Gratitude Is True Power — Why to Choose It & How

In his essay The Power of Gratitude, Professor of Leadership and Change at INSEAD, Manfred Kets de Vries writes:

“The words grateful and gratitude derive from the archaic adjective “grate” meaning pleasing to the mind, being full of gratitude or being disposed to repay favors bestowed.

‘Grate’ originates from the Latin ‘gratus’, meaning the readiness to show appreciation for, and to return, kindness. Grateful people count their blessings, have the ability to appreciate the simple pleasures of life and are always prepared to acknowledge whenever good things happen to them. They are also the kinds of people willing to give something back.”

What an inspiring description of gratitude and grateful people, don’t you think?

Imagine living your life this way and encouraging others to be grateful.

[4 Habits to Instill to Become Your Own Leader in Life]

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that you can benefit from immediately. It’s your true nature; your essence; your center; one of your deepest emotions and get this… You’re born with an endless supply of gratitude you can tap into at any time. Gratitude remains. It never lets you down.

Gratitude changes your perspective on life

Gratitude is a moment to moment choice. And every thankful moment you have makes you healthier and happy.

Just open your eyes and purposefully look for things you like, look for things you’re taken with and love because when you find something you like you tune right into your gratitude — “…the ability to appreciate the simple pleasures of life…”

I was driving around the other day and chose to look for things I’m grateful for. Here’s what came up:

I’m grateful for cars – grateful for blue skies, sunshine and fresh air – grateful all my senses work – grateful for radios and music – grateful to kind people and thoughtful friends – grateful for green plants and red blooming flamboyant trees – grateful to the men repairing the road – grateful for the smell of homemade rye bread – happy people – the internet – my partner’s love and support.

[Do You Believe in ‘Karma’? 6 Methods to Consider When Faced With Negative Energy]

These are ‘thoughts of gratitude’ and they translate into bodily feelings in your heart and mind. They make for gladness, joy, peace, love. There are loads of things to be grateful for in an instant, and it never fails to show me that gratitude is dynamic, a living emotion that can be triggered in us by thousands of things, feelings and ideas. All you have to do is be conscious of it, and when the gratitude appears feel it, relish it, express it and spread it around.

  • Gratitude makes you happy.
  • Gratitude makes you strong, energized, clear, kind, complete.
  • Gratitude wipes out your complaining, pompous ego, worry, fear, negativity and misery.

Gratitude is habitual and healthy

When you practice being grateful, the feeling of gratitude quickly grows and feels natural. You wake up and one of the first things you think about is your gratitude – “I’m so grateful to be alive…thankful for another day here in my home with my family and friends.” All you have to do is acknowledge gratitude, and it’s there. Call to it, and see what happens.

[12 Ways to Remove the Roadblocks for Loving Yourself]

Recently I participated in a 21-day meditation experience with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey called – Manifesting Grace Through Gratitude. Day 10 presented the benefits of being grateful with this beautiful and practical idea which I love:

“Gratitude can transform all our relationships. It starts when you express gratitude or appreciation to another person. The transformation begins when you have the thought of gratitude and your brain translates that feeling into beneficial biochemical and neurological changes in your body. The feeling of gratitude also expands the heart, which has the effect of erasing old grievances and soothing resentments and petty differences we may have been holding onto.

Gratitude is wonderful in that it gives these same benefits to the body and heart of the giver as well as the receiver of gratitude. When someone is thanked or appreciated, they generate the same biochemical changes and feel the same expansion and healing of the heart. This back-and-forth flow of gratitude uplifts and opens every aspect of our relationship with that person.”

How much do these words make you want to thank someone and experience the …back-and-forth
flow of gratitude…’ and to keep it going?

[6 Ways to Raise Capable, Grateful Kids in a Self-Absorbed World]

A Gratitude Exercise To Try 

Think about someone you’re grateful to. Take a few moments to see why you’re grateful. What is the specific reason? What did you benefit from or receive from them that you’re grateful for? Then – go right ahead and thank them. Call or email or write them a letter expressing your gratitude, and see what happens to you and to them when you say thank you.

  • Either gratitude is something that exists naturally or it doesn’t.
  • Either it has a good effect on you or it doesn’t.
  • Either it’s important or it’s a waste of your time.

If a person doesn’t welcome gratitude, is grudging, there is definitely something large missing in the quality and purpose of their life.

Gratitude is a simple, whapping miracle to live your life by.

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

Einstein describes it like this and he was really logical and scientific:

“There are only 2 ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

Why not choose to be grateful? To live with an open heart, live with the great abundance and happiness that gratitude manifests.

Nourish your gratitude like you would a new born baby and watch it grow and bloom like a rose and shine like the brilliant wonder of a rainbow.


{Image credit: Aaron Burden, Unsplash}


About the Author

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Michael Feeley was a recruiter and business consultant in New York City for over 20 years, partnering with top Fortune 500 companies and boutique firms in the fields of -- entertainment, finance, advertising, non-profit, real estate, publishing, fashion…helping thousands of people to be truly happy in their work.His private coaching clients include HR Specialists, CEO’s, creatives and other business professionals.Michael has written for – Michael Port, Just Bloom, The Fordyce Letter, LinkedIn and The Huffington Post. It’s a great honor for him to start working with learn more about Michael -- visit his website or contact him directly by email,

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