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Gratitude and Mental Strength

   If there’s one thing we could all do to increase our mental strength, it’s to learn to become more grateful. The reason I say this it’s because if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about today’s world, it’s that very few people seem to be grateful for anything. Look around and you’ll see that there’s no shortage of complaints, but very little acknowledgment of what’s actually going right in people’s lives.

   Complaining about what you don’t have is clearly not operating from a position of strength. You are essentially telling the world that you are owed something better, yet unable to provide it for yourself. By contrast, a mentally strong person accepts that life comes with difficulties for which they must prepare and be strong enough to handle.

   The mentally strong person is self-sufficient and rarely spends their time sulking about what truly is beyond their control. This doesn’t mean that everything is perfect in their life, but that they’re strong enough to admit that they are ultimately responsible for what they get out of life. Not everything is within their power to fix, but they are ready and willing to do what’s necessary to fix whatever they CAN do something about.

   Mentally strong individuals are grateful for what they have because they have worked hard for it. They know that hard work has forged them into the type of people who can enjoy those blessings, because they have earned them. It’s difficult for some people to admit that this is true, simply because that would mean acknowledging their own weaknesses.

   The truth is that most of us would like to think we’re stronger than we really are. After all, we’re supposed to be the protagonists in our own stories, so we are instinctively aware of how important it is to be the be at the top of our game. Where we fall short is that it’s far too easy to compare ourselves to others who we feel have it better or easier. This compels us to view our circumstances from a standpoint of fairness.

   The cold, hard truth is that life is NOT fair, nor will it ever be. It’s not fair for the mouse that’s hunted by the cat or the fish that’s hunted by the bird. In much the same way, it’s not fair for the consumer that’s pounced upon by the ambitious salesman. Except that from the salesman’s point of view, it’s also not fair that another salesman is doing so much better than he is and he can’t seem to catch a break.

   You’ll find these types of conflicts throughout nature and in every species, but we’re the only ones with the intellectual capacity to ponder them as much as we do. So is our advanced intelligence a blessing or a curse?

   Well, there you go! It’s pretty much whatever we choose to make of it. As with many other things in life, it’s obvious that we can either be grateful that we’re not at the bottom of the food chain because of a lack of intelligence or we can complain about the fact that we over-think ourselves into such depressing states of mind. My point is that the mentally strong choose to focus not on what they don’t have, or at least not on the negative aspects of what they do have, but on the positives they can actually use, as well as on the possibilities.

   What I’m trying to get across here is that you can wake up in the morning and either begin your day by complaining or by giving thanks. On the one hand, you’re going to face challenges each and every day of your life. On the other hand, you’ve been given yet another chance to conquer that battlefield and shine. Just remember that not everyone will be as fortunate and the fact that you got up at all is reason enough to express gratitude and help spread a better message.

Mark Abbott

12 Comments

  1. Hello Mark, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. It is very important today to be mentally healthy because we live fast and just as you said, there are challenges every single day and we must learn how to accept that. I am glad I stumbled upon your article because it is such motivational, I will definitely share it with my family.

  2. Thank you very much Mark for this wonderful post! That’s right, so far I am not grateful for the life that I have. I complained very often about many things that even seemed like everything! And it turns out that what I have been doing is wrong.

    Because the writing that you made, makes me think again, whether this is the reason why I always hold back and do not dare to move forward. And is this all related to the mental health that I have.

    And I promise, I will try to be grateful more often. A few hours ago, I also found a website on how to increase gratitude by making a gratitude journal.

    Once again, thank you very much for your writing Mark! I became more aware of this.

    • That’s good to hear, my friend! Yes, a gratitude journal is a great way to help keep it all in perspective. Thanks for stopping by!

      Mark

  3. I agree that there is no question that if we are ungrateful in our life, we are not producing a healthy or a strong mental being

    I like to be positive, after all complaining never helps, in fact I actually thinks it makes our lives more difficult

    I like to think about all the good things that the Lord has provided for me, a nice house, food, and good clothes, a wonderful wife and seven healthy and wonderful children !

    • So true, Phil. If you really think about it, there’s more to be grateful for than most people realize. Even the unpleasant events of our lives tend to teach us some very important life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!

      Mark

  4. I couldn’t agree more with you! In my opinion, it all starts with gratitude. That’s why it’s a non-negotiable part of my every day. I practice gratitude during my morning cup of coffee and then again in the evening, before going to bed. It’s incredible how my outlook on life changed! It also helps me confronting difficult situations, because my mind is ‘’trained’’ to be grateful – so I can focus on the good in my life and find the strenght to overcome difficulties. 

    • That’s awesome, Katja! It does make a tremendous difference in one’s quality of life. Thanks for stopping by!

      Mark

  5. You don’t know How excited I am now for just stumbling on this article as it’s very important that we know that we leaving in a fast pace generation and you don’t have to  be strong physically but you have to be strong iclementally astou would see alot of trials and templations and how you battle them depends on your mental strength thanks alot for this awesome article.

  6. I agree, most of us have lost in today’s world and forget to be happy with small things around us. I learn to be more grateful for that I am still breathing and healthy. Sometimes, I just look up to the blue sky and it just makes me happy, simple gratification. 

    Life is not fair but because of this through time it will shape us into a stronger person. My current self is smarter than my former self. I used to think that if I can, I would like to change all the mistake I made in the past. Now, I think, thank god that I made that mistake, I learned from it and will not make the same mistake again. It is just the perspective in life on how you want to look at things.

    Staying positive and be grateful are definitely a way to lead a happy life. It is up to you and you get to control it. 🙂 

    • So true! It really is all about the little things we tend to take for granted. If you really think about what has to happen in your body just to take one breath, it’s amazing to think that it happens without your conscious control. You can’t help but be grateful for something as incredible as that. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Mark

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