Why is gratitude so important when leading a happy and successful life? Simply, if you don't appreciate what is then how are you going to appreciate what is to be! Yes, to be truly happy you need to appreciate everything.

- All your abilities (creativity, imagination, work ethic, etc...)
- Your family (children, parents, grandparents, etc...)
- Your significant other
- Your friends and co-workers
- All things that are important to you (career, hobbies, health, wealth, happiness, etc...)
- Things that you want (be thankful as if you have them)
- Things you enjoy (activities, etc...)
- Anything you want and feel should be appreciated

Okay, so now that you have an idea of what to appreciate, lets talk about how to appreciate them. For starters, at least once everyday and preferably first thing, say out loud or to yourself "Thank you for ______________!" In the _____________ insert the suggested things and/or other ones you are thankful for. Every morning before getting out of the shower, I, to myself give thanks for my wonderful wife and children, my friends and co-workers, my parents, my job and various other important things that matter to me. Why? Because, it's one thing to appreciate what you have, however, when you remind yourself and acknowledge them on a daily basis they become more meaningful, as well as the fact that you think about them in a positive manner. Also, it develops a habitual thought process of gratitude towards your life and the world you live in.

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing- that's why we recommend it daily!"- Zig Zigler

Now, if you believe in god, the universal mind, mother nature or any higher power then you can think of thanking them for what you appreciate or you can simply think of thanking yourself. Who or what you are thanking isn't important. What is important is that you recognize and appreciate what you have and what is coming to you!

What will this do for you? Daily appreciation of what is important to you will help you develop and maintain a positive attitude and outlook on your life and those who are in it. It will result in your being more aware of what is important, which in turn results in your wanting to enjoy and think of ways to demonstrate your appreciation. When you demonstrate your appreciation to others it is generally reciprocated and your interactions are more pleasant. You focus on what you like or love, rather then what you don't and this reduces any frustrations or annoyances towards others and yourself.

So, what are you thankful for?

Author's Bio: 

Terry M. Drake is a Licensed Social Worker, National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Certified Trainer of Ericksonian Hypnosis and NLP. He has spent the last 10 years learning about himself and others, through his academic studies resulting in his MSW and his professional studies, as a family therapist, clinical supervisor and vast training and research into hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming, the law of attraction and positive psychology. Terry is now ready to put these skills to use as an author, speaker, consultant and coach. Terry lives in Wellsboro, Pa with his wife and children.

Author of Live Happily, Ever After... Now! 9 Simple Steps to create the life YOU want!