In our last couple +1s, we talked about the science of gratitude and explored some tips on Robert Emmons’ #1 practice: Gratitude Journaling.
Today I want to chat about one of the distinctions I most loved from his book Gratitude Works!
He tells us: “Think about and then write down those aspects of your life that you are prone to take for granted. Instead, take them as granted.”
I just LOVE that distinction.
Ungrateful people tend to take things (and people!) for granted.
For example, we take for granted all of the astonishing modern benefits that make our lives possible: like a warm house, a car, a smartphone, the Internet and all the other magical marvels of modern life.
Robert tells us we’d be wise to move from taking people and things FOR GRANTED to seeing them AS GRANTED.
Let’s think about that for a moment longer.
We can take the amazing people and goodness in our lives FOR GRANTED or AS GRANTED.
It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a REALLY big distinction.
Science says: We’d be wise to remember that NONE of it is guaranteed.
Making the shift to see that it’s ALL one big GIFT is at the heart of gratitude. In fact, it’s so important that we’re going to spend another moment on it tomorrow as we talk about the #1 obstacle to gratitude.
Let’s think of three things we normally take for granted and see if we can shift to seeing them “as granted.”
Here are three things pop up immediately for me…
#1: The computer on which I’m typing this.
It’s easy for me to take this for granted (and get frustrated when it inevitably doesn’t work perfectly). But MY GOODNESS!!! It’s a MIRACLE.
I can type on little black pieces of plastic and somehow (!) create letters that somehow (!) show up on the screen and on a website (Dropbox Paper) that I can edit and share with our team who can share it with you and with other Optimizers around the world. MIND BOGGLING.
I hereby commit to, for this moment, seeing all of this AS GRANTED to me (via countless people over countless iterations over countless generations…). Grateful wow.
#2: The house in which I’m typing this.
As I looked up from the screen out my office window at the mountain I hike every morning I thought of how easy it is to take the fact that I live in a safe, climate controlled house FOR GRANTED. That’s crazy. I’m so blessed (by so many people—including YOU) that it’s not even funny.
I shall now, for this moment, see it AS GRANTED to me. Thank you.
#3: The bottle from which I’m drinking fresh water.
I drink from a water bottle all day every day. Of course, it’s very easy to take that FOR GRANTED. But… Again… MY GOODNESS. That’s a miracle. Countless people around the world don’t have fresh water (gah) and ALL of us used to have to trek long distances to get our daily water (when we could find it).
I hereby, for this moment, commit to seeing this gift AS GRANTED. And, for that I am grateful.
Of course, we can go on all day every day on this. And STILL barely scratch the surface of all the benefits we receive.
THAT’S THE POINT.
And, that’s Today’s +1.
What three things can you shift from taking FOR GRANTED to AS GRANTED?