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Ambition, Gratitude, and Happiness

“Happiness isn’t having what you want. It’s wanting what you have.”

Ambition and gratitude are two sides of the same coin. Both are a part of the pursuit of experiencing happiness. The common mistake people make is valuing ambition over gratitude. Ambition can be defined as the strong desire to do or achieve something. In other words it means having wants or goals and working hard towards them. Most people live their life putting ambition on a pedestal.

Don’t get me wrong. I feel ambition is a prerequisite to growth. However, I also feel that all ambition should be matched with 10x levels of gratitude. If ambition is the car which leads to growth then gratitude is the gasoline. It’s nearly impossible to persist through growing pains without gratitude. Gratitude allows us to stay in positive spirits when we go through negative experiences. It reminds us to stay optimistic no matter what.

Optimism is what allows people to stick to their goals for a long period of time. Even when the world tells us to quit, our optimism keeps us going. It’s important to use gratitude practices to develop an optimistic approach towards weight-loss. Patients need to look at their weight-loss journey through a positive perspective in order to lose and keep the weight off for good.

If people are grateful for their health, then they will preserve it. Leading them to live a longer and happier life. A grateful life is a fulfilling one. In theory this sounds amazing. But what does gratitude look like on a daily basis?

It involves slowing down and being present to the blessings around us which we usually take for granted. Once we become present, we can acknowledge our blessings and express gratitude towards them. In the beginning people are usually grateful for material things. This can range from food and education, to cars, properties, etc. Being thankful for things in the physical world is the first step of gratitude. Eventually people move to the next step of gratitude which is relationships.

People become grateful for their friends and family. They start to see the value of their network and how much it impacts them. At this level people no longer look to physical possessions for happiness. Rather they seek human connection as a source of fulfillment, gratitude and happiness. Once people start to become grateful for their relationships, they live a more meaningful life. 

Eventually people become grateful for certain values and virtues. Honesty, respect, responsibility, and accountability are a few examples of such virtues. Feeling grateful for these virtues leads people to live by them. This causes a dramatic increase in quality of life. People are happier when they have a set of healthy values and principles to live by.

It’s important to understand that these steps build upon each other as oppose to replace one another. Meaning just because someone moves to the third step of being grateful for virtues does not mean that the individual no longer values relationships or items in the physical world.  Rather these steps build upon each other and the individual will be grateful for all of them.

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