Gratitude is a powerful concept advocated by many successful people in the world. I decided that if gratitude was essential to them, I should also understand why and how to apply it as they have.
How can we practice gratitude?
I found that the key to the gratitude was to let go and stop worrying about the things I did not have in my life and switch my focus to what I did have. I had to acknowledge that I was thankful for these things and eventually, feeling thankful every day opened many doors of opportunity and made all the difference.
How I Upgraded My Life
By studying how to apply gratitude in my life, I was able to upgrade my life completely. I began to practice gratitude while I was homeless. At the time, I was handing out brochures for the real estate company I had just started working for. I thanked the universe for all the things that I had and stopped worrying about what I didn’t have.
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Learning to be thankful every day made a huge difference in my life at that time. Things were rapidly improving for me. I went from being a marketing person giving out brochures in the sun to a sales executive. Then I became a sales manager, and then a sales director, all in the same company. All of this happened within two years, thanks to what I was learning and how I was applying it to my life.
Shifting my focus to what I had instead of what I didn’t have was as simple as flipping on a light switch in my head. I could see how focusing on what I lacked caused me to miss the value of what I had.
Instead of dwelling on my lack of money for a plane ticket from Bangkok to Phuket, I was thankful for the bus driver who gave my unconscious, drunk self a chance and a ride on the bus to Phuket.
My Angel in Thailand
Instead of focusing on not having enough money to eat, I gave thanks for the noodle soup lady. She made sure that I had something to eat every day, even when I could not pay. The more I thought about the noodle soup lady, the more grateful I became because I realized the impact she had on me. She became a significant figure in my early life in Thailand because of the angel that she was. Her shop only had four tables with twelve chairs, and it was usually empty when I went there.
When I started visiting the shop and she gave me free noodles, I thought she just felt sorry for me because I was needy. There was no doubt that she could see that I was struggling. Sometimes, weeks went by without me paying her. Yet, she still served me my daily bowl of noodle soup. She became a second mom to me, feeding me for almost a year without any guarantee that I could ever pay her back.
Service with a Smile
What I soon realized was that she just enjoyed giving to others without asking for anything back. I used to like seeing her smile, which always came with the soup. The fact that she was giving me a bowl of noodle soup with a smile rather than the fact that I couldn’t pay her for it made me feel loved, not pitied. The noodle shop lady was the first person who made me understand the importance of giving without expecting anything in return and the importance of embracing gratitude for happiness and prosperity. She had a heart of gold and I will never forget her for as long as I live.
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The sad part is that we eventually lost touch. The shop that I visited in those early days in Phuket has been empty for years now. I have not seen her in years. However, one of the 101 goals I write each year always includes locating this woman and building her a proper restaurant for her noodle soup. It would mean so much to me to be able to thank her in this way. I visualize that day and seeing her smile again. Whenever I need a reminder of the power of gratitude, I always remember her first.
A Friend’s Gift that Changed My Life
Another person I am eternally grateful for is my Swedish friend who first sent me The Secret. Rather than focusing on the fact that he would not give me money, I focused on all the blessings his gift brought me. If it wasn’t for that event, I don’t know if I would be where I am today, let alone write a book about eighteen wealth principles. I feel a great deal of gratitude toward that friend because reading that book has helped me accomplish so much. When he refused to give me money but sent me the book, I began to develop for the first time in my life.
It’s easy to show how grateful we are, whether it takes the form of a tip when we are out at a restaurant or a verbal expression of gratitude. It can also be a willingness to help others or to repay someone’s kindness. Showing gratitude can be as simple as a heartfelt handwritten letter or a phone call. Or it can be as significant as rewarding a coworker with a trip for their dedication and hard work. Gratitude can take many forms, but it can be effortless. It only takes 2 seconds to say, “thank you” and truly mean it.
Remembering to focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have is the key to gratitude. You’ll be surprised by how much you have to be grateful for once you make this mental switch.
About Andres Pira – philanthropist, real estate tycoon, author, speaker, and global citizen. Andres Pira enjoys living in Thailand where his journey began from Homeless to Billionaire.
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