Gratitude is created, not given

I believed it for a very long time that positivity and optimism are character traits: you’re either born with them or you don’t have them. But then I met someone.

My friend, let’s call her X, does not have an easy life. Never had. So how can she be always so happy, generous and kind?

She is just a positive person I told myself. Some people are. It’s not my fault I tend to see the wrong side of things, it’s my investigative nature. It’s normal that no matter how many times I try, I can’t get over my negative disposition. It’s in my blood – my father, his mother, we’re all like that.

Then X told me a secret: she worked hard and continues to do so every day to focus on the good things. She cannot allow herself to be swallowed up in complaining, or belittling someone because it would affect her too much.

This stuck a chord deep in my soul: she builds up positivity herself. She avoids situations that can take that away from her.

These are action verbs. Not passive, received, inherited characteristics but creating, focusing and consistence.

So I thought, well, maybe I can do it too?

All that wise advice I had read, proved to be true:

  • You see more of what you focus on.
  • Once you get rid of negative news, people, social media pages, they won’t bring you down
  • Every person has something good in them if you search for it.
  • Reminding yourself of what you have, appreciating it, will make you more content.

It was a slow process to get there. But it was like planting a tree: you have to work on it to make sure it gets everything it needs to grow but still it takes time. And will take even more time and effort. But that’s alright. Because now I can see what it means.

One of the things that truly helped me was a gratitude journal. It’s of course so much more (a planner, a tool to direct focus to areas I want to improve on, follow up and evaluation) but it showed me that I do have things (people, situations) to be grateful for. I am not, despite of what I used to think, without anything. In fact, I have a lot. Sometimes I even consider myself lucky to have all that I do.

If you do just one thing to improve your life, do this: write down some of the good things in your life every day. Better yet, write it down NOW in the comments. Kill that procastination pull πŸ˜‰


One of myΒ Courage List itemsΒ was to keep a gratitude journal (it will be ongoing) with at least 5 days this week. Mission of Week 1 thereby completed!Β 51 more to goΒ πŸ™‚

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My soul breathes music and exhales words.

15 thoughts on “Gratitude is created, not given

  1. This is beautiful Andy, so heartfelt & honest & just beautiful, I’ve said it before & I’ll continue to say it, you were born to write! No matter where we are in life, there are always positives, a silver lining to every black cloud & always something to be grateful for. Too many people focus on whats wrong with their life, instead of what’s right with it. So happy for you & proud of you for doing this. The transition is in progress, soon the coocoon will shed & the butterfly will emerge. πŸ˜™πŸ’•


    1. Jade, that means the world to me. Thank you for always having my back no matter what. You are an amazing, strong, crazy-ass woman and I’m honoured to have you as my friend πŸ’—


  2. This is a great reminder of a solid truth. I try to start my day off counting my blessings instead of cutting people off in traffic πŸ™ˆ Practice makes perfect on this habit though.


  3. Love this Andi! You are an amazing woman and writer! You are and were a ray of sunshine in my life, rays of sunshine that brighten my life! Thank you for for doing everything you have done for me. Love you dearly and keep this upπŸ˜˜πŸ’œ


  4. These are action verbs. Not passive, received, inherited characteristics but creating, focusing and persistence

    This particular sentence needs an exclamation point! very good point!


  5. I love everything you’ve written here. And I agree to all. I live in the same way as that friend of yours. And everyday, no matter how bad it starts and no matter how bad situations get or how many negativity is being thrown at me, I always try to appreciate even the smallest thing in each day.
    I live my daily life with this on my mind:
    “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder”

    Liked by 1 person

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