Gratitude – a powerful word in every language. It is emotionally charged and has an enormous influence on our way of thinking and living. But before delving into that, let me ask you something else which is intertwined with it.
What is happiness and how it is determined? Sonja Lyubomirsky, together with David Schkade and Ken Sheldon, have discovered that there are three components that affect happiness:
- People are born with a natural “set point” (50%);
- Life circumstances (10%);
- Intentional activity (40%).
We possess the most power to alter the last component. Lyubomirsky’s book – The How of Happiness – offers a thorough guide to understanding what happiness is, what it is not, and what can be done to walk that extra (s)mile to the happy life we have always envisaged. And the first and most important activity associated with happiness is “expressing gratitude”.
Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, defines it as “a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for life”. People who are grateful all the time, are much happier, full of energy, and experience many more positive emotions.
Thus, it is high time I expressed my gratitude. And here goes:
Lord, I thank you for today. I thank you for yesterday, for the bread, the smiles, the savoury, the friends, the health, and health, and health.
Please accept my gratitude for all the positive emotions, but also for all the negative ones – they are teaching me well.
Thanks also for the bed I sleep in, the joys, my parents and my family (who have been the most supportive), their friends – let them flourish in sound health.
Did I thank you for the food? All the succulent, mouth-watering, orgasm-provoking dishes and gourmet specialties. My life is much sweeter.
Thank you for the modern technologies, but thank you also for the books.
Thank you for the ladies, their short skirts, luscious forms and opulent curves, long muscular legs, charming and disarming smiles. My senses are celebrating cheerfully!
Thank you for this pen and paper, for this moment, for us, and for you.
May I express my gratitude for the travels so far and for the new adventures I am about to embark upon?
Could I be more grateful for the sun and the stars, the exhilarating rain and the light, and the warm breeze in January?
Thank you for the winter fairies and the crispy snow decrepitating under my feet. Thank you for the Ohm and Jahs – they surely have their part for the overall happiness! I may be overtly naïve, but I see beauty everywhere.
“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”
Red (Morgan Freeman) in the fabulous “Shawshank Redemption”