It can be said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of emotions you experience on a consistent basis. Do you find yourself as a norm feeling grateful, happy and joyous? Or do fear, frustration and anger tend to dominate your experiences in life?
By learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, you can dramatically not only improve the very quality of your life in each moment, but progressively attract, create and manifest positive circumstances that will increasingly give you more reasons to be grateful, joyous, happy and alive.
In this article, I share 3 key reasons why you will want to learn how to have an attitude of gratitude, as well as 3 simple strategies you can start applying today to immediately begin reaping the benefits of an attitude of gratitude.
Why Learn How to Have an Attitude of Gratitude?
There are many reasons why learning how to have an attitude of gratitude are important. First and foremost, an attitude of gratitude is the basis of the spiritual path, and it leads to present moment awareness, which is the key to spiritual development and transcendence of the ego-mind.
Present moment consciousness that transcends the fear dominated ego-mind leads to the cultivation of the state of ihsan, which is the third stage of spiritual development in the Islamic spiritual path to enlightenment and awakening in the Divine Presence of the Eternal.
Ultimately, an attitude of gratitude paves the path to paradise, to peace, joy, success, wellness and happiness. By learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, you will naturally attract the divine grace, bounty and providence that continually flow from the Divine Presence of God, and your life experience will be characterized increasingly by prosperity rather than poverty, scarcity and lack.
1. Religion and Spirituality are Gratitude
It’s easy to forget that the very purpose of religion and spirituality is the progressive evolution and awakening of the human being, and the cultivation of a greater level of awareness and consciousness. Often we tend to instead equate the spiritual path to but a ritual set of routine practices and a canonized set of beliefs.
Yet it is important to realize and remember that the Eternal Lord of Heavens is absolutely Independent and utterly free of all need whatsoever. Instead, religion and spirituality, the Way, is in fact a gift for us, a divine grant and favor for human beings, and meant to lead us to happiness, success, joy and eternal prosperity.
Again, God is not in need, but rather it is we who are in need. And so He Almighty has revealed religion and spirituality as a means and way for personal and spiritual development and evolution.
In Islam, worship is fundamentally an opportunity to but express gratitude. Pure, simple and humble gratitude is why the Prophet Muhammad (saws) prayed, meditated and worshipped. He immersed himself in the Divine Presence of God not to escape hellfire, nor to attain paradise, for in consciousness and state he had already transcended both, but rather he worshipped simply and purely to be with Allah Almighty, the Creator, the One, the Source, the Eternal Lord of Heavens and Earth.
It can be said that Islam is gratitude, and this is confirmed in the life and example of the Prophet Muhammad (saws), notably in the incident in which his wife, Aisha (ra) asked him, “Why do you worship so much?,” to which his response was, “Shall I not be a grateful servant?”
In spirituality and in Islam in particular, belief equates to gratitude. In fact, the very word for unbelief in Arabic, kufr, originates in the root word meaning “ingratitude.” Hence, belief is characterized by gratitude, which only makes clear sense given the beautiful and bounteous qualities of the Divine, while unbelief, the opposite of faith, is essentially blindness to the grace of the Divine Presence and the gift of life.
Islam = Gratitude
In summary of this point, it can be said that Islam equals gratitude, and by learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, you can better realize the true purpose of religion and spirituality, thus supporting your personal growth and spiritual evolution.
2. An Attitude of Gratitude Cultivates Presence
Here’s a secret. Gratitude equals Presence. By being grateful, you instantly become present to the Here and Now.
Gratitude is always experienced for what is now. Gratitude awakens us to the divine and beautiful miracle of present moment experience. And by learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, you support your spiritual growth and development towards heart-centered consciousness, what I call Level 3 State Consciousness, which is experienced as a level of awareness defined by presence, love, light, compassion, and which transcends the ego-mind and negativity.
Gratitude = Presence
Ingratitude is based in time, in past and future, and is literally for what is not now. Ingratitude is thus a rejection of Divine Will as it manifests now in the pure present moment, and such resistance is the opposite of surrender, which is the essence of the spiritual path.
Ingratitude is a result of Level 2 State Consciousness, which is ego-mind based consciousness and identification. Yet by learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, you progressively transcend the problematic ego-mind, also known as nafs al-lawwama, and increasingly experience life through the heart via Level 3 State Consciousness, also known as nafs al-mutama’ina.[box]
Based on the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (saws), there are fundamentally three stages of consciousness possible for sentient beings, and I have simplified this idea as Levels 1-3 State Consciousness, a topic I cover more fully in the Eternal Warrior Way Program.
The goal of spiritual development and personal growth is essentially the attainment of Level 3 State Consciousness, which is heart-based consciousness, a higher level of awareness and a deeper foundation for true experience.
The attainment of such transcended consciousness is spiritual evolution and the very goal and purpose of creation, as well as of religion and the spiritual path.
The Way of the Prophets and Messengers of God is the Way of Spiritual Warriors committed to self-mastery and the transcendence of the ego-self, and by truly following their path and teachings, the way of self-mastery, you ascend towards the Divine Presence and true self-knowledge, transcending fear and learning to experience life in a constant state of joy, awe, wonder and gratitude.[/box]
An attitude of gratitude cultivates presence, which heals and changes, for by learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, you heal and purify your very filter. By shifting from an internal state of resistance to an internal state of surrender, an internal state of Islam, you begin to transcend problematic circumstances, for what you resist shall persist, yet what you surrender to shall pass. Resistance literally holds holds energy in place and prevents its movement and passing, and so surrender equals success.
Surrender = Success
Hence, Islam is also known as tazkiyyah, which literally means “purification,” and which is in fact the original name of the Way. Purification of the self from the negativity and duality of the self is the very purpose of the Path, of spirituality, which is the deeper dimension of religion. Often, this dimension of spiritual purification and progress is also referred to within Islam as Sufism.
3. An Attitude of Gratitude Attracts Grace and Prosperity
And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared, “If you are grateful, I will add more unto you.”
— Surah Ibrahim (Holy Quran, 14:5-7)
The Law of Attraction states that gratitude is one of the most powerful forces with which to attract increasingly positive circumstances and results into one’s life, and this is confirmed in the Holy Quran and in the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (saws).
Yet it is important to note that one must be grateful sincerely for the sake of gratitude for what is now, and that by learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, such gratitude is real and not based in need, which will actually repel rather than attract. In other words, do not be grateful to get more. Simply be grateful because it’s the right way to live.
We’ve already been given so much, and learning how to have an attitude of gratitude for the sake of only attracting trivial gains in life is at some level still based in ego and thus insincere, still lacking real awareness of the purity and perfection of the present moment.
Would anyone in their right mind trade a single eyeball for wealth in the world? Such a simple gift from Allah Almighty is irreplaceable, and more valuable than all the wealth of the world. Hence, it is important for me to note here that in learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, it is important to truly be grateful and not attempt to be grateful out of need and seeking more.
Remember, need, attachment and desire are all based in time, in future, and in not having now, which then affirms to the Universe that you are in lack. This then perpetuates poverty, be it financial, health, relationship or social, etc.
Again, gratitude is presence. In gratitude and in presence, there is no need nor any attachment. Presence and gratitude are pure, as must be our hearts, minds and souls. Yet the byproduct of such a state and approach to life is, paradoxically, prosperity and abundance.
You are creating your life experience and results moment by moment. Being grateful establishes you in a reality and in a paradigm that progressively supports gratitude. Things tend to improve with no effort on your part. Yet again, we must take great care in developing enough awareness so that such gratitude is authentic and pure.
This is subtle, yet such is the straight path. And failing to realize this subtle point is why trying to apply the Law of Attraction tends to fail. The straight and pure path is subtle and fine, the proverbial razor’s edge, yet it is the Way. And the Universe is established to reward and support they who walk the Path and progress within the Way, for the ultimate goal and purpose of life is to draw nearer unto the Divine Presence of God.
An attitude of gratitude affirms a paradigm, world, reality and Universe birthed by a Benevolent Lord and Creator, a model which is consistent with revealed religion and spirituality. The 99 Names and Attributes of Allah Almighty are all positive, life and success affirming, and clearly communicate the Generous, Gracious, Loving, Giving and Supporting nature of the Divine, and thus of the Universe.
By learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, we align our paradigm and perspective with revealed and beautiful truth, and this is critical, for the Universe has been designed to reflect to us our very selves, our beliefs and expectations.
God Almighty has said, “I am to My servants as they expect Me to be.”
— Prophet Muhammad (saws) [Hadith Qudsi]
How to Have an Attitude of Gratitude
The following three suggestions will help you quickly learn how to have an attitude of gratitude and better realize the subtle nature of the path towards personal growth, spiritual development, and natural success.
1. Remember to Be Grateful
First and foremost, to learn how to have an attitude of gratitude, several times throughout the day, stop for a moment, breathe, relax your self, and be grateful for 5 specific things. You will quickly find amazing things to be grateful for, from the air you are breathing and being given continually, to the floor you sit or stand upon, to the blue of the sky, to the smile a friend, loved one or associate gave you today. You will increasingly realize that life is full of gifts and divine blessings continually being showered upon you. This simple practice alone will create a powerful shift into an attitude of gratitude.
The five daily prayers are an excellent opportunity to learn how to have an attitude of gratitude and put this simple suggestion into practice. At the end of each prayer, when making supplication, dua, first begin with being grateful for 5 specific things.
Several times each day, be grateful for 5 specific things.
2. Make Positive Micro-Choices
Life will constantly give you circumstances that may on the surface appear to be challenges and trials, yet in reality they are opportunities to improve and thus to move forward, to progress and succeed. It’s all a matter of perspective, and how you “frame” your circumstances in life will either empower you or disempower you.
I refer to this as the Power of Framing, and it’s a topic I cover in the Eternal Warrior Way Program. Learn to “frame” your challenges positively, as opportunities and as the gifts they truly are, and so move towards empowerment rather than disempowerment.
By embracing a deeper level of personal responsibility and choosing to be at cause, rather than a victim of circumstance, and by remembering that everything happens for a reason and with a purpose (despite how elusive this may seem at the time), you will shift your paradigm and thus your results.
Learn to “see the silver lining in the clouds,” and by actively choosing to see the positive in any given situation, by thus embracing a positive psychology, you will quickly learn how to have an attitude of gratitude that will continually improve the quality of your life.
We are continually making choices, in every circumstance and in reality in each moment, and these these micro-choices are in effect choices between heaven and hell, between peace and suffering, between success and failure, between progress, spiritual growth and personal evolution, and remaining stuck, or even regressing in life.
Each choice you make, each small decision, cumulatively adds up to your destiny. Anthony Robbins rightfully states, “Your decisions equal your destiny,” for with each choice, you are developing momentum in a specific direction. With each choice you are either ascending or descending, and with each decision you learn to transcend the gravity of the ego or sink with its increasing density and burden. In other words, your attitude equals your altitude.
Your Attitude = Your Altitude
Before allowing yourself to get frustrated, choose an empowering perspective. Liberate yourself from the filter of the negative ego-mind which necessitates drama and disbelief to survive and to persist.
Choose to respond rather than reacting unconsciously. The ability to respond implies choice, and necessitates a certain degree of consciousness and self-awareness. Again, the progressive development of transcendent consciousness, what I refer to as Level 3 State Consciousness in the Eternal Warrior Way Program is the very goal of religion and spirituality.
“Paradise and hell are both closer to you than your shoelaces.”
— Prophet Muhammad (saws)
Each choice matters and is a step towards your ultimate destiny. In every situation and in every circumstance, you are being presented the opportunity to choose between positive and negative, between peace and suffering, between paradise and hell. And so said the Prophet Muhammad (saws), “Paradise and hell are both closer to you than your shoelaces.” Thus, with each micro-choice, take a step towards divine peace and prosperity.
In every situation and in every circumstance, choose surrender and gratitude rather than resistance and ingratitude.
3. Meditate Daily
In learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, one of the most important things you can do is to cultivate the ability to control your mind, and to be able to bring it into stillness and surrender. The ego feeds on resistance, and by struggling and fighting against what-is, Divine Will as it manifests in the moment, the self seeks to establish itself as lord and god in place of Allah Almighty. Yet we must remember that the basis of the Way and the foundation of the Path is the statement and belief that “there is no god but God,” la ilaha il Allah.
The ultimate false god and idol is the self. Bring it into surrender and submission by cultivating what I call “presence power,” which is a reservoir of spiritual energy that will enable you to remain cool, calm and collected regardless of what is happening around you.
The center and axis of this divine peace is within you, and by being rooted therein, you remain at peace in the very eye of the storm. With meditation and a meditative spiritual practice, you develop roots deep in Divine Presence, and you thus develop spiritual fortitude and will not be easily toppled when a storm hits.
This presence-power must continually be cultivated, for life will continually require and use it. Challenges are thus opportunities to continually stretch and grow. Remember that the purpose of life is to evolve and to progressively become self-less, to transcend the ego-mind, and thus to awaken to awe, wonder, beauty, light and life in the Divine Presence.
Again, the ego requires you to resist so that it can persist, and so success is the path of transcendence and spiritual surrender. This in fact is the very meaning of the word “Islam,” which literally means “surrender,” originating from the root words “peace” and “purity.”
In other words, Islam literally means to become purified of self, ego and negativity, and to thus attain peace through internal spiritual surrender.[box]
“One hour of contemplation is more valuable than seventy years of worship.”
— Prophet Muhammad (saws)
By enjoying a daily meditative spiritual practice, you develop a reservoir of spiritual presence-power that will then enable you to withstand the inevitable challenges life will present you with. By thus actively embracing a life-path based upon personal responsibility and personal empowerment, you position and align yourself with Divine Will and the purpose of the Universe, and ascend towards your greatest possibility and potential.
I’ve created the Islamic Meditation Program, an evolutionary online training program in spirituality and personal development to help you discover this deeper dimension and purpose of religion.
For more information on reaping the immense benefits of meditation and to learn how you can establish an enjoyable daily meditative spiritual practice, click the button below for a FREE introduction.[/box]
How to Have an Attitude of Gratitude
Having an attitude of gratitude is a way of life. It is the way of life, and is based in a life rooted in spirituality, divine success, inner peace and personal prosperity. Gratitude is religion and spirituality, is surrender and thus the divine path of personal growth and spiritual evolution revealed by the Holy Creator.
Verily, the Way before God is Islam — Surrender.
— Surah Aali-Imran [Holy Quran, 3:19]
By learning how to have an attitude of gratitude, you serve your highest purpose, and your life experience increasingly shifts from negative to positive. The Universe is a mirror designed to reflect to you your self, and as you shift within, your external results will correspond. By thus purifying your self, you discover your true self.
“They who know themselves are as they who know their Lord.”
— Prophet Muhammad (saws)
Constantly look for and see the beauty of life and the beauty of others. All of creation originates and emanates from the Divine Presence of God, and beyond superficial appearances, all is with divine purpose. Remember that all is by divine will, and you become a person of wisdom and knowledge by remembering that there is a beautiful and divine purpose to all things.
They who remember Allah standing, sitting, and reclining, and who consider the creation of the heavens and the earth, and say, “Our Lord! Surely Thou has not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee! Preserve us from the suffering of the Fire!”
— Surah Aali-Imran [Holy Quran, 3:191]
All of creation is an emanation from God, and so learn how to have an attitude of gratitude by training your self to always see beauty. Remember that the Universe is a mirror and will reflect to you your self, your choices, and that your micro-choices determine your ultimate destiny and results. In every situation and in every circumstance, choose peace and paradise rather than that which leads to suffering and hell.
O mankind! Whatever good you experience is from God, yet the ill you experience is from your self.”
— Surah An-Nisaa [Holy Quran, 4:79]
Master your self, and you master your life. Your divine destiny awaits. Now go out and live the life you were meant for.[box]
Self-Mastery is Life Mastery
By learning how to make empowered choices and align our lives with the will of the Divine and the purpose of the Universe, we serve Allah Almighty.
All of the teachings of the Prophets and Messengers of God were based in self-mastery and divine service, aimed at leading humanity to peace, prosperity and divine purpose.
By embracing the path of personal growth and spiritual development, you position yourself for the greatest good both in this physical world and the realm of spirit beyond.
Take your life and practice to the next level, and develop an empowered personality with leading edge products and evolutionary training.