Why It’s Uncomfortable to be Grateful

It can feel "unproductive" to be grateful. To be grateful is to acknowledge, somehow, deep down, that we have enough. We feel like if we become grateful, then the need to achieve, that internal hunger to prove ourselves might somehow be dissipated or we might be rendered less potent, less effective.


But if we stop to ask what is that internal hunger? Isn’t it paradoxically to find a state of ease, where what we have and who we are is enough? That somehow all of our successes will be enough for us to feel worthy? To feel accomplished, respected, valued? When we flip the paradigm from needing to accomplish in order to feel valued, to feeling valued and letting that fuel our accomplishments, then our joy in the present moment is activated.


Through contentment, supreme joy is gained – Yoga Sutra 2.42


Of course we don’t gloss over the times we don’t meet goals or when a client irritates us or when we have to work late into the night. We “crowd out” those challenges with being grateful for what is working.


People who keep gratitude lists have been proven to make more progress towards goals.


I know it’s scary, I know it threatens our internal mechanism to be wired for external rewards. But I encourage you to give it a try – just for the next 3 days. When you wake up in the morning or during your commute, find 5 things to be grateful for, and see how it can contribute to your success.


May you have a beautiful holiday,