This is one principle I have covered. This idea has been impressed in my mind from very long ago from reading “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.” It’s a central point of most all religions, but even if you’re not religious, it’s still one of the most powerful tools you can implement on a daily basis. Even cynical people use this principle when they say, “Things could be worse, you know.”
In my experience, sometimes I feel like I live a charmed life. Great job, great relationship, decent health. And even when none of those things was true, I was in a draining job, a dead relationship, and my back was giving me trouble constantly, I was still able to be grateful that I was paying the bills, that I had the skills and intelligence to create things on a computer, and plenty of smaller things that some people didn’t have the opportunity to do. There is always something that you can be grateful for. The term for someone who is ungrateful for what they have been given is “ingrate.” To me, that sounds like an incredible insult.
Being grateful is also one of the easiest things to do. It’s not “Thank you for this food we are about to eat,” “Thank you for helping me win this game,” or “Thank you for everything,” although the last is closer than the other two. In the same way that the law of attraction works, where you can’t be specific in your request, you shouldn’t be grateful for a specific reason.
I am not grateful for my ability to program computers. I am grateful to have the intelligence to understand how to program computers well. I am not grateful for having money to pay my bills, I am grateful for having the skills and ambition to have a career that pays well enough to cover my expenses. My gratitude is one or more levels higher. It’s me being grateful for who I am. I know I’m not perfect, but when I give thanks, I am focusing on my positive traits and trying to eliminate the negative. By focusing higher, I am able to make this cleansing easier.
If I were to be represented as a single point, with beams of light radiating down and out in a pyramid shape. Each beam could represent something I’ve done or something I do regularly. Some of those beams end up landing on some undesirable traits or actions, but many of them do not. Now, if giving thanks is like focusing or highlighting on a part of me or my actions, then placing the focal point higher in the pyramid is going to include more beams or rays in its area. Putting the focal point lower may only include a couple of rays.
For example, “I am grateful for getting to work on time today.” That’s very specific. As you focus on that event and give thanks for it, you may recall that you cut off a couple people on the road in order to get to work on time, so you are able to take responsibility for those negative actions, ask for forgiveness, and cleanse yourself of that negativity.
But, if you focus higher, “I am grateful for being responsible and keeping my job.” This will brighten many rays involving getting to work on time, working hard and meeting deadlines, getting along with coworkers, being honest and plenty more. At the same time, it allows you to identify negative actions at a higher level. You may find you are impatient, which leads you to race to work in the morning, cutting people off. Impatience may cause you to do a lower quality of work sometimes. So by focusing and cleansing at this higher level, you are cleaning up more specific issues.
So when I give thanks, I don’t focus on the things I am grateful for, but instead I focus on the personal traits that are the reason I have things to be grateful for. Because without those traits, I would not have the life I have.