Living In Gratitude: Show Gratitude To People Who Challenge You

We all have people in our lives who challenge us.

These people can be overly critical, always think they are right, take credit for other’s work or successes, bring drama to every situation, blame others, or act like they know absolutely everything.

As is human nature, we often react negatively to their behaviors, actions and personalities because we find them aggravating. But instead of getting pulled into their whirlwind of negativity, try the following ways of showing them appreciation. Because, if we think about it, they are teaching us things about ourselves and how to better handle difficult people and situations. They push us, test us and stretch our boundaries of patience, all which, if we react with kindness, tolerance and gratitude, can make us a better person. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Gratitude Opens Your Heart To Love

Gratitude opens your heart to love.

Studies on gratitude show that those people who are grateful have more friends, deeper, more meaningful relationships and healthier partnerships/marriages.

Gratitude creates an amazing ripple effect in our relationships.

When we appreciate those around us, we begin to understand on a deeper level how much our friends, family and loved ones bring to our lives. Support, laughter, connection, conversation. And when we express that gratitude to each of these people, not only does our heart swell with love, but it positively affects the people for whom we are grateful. Our gratitude makes them feel loved, wanted, needed and appreciated. And when they feel all of these positive things, they in turn, ‘pay it forward’ by expressing their appreciation to the ones that love, guide, and support them.

Ways to show gratitude to the people you love:

1. Share a specific example of something they did for you and how it made a difference in your life. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Strive To Be Of Value

Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value. ~ Albert Einstein

In Western society, much of what defines a person, especially in their ‘career,’ is their success. And this success usually revolves around the monetary or material as well as ‘one ups-manship‘, that unspoken concept of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.

We are taught to strive for success rather than to be of value.

When we offer value, be it to the company that employs us, our spouse, children and family or our clients and friends, we are, by default, successful. Others are innately attracted to and appreciate those who selflessly offer their help and expertise.
Read more

Living In Gratitude: Graciously Accepting Compliments

Everyone appreciates a compliment but many of us don’t know quite how to accept them gracefully.

Compliments can make us feel uncomfortable. We don’t want to appear as though we are ‘tooting our own horn’ by accepting a compliment yet at the same time, we want to enjoy it.

Below are a few tips to graciously accepting the gift of compliments.

Compliments are gifts. 
The best response when someone compliments you is simply: Thank you.

If that doesn’t feel like enough, try to keep your response short and sincere.

“Thank you, my parents gave this to me and it’s always been one of my favorites,” or 
”Thank you, I really enjoyed presenting to your group,”
 or “Thanks so much, that means a lot to me.“

Accept All Compliment
When we deflect or turn down a compliment, we are basically insult the giver.

Giver: I love your outfit. It was the perfect thing to wear to this event.

Receiver: Oh, this old thing? I grabbed it out of the back of my closet.  I don’t really like it, but it was too late to find something better.

That response informed the person who complemented you that they have poor taste. Now they are wondering why they offered you a compliment to begin with.

What should you have said? Thank you. Read more

Living In Gratitude: 10 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships

Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you. ~Anonymous

Social media has enabled us to stay in touch with friends near and far but it doesn’t necessarily equate to meaningful relationships.

Close friendships require time and energy. They need to be nurtured and attended to. Below are 10 ways to cultivate successful relationships with family, friends and even coworkers.


Liking ourselves is the foundation for others to connect with us. After all, if we fundamentally don’t like who we are, why would anyone else?


Be the person who listens, hearing others without interrupting. Listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give another person. Allowing someone to speak, be heard and understood is an invaluable part of every meaningful relationship. Read more

Living In Gratitude: 5 Myths About Being Grateful

Does gratitude make us lazy? Naive?

Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, debunks five of the most common myths and misconceptions about being grateful.

1. Gratitude leads to complacency

If we are grateful, will we be motivated to challenge the status quo or improve our lot in life?

In reality, studies suggest that the opposite is true: Gratitude drives a sense of purpose and a desire to do more.

People are actually more successful at reaching their goals when they consciously practice gratitude. Among a group of study participants, the grateful group tasked to keep a gratitude journal made 20 percent more progress toward their goals than the non-grateful group and they continue to strive harder toward their goals. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Diversity

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. ~Nelson Mandela

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all accepted ourselves and others exactly as we are?

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we lived from a place of love and acceptance, grateful for the wondrous diversity the world has to offer?

It’s okay that we are all different, that we have unique opinions and distinct beliefs.

Consider how bland life would be if everything was the same. If there was only one kind of tree, one type of flower, one landscape, one food, one aroma, one song, one book. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Taking Risks

You miss 100% of the shots you never take ~Wayne Gretzky

Making a big life change is pretty scary.

But, there’s something even scarier.


Life is all about taking risks. We do it from the moment we are born but as we get older, many of us shy way from things that seem too uncertain. We begin to play the “What if” game and often get caught up by fear of failure, making mistakes or the unknown.

But consider this: Everything we have ever done in life, we’ve had to do for the very first time. If we always played it safe, we wouldn’t be walking, talking, have friends, own a house, traveled, interviewed for the job we really wanted… Each of those entailed risk. And when we stop and think about it, look how much we’ve achieved! Read more

Living In Gratitude: Happiness & Joy

Joy. The kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens. ~David Steindl-Rast

If you look up the word joy and happiness, they are often used synonymously.

But, are they really the same?

Gratitude guru, Robert Emmons, believes there is a fundamental difference between the two.

When we are happy, says Emmons, it is primarily a result of external experiences. Happiness is also momentary because it is based on events. We feel happy when we get a promotion, do well on an exam, buy that new car, outfit, home or other material item. Happiness is an emotional response to having what we want. This temporary emotional response is fleeting once the outside event has been achieved.  Read more

Living In Gratitude: How To Live a Successful Life

This simple, sweet poem offers sound advice on living a life of authenticity, appreciation, acceptance and understanding. When we strive to be kind, patient, gentle and gracious, we open our hearts to everything and everyone around us. It nurtures respect of ourselves as well as that of others. By following these guidelines, we will make a positive impact on the world around us.

Mend a quarrel.

Seek out a forgotten friend.

Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.

Write a letter.

Give a soft answer.

Encourage youth.

Manifest your loyalty in a word and deed.

Keep a promise.

Forgo a grudge. Read more