Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How to keep your gratitude alive & thriving

  Sehrish Khan       Wednesday, July 10, 2019
If you have been practising gratitude for a long time now and have also experienced the sheer power this emotion holds, you will agree that it works hundred percent of the time and can create success in any area of your life. However, the benefits don't come without challenges and distractions.  

Here are 4 common pitfalls that may try to distract you and get in the way of your gratitude. If you can consciously avoid them, nothing can stop you from gaining continued bliss and fulfillment in all areas of life.

* Instant gratification
* Pride and arrogance
* Entitlement
* Taking things for granted and complacency

1) Instant Gratification

Instant gratification can undermine your gratitude and rob you of your ability to keep creating joy and abundance on a continuous basis. You must avoid it at all costs, if you wish to continue to enjoy the benefits of gratefulness. If you want pleasure on a continuous basis, chase gratitude--not pleasure.

Gratitude for long term happiness and success

You are probably thinking that instant gratification is harmless as it doesn't involve anything that violates the natural laws. What happens is that gratitude creates intense happiness and excitement, and the immediate effect of it is that you will want to spend your time and energy in amusing yourself, rather than continue thanking and appreciating.

Gratification takes your attention away, from being conscious and appreciative, to being unconscious. As this happens, you actually stop the gratitude process and waste your energy on amusing yourself. Consequently, you are pushed back again, and your old thinking patterns and habits come back to keep you trapped again.

In modern psychology, there is a detailed research on delayed gratification as to how it plays a crucial role in a person's success. Most successful people intentionally or unintentionally practise "delayed gratification" by being mindful.

Why unrestrained pleasure kills gratitude 

Since gratitude is a cause and seed that not only increases your current blessings but also creates intense joy, your chances of indulging into instant gratification are high. As a result of getting trapped by sensual pleasure and gratification, you may lose sight of your main objective: which is to continue to be thankful.

The gratification trap, if goes unchecked and continues for hours every single day, will throw you off balance and make you lose your mindfulness and wakefulness. 

Remember, thankfulness is based on "giving" (back to God/the universe) while pleasure/gratification is based on "taking" (from God/the universe/nature).

When you are appreciative and consciously assessing God's/nature's wonderful work by thanking Him, you are actually "giving." in the form of paying attention to the intelligence, power, wisdom and generosity being showered upon you. This "giving" comes back to you manifold in the form of joy, happiness, peace and abundance.

Gratification or sensual pleasure is actually an effect, a result, or outcome, which means, it does not have the power to create more pleasure. Pleasure can be achieved by doing anything. You can do drugs and get pleasure, but it will not create further pleasure as you will be asked by nature to pay back.

2) Pride and Arrogance

Try your best to be humble. Your mind will not take rest and will keep trying to distract you, especially after you successfully nurture gratitude and start seeing results. A possible pitfall trap staged by your mind is going to be arrogance and pride. This is one of the subtlest traps. As you begin to amass wealth, abundance and happiness, you may be tempted to puff up with pride from time to time and this may get you in serious trouble if you don't consciously stop it.

You may be wondering why pride is dangerous to your overall well-being. Pride is actually based on unrealistic assessment of life and your own self. Many psychologists now focus more and more on nurturing reality-esteem than self-esteem.

In short, you have to keep an eye on your thinking and try to be as conscious as you can. You must stop:
  • Showing off your wealth, cars, assets, and success to impress others.
  • Mocking others, especially those not as good as you.
  • Looking down upon those having no success. 
  • Overvaluing yourself when in reality deep down you know you did nothing as the events that led to your success were beyond your control and capabilities.

3) Entitlement

Another dangerous pitfall that you must avoid is entitlement. Entitlement is all about feeling deserved or privileged" We all know that gratitude ends entitlement, so how can it create it? Technically speaking, gratitude does not create entitlement, it is our mind that creates it. When we start getting powerful results by nurturing gratitude, our mind starts playing its games and will do its best to throw us off balance. If  your mind fails to stop you from feeling grateful all the time, it may even try to make you feel entitled to "gratitude practice", giving you a false sense of self.

The only way to avoid this trap is to be the ever-alert guardian of your thoughts, and your gratitude practice.

4) Complacency and taking things for granted 

When you start nurturing heartfelt gratitude in any area of your life, things will start getting easier and easier for you. Success will come so easy that you may fall into the trap of complacency. The powerful aspect of thankfulness is that it attracts your desired goals effortlessly, and this may make you take success for granted. 

Complacency will first hamper your gratitude practice and then you will gradually go back to square one--back to where you started. All the gifts gained through gratitude may slip out your hands if this dangerous pitfall is not avoided.   

Thanks for reading How to keep your gratitude alive & thriving

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