfull than thought. Thanks for reminding me how important this is. It does not only help to adjust and make sure we are not just keep on doing or hanging around with people because we got used to.. but to make sure that we are passionate with everything we do.

    • It’s a shame when your past comes back and has the ability to alter things. But adversely it’s also pretty neat. It’s being able to distinguish between what’s helping you and what’s hurting you. The wonderful thing is.. is YOU get to make the decision for yourself : ) I’ll leave you with this….

      “The happiness of our lives depends on the quality of our thoughts.”


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