Gratitude: 10 Practical Steps

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Do you get up in the morning determined to have a good day and before you know it, you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and that you can't wait for the day to be over so you can rest? Do you feel like you are existing from day to day rather than living a life of joy? Do you ever ask yourself, "Is this all there is, and if it is, do I want it?" If so, you are not alone.

Thousands of people just like you are asking these same questions. These are the people who thought that if they just did it right everything would be okay. Right meant - getting married, having children, buying the starter house, moving to the larger house and two-car garage, and so on including getting a good education so you could make lots of bucks. You keep running to keep up with this picture of success and yet you feel so empty. The emptiness feels like isolation, loneliness, and exhaustion. I call this emptiness 'existential despair.'

Existential Despair

Existentialism is a philosophy centered upon the analysis of existence and stressing the freedom, responsibility, and usually the isolation of the individual. Despair means utter loss of hope or a cause of hopelessness. 'Existential despair' then means the painful discrepancy between what is, and what should be, between one's perceptions, and one's suppositions.

This sense of loss or the absence of meaning in one's life is the common denominator of all forms of emotional distress and has been identified as the 'modern-day illness.' Pain, disease, disappointment, loss, failure, alienation, or merely boredom - all lead to this feeling that life is meaningless. 'Existential despair' exists when we buy the myth that having external goodies creates success and happiness. We do and buy everything we can to fill the 'hole in our soul' except the one thing that really matters - going within and making peace with ourselves.

Making Peace with Ourselves

Making peace with ourselves involves changing the way we habitually focus our energy. What this means is that WHAT YOU FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON EXPANDS. Scientists are discovering that energy never dies; rather, it changes form as attention is focused on it. Thoughts are energy. A belief is a thought with expectations attached. Everything starts with a thought and reality is created by expectant thoughts.

One of the universal laws is the Law of Increase. This law ensures that whatever you concentrate on will increase in your life. In other words, whatever you think about expands and therefore you will receive even more. In an empowering (positive) way, expressing gratitude for all the many blessings you have received accelerates this process.