gratitudeYou’ve probably heard that practicing gratitude is the key to being happier.

Maybe you’ve tried saying affirmations or using a gratitude journal.

But not all of life makes us feel grateful, right?

Admit it, life is full of 50-50:

50% of the time we’re happy with our job, the person we’re dating, our friends, ourselves.
50% of the time we’re struggling with job satisfaction, our dreams, and our goals.

If you try to create happiness by saying something like “I’m grateful for my dog,” it might just mask the 50% of things that are making you unhappy.

It might be true that you’re grateful for your dog, but is that easy gratitude helping you be your best self?

Don’t get me wrong — I think gratitude can be a very useful habit to keep us aware of how much good there is in our lives, especially when we feel like life is only dealing us bad cards.

But that kind of gratitude doesn’t always help you up-level your mindset because you’re already feeling happy about your dog. It might just stay on the surface.

I like to use a gratitude practice that I learned from Ryan Holiday. This approach asks, “How can I find the good in the things that are most upsetting or challenging?”

When you can unlock the value or growth in those difficult moments, [How to Bounce Back from Rejection] then gratitude becomes even deeper, and so does your self-awareness and capacity for growth.

This kind of gratitude stretches your capacity to be more self-aware since you have to examine why situations are making you unhappy and look for a lesson, insight, or opportunity in order to be grateful for them.

Go ahead, try it.

What is something you’re upset about and why can you be grateful that it happened? What lesson did it hold?

Who is the person you’re most angry towards, and why are you grateful? What if you forgave this person so that you didn’t have to carry the weight of feeling resentful?
What is a pressure you feel, and how is it helping you in some way? What is it showing you or teaching you?

In your daily practice, you might take a week or more to make a negative thing go from 100% bad to 99% bad, but that 1% can change you for the better.

You’ll start having a more positive outlook. You’ll be able to let go of past frustrations. And you’ll have more focus for your passions at work and in life.

It’s hard to overcome the things we resent, but the ability to look at things we find irritating or frustrating and then express appreciation for them is powerful, useful, and unexpected.

Take gratitude to the next level, and see how rich life really is.

When you have a gratitude mindset, you’re on the path to your dream job. Want to learn more about how that works? Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching session and start creating the right mindset for career and life success. [click here to get free mini-session]

Image by Alex Woods, Unsplash