The great question of the world is, “How do I find happiness?” Some people seem to think happiness comes from material possessions. Others seem to think it comes from fame. Still others believe it comes from love and family. While there can be very happy moments from any of these and particularly from love and family, true and lasting happiness can only come from gratitude.
Gratitude cures a multitude of ills. When I was a missionary in Paris, I spent several months in the suburbs south of Paris. This has never been a very well-to-do part of the city. Interestingly, I found both very happy and very miserable people there. Those who were miserable tended to blame others for their misfortunes and were angry at the world for not giving them more.
On the other hand, there were several people I met who were extraordinarily happy, though they had very little. These people were very thankful for what they did have. They were thankful for their family, their friends, their health. They did not complain. They were at peace.
How is it that I found two such completely opposite attitudes int he same place among people in the exact same circumstances?
It became clear to me that the difference between the two groups related primarily to their attitude about life. On the one hand, there were those who were angry at life and felt they had been cheated. On the other hand were those who were grateful for what they did have.
I have found this situation over and over in my life. People who are truly happy tend also to be those who are the most thankful for their blessings, regardless of their current station in life. Those who were unhappy were jealous our upset because they didn’t have something they wanted.
I notice this in my own life as well. When I focus on how much I have been given, I am less worried about what I don’t have. I also tend to focus more on how I can help others. And helping others is where true peace and contentment are derived.
What does this have to do with wealth? Everything! Wealth includes not only monetary success, but also spiritual, emotional and physical success. And we tend to be so much more successful in these areas when we are grateful. Interestingly, I also find that my financial wealth grows as well when I am most grateful. When I can get outside of myself and focus on helping others, giving back, is when the money seems to flow.
So don’t be afraid to say a prayer of thanksgiving from time to time or to tell your spouse or your children how much you appreciate them. It will have a tremendous impact on your life.
Thank you for letting me share with you.