“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
It was my good friend Marcus Evans who first introduced me to the concept of gratitude when he returned from India.
It’s such a simple thing. A bit like project management really. Someone tells you how to run a project and it’s well.. a bit “really? is that all you have for me?”
But once you use the stuff you’ve learnt, it is truly transformational.
And so it is with gratitude. A simple twist in perception can have a magnificent impact on our mood and our output.
Gratitude also stops unnecessary striving, which in Eastern Philosophy is what stops us reaching Nirvana.
If anyone’s ever been addicted to Rightmove you know exactly what I mean. That house, that job.. what is it really? It’s a reminder that you aren’t happy with what you have. There is a reason why Rightmove has the strapline “find your happy”.
As long as you are still looking they have a business.
“But striving is good for business!” I hear you say.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. When you are striving to stay above water at the bottom end of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs then business is about one thing; Money. But once that primary motivating factor is gone, one often finds that this is when the despondence and disaffection really set in.
It is perhaps when we are at the pinnacle of our success that we start to feel the most disillusioned.
This is because (like a product that just pivoted), we have stopped facing the original mission and now have a new one.
Once we have stopped chasing our physiological needs, our safety needs and our social needs, we then turn our attention to self-actualisation. (I have a philosophical problem with this being at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy with the word “self” in but perhaps that is another post.)
The key point here is that the move from physiological needs to psychological needs is a monumental pivot for us and we need help to surf this transition.
However, it is whilst we are in this state that we are perhaps closest to our true purpose.
Maybe you are already happy. Maybe you don’t need gratitude, or philosophy or anything of that nature. But maybe, like me you are/were an incessant searcher. Always looking for the best job, the best house, the best holiday.
Maybe you are searching so hard right now that you barely notice what happiness feels like.
Maybe you aren’t.
But does this song get to you?
The concept of gratitude seems simple. But just like the best things in life, you just need to try it and see.
Inspired by this post today..