In the final life hack, from my Hacking Your Life ebook, Life Hack #6: Grateful, I talk about the importance of living a life of gratitude.

The Secret to Happiness

The secret to being happy is not a new home or a new car; in fact, it is not anything new. Not a new job or a new vacation; not even marrying your dream guy or gal.

Research shows happiness comes from gratitude.

Harvard Health Publications notes this research on gratitude. Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A Emmons of the University of California, Davis and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami found that people who focused more on gratitude than on aggravation were more optimistic, felt better about their lives, and were happier. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on the negative.

Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

GRACE  Give people grace! Grace is giving something free the person may not deserve.

RECOGNITION Everyone likes to be recognized! Find ways to recognize others when appropriate. Be on the lookout for those who go out of their way to serve.

APPRECIATION  Show people your appreciation.

  • Send a text.
  • Post your appreciation on Facebook.
  • Show appreciation in front of others, especially their family.
  • Call them and share the impact they have made in your life.

THANK YOU  A simple thank you communicates gratitude and respect to others.

INVOLVEMENT  Become involved in people’s lives. Giving your time to a person shows gratitude. Look for ways to demonstrate kindness and serve others.

TALK LESS Talk less and listen more. When you ask people about their lives, listen with your heart; it communicates gratitude.

UNDERSTANDING  Be understanding. You never know what a person may be going through.

DON’T  Don’t take others for granted; this will require intentionality on your part. Regularly find ways to show people how much they are valued.

ENCOURAGEMENT Always encourage others! Two things I know about encouragement: everyone needs it, and everyone can give it. Encouraging words grow others.

Instead of complaining, we choose to be thankful. Gratitude is truly counting our blessings.

Let me suggest that you take an inventory of all the things you are grateful for in your life. It will improve your attitude!

Next, learn tips for applying my hacks to your daily life.

Write it, live it.

Scotty Sanders