god reading newspaper. Gratitude lessons from a dog

Up-Level Your Gratitude for Impact

I begin my day with gratitude, and supplement my thoughts with gratitude throughout the day. Why? Because when I can open my thoughts to the good surrounding me, I often find even more good to enjoy and express. 

Gratitude can be a boon to you on your path to Prosperity, too. If you hone in on what you don’t have, you stay on that same plane of thought and continue only to see what you lack. You cannot create from a place of lack, because you cannot create something from nothing. You must begin abundantly! 

While most people understand the importance of gratitude, on some level, I’ve come to understand that there are more effective ways to express your gratitude than others. While gratitude is always meaningful, there’s something to be said about ACTIVE gratitude. I want to share with you how I’ve honed my own practice of appreciation and thankfulness for great results?

What Makes Gratitude Effective?

To understand what makes gratitude effective, it’s important to understand what it means to be effective in the first place. To me, gratitude is effective when it spurs you to action. This means gratitude that inspires you to do something like: 

  • Protect what you have (i.e. protecting your lifestyle with life insurance)
  • Cultivate what you have (i.e. spending more time or resources in your garden)
  • Multiply what you have (i.e. putting more resources into a business that you love)
  • Embody what you have (i.e. expressing the qualities of something you are grateful for)

Identifying the things you have that you appreciate actually provides you with the perfect blueprint to bring more of them into your life! That’s part of the Prosperity equation that makes gratitude such an important practice. 

It’s simple to be grateful, it takes positive action to EXPRESS gratitude. 

Up-level Your Gratitude

So how do you get from passive gratitude to active gratitude? 

I call it “up-leveling” gratitude. Up-leveling is the process of digging all the good out of a single thought or idea. When you do this, the path to action becomes crystal clear! An example I love to use when I explain up-leveling gratitude is Emma Dawg, my Great Dane. 

It would be simple and honest to say that I’m grateful for Emma. I could leave it at that. Up-leveling, on the other hand, spurs me to look deeper. Why am I grateful for Emma? I’m grateful for her companionship, and the qualities I see her express like joy, loyalty, affection, and so much more. Again, I could stop there; or, I can keep going. What lessons can I take from this? 

Emma Dawg sleeping on the couch. I'm grateful for the qualities she expresses.

For example, is there a way that I can express the same joy that Emma does? The gift of this gratitude may well be the lessons I can learn from her expression of God. Another way to unpack this gratitude is to reflect on how I may express these qualities back to her directly. The opportunities, when you up-level your gratitude, are endless. This article from the Christian Science Monitor is a terrific example of the spiritual lessons I, too, have learned from a dog.

How to Up-Level Your Gratitude

If you’re ready up-level your own gratitude, here are some simple steps to remind you! 

1. Make it a Practice

Like I’ve said, it’s simple to be grateful sporadically, or passively. It’s always a good thing to be grateful. 

Yet, there’s power in choosing to set aside time and make your gratitude a practice, or habit. Not only does this give you the space to take action based on your gratitude—it also trains your brain to see more good. 

After a few weeks, you’re likely to start noticing more joy and contentment in your life. (And, in many ways, Prosperity is more about how you feel than how much you have.)

Work gratitude into your day by making time for it while you drink your morning coffee, during your evening reflection, or even during your afternoon stretch session! Whatever you choose, make sure that it works for you, and you give yourself the proper mental space to do the work.

2. Identify the Material/Base

When I’m practicing gratitude, I start by identifying the “base.” In other words, what is the material thing that I’m grateful for? It can be anything that you want. 

If you’re new to proactive gratitude, I encourage you to write it out on paper. You can start by making a list of three things that you’re grateful for. At this stage in the process, that’s all you need. No justifications or explanations are necessary. 

3. Elevate These Ideas Spiritually

This is the good part! You’ve identified and written down what you’re grateful for, now it’s time to dig deeper. When I do this, I look for the spiritual underpinnings of the thing I’m grateful for. If I’m grateful for my swimming pool, what is the spiritual or inspirational thought that the pool expresses? 

You may think there isn’t anything overtly spiritual about a pool. Yet what about the buoyancy of the water, and the way it makes you feel weightless? Or, the way the pool is refreshing and relaxing? A pool is reliable, so long as you take care of it. It’s also a source of fun, and for my family, it’s a place to gather with loved ones. 

These are all spiritual underpinnings of the material idea of a pool. You may also be grateful for your pool, and come up with entirely different thoughts! On a different day, I might too. The beauty is that spiritual expression is infinite, and what often occurs to you in the moment is what your soul has need of. 

So, at this stage, you’re turning things into thoughts. If it doesn’t come naturally for you, at first, consider why you’re grateful for something, and what you can learn from that. 

4. Take Action

You’ve identified what you’re grateful for, and what you can learn spiritually from that thing. Now, it’s time to put it into action.

Let’s use the pool as an example again. I want to consider the phrase, “A pool is reliable, so long as you take care of it.” It’s reliable because, for me, the pool is a continuous source of comfort, joy, and relaxation. However, there is some upkeep required to ensure that a pool stays this way. If I don’t take care of the pool, it can quickly become uncomfortable. 

This is an idea that I can apply to dozens of situations in my life. For example, my body is reliable in what I can do with it. However, a little maintenance ensures that I continue to do the things I love to do, or need to do. Similarly, my life insurance functions reliably for my family, yet a little premium each year makes it so. 

The lesson I can take from this is that even the most constant and reliable “things” still require some TLC. This can encourage me to look more closely at my day-to-day operations, and see if there’s something or someone I can love on a little bit.

The best part of up-leveling your gratitude is that there are no wrong answers. When you look to God and your own wisdom to up-level your experiences, the answers also spring from your own experiences. So, generally, you learn exactly what you are meant to learn when you practice gratitude earnestly. 

Get Started Today!

For more ideas on how to retrain your Mindset to see the good, appreciate what you have, and identify opportunities, we encourage you to read: “How to Cultivate Prosperity Beyond Money.” You’ll get a better sense for what Prosperity means in the context of your life, and how to use your mindset to get where you want to be!

If your gratitude involves whole life insurance, we’d be happy to help! You’re welcome to send any questions our way by emailing welcome@prosperitythinkers.com or connecting with us here. We’d love to help you wherever you are on your journey.

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