Does it ever seem like you just don’t have anything? Do you often find yourself complaining about the things you don’t have? Are you not getting what you want out of relationships? These are serious issues for many people and it seems like a solution is nowhere in sight. So what can be done about it?

Developing and maintaining an attitude of gratitude is a must in order to find solutions to these problems and to lead a life of happiness. Without this attitude one will lead a miserable life at best, but with it the blessings abound. So the question arises, “If it is so important then what is it and how do I achieve it?” That’s the question I asked for a long time. Discovering the secret was life transforming.

I remember the first time that I encountered someone who had a true spirit of gratitude. I totally could not understand it. I remember thinking “I wish I could be like that.” – not realizing that I really could be. She had always been one of my favorite people, but it wasn’t until this day that I figured out why. Her husband was basically in a vegetable state and at the point of death and she said, “He may not live, much longer. I’m just thankful for the time we’ve had together.” I thought, “Wow, that is an amazing attitude.”

What is an attitude of gratitude?

Before we go any further, we need to recognize that attitude is a mindset; it’s a way of life, a constant way of being – of looking at things. It is something that we internalize. We define gratitude as being thankful. So we could define attitude of gratitude as a constant spirit or state of thankfulness.

So how do I develop this attitude?

First, and probably the most obvious one, look around at all the people who have it worse than you do. There is always someone out there that is in worse shape than you are. If you’re not convinced then watch the news (although I try not to do that because it is so negative.) You will always find someone who is in a more troubling situation then you. It will put you in your place very fast.

Second, recognize that EVERY blessing you have is a gift from God – everything from, a roof over your head, to food to eat, to water to take a bath, to the people in your life, to time. Not only is it a gift from God, it is a gift from God that you do not even deserve. This is not a “poor pitiful me, I’m not good enough for anything” attitude. It is exactly the opposite - recognizing how truly blessed you are and realizing that we are all sinful people that God chooses to bless anyway. He just blesses those people much more who live their lives for Him (I am not talking monetarily, although it can be included).

Truly happy people recognize that everything they have is not only a gift that they don’t deserve, but that it is a gift to be used for God’s glory. God really blesses these people. They also recognize that any of it could be taken away at any time and that is okay because they never really even deserved it in the first place.

When you view everything as a gift something almost magical happens. These things begin to transform into something beautiful. If we treat the people in our lives as a gift, then our relationships start to change and take on a whole new beautiful form.

Third, focus on what you DO have, not on what you do not have. There’s a secret. It goes like this: What you focus on expands. If you think about and focus on what you do not have you will just keep having nothing because nothing expanded is still nothing. If you focus on what you do have, you will be amazed at the blessings that come into your life. (Focusing on positive things always creates more positive thoughts. Focusing on negative things always creates more negative thoughts.)

Fourth, give of your abundance – your newly discovered blessings- cheerfully (even if it seems like very little). You always get back in direct proportion to what you give. If you give a little, you get a little back. If you give a lot you get a lot back.

The choice is yours. You can choose to make a decision to change your life by developing a spirit of gratitude, or you can choose to continue to think negatively. Remember how we deal with life is always a choice. From experience, I can tell you it is well worth it.


Make a list of all your blessings. Read the list at least twice a day.

When you start to think about all the things you don’t have, just replace it with 3 things that you do have (and your mind will show you even more blessings that you do have.)

Ex. If you only have $2 to you name. Think “Wow, I have $2, instead of thinking I ONLY have $2. Then think of two other blessings to go along with it. Remember someone out there has lost everything they owned in some tragic event. Even if you have lost everything you own, be thankful for life itself and the opportunities ahead of you instead of focusing on the problem itself.

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer Abbott has been fascinated by psychology and the mind for as long as she can remember. She has spent a large part of her adult life studying the cognitive mind in both formal and informal education.

After going through a course that teaches how to remove unhappiness, depression and addictions, Abbott now teaches these time test principles. Peace and a positive attitude are the outcome.

In her quest for answers to life’s questions she found many books that taught the power of the cognitive mind and how to reprogram it for good. She makes all the classics for personal growth available in one place at (online personal growth bookstore and coffee shop) and on her blog discusses principles needed to achieve happiness.