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8 Ways to Be So Thankful in a Thankless World

How to you find ways to be so thankful in a thankless world we live in? Put this on for size:

I was complaining I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.


Wow. Think about that for a second. It’s so dang easy to just want more and more all the time. Everywhere we go, all we have to do is just look around and we can see what others have and sometimes we just feel like we want it to – We want what other people have.

But honestly, at the end of the day, or maybe at the beginning, however you want to look at it, we all just have to come back to reality, to be grateful for what we have been given, to be grateful for what we have now. We live in a thankless world and it’s easy to fall into the “I want trap” all the time. Believe me, when I say I myself fall into it, even though my equation to a successful life is:
~ Gratitude X Blessings = Happiness and Success,

I still succumb to the feeling of being selfish and self absorbed. Sometimes I feel like it’s kind of a contagious thing that we live in this world where everything is at our fingertips. Everything that we could ever want and and that feeling is real, but we can always catch ourselves and come back to thankfulness, not just in the month of November but all year round.

In this post, I’m going to share with you:

* What practicing gratitude has done for me and what it could do for you to,
* 8 Ways to be so thankful in a thankless world every day of the year.
* How much I’ve changed since starting to be a more thankful and giving person.

I know you’re ready. Let’s dive on in.

Listen to the podcast:

8 ways to be so thankful in a thankless world

What is Gratitude?

First of all, you might be wondering what gratitude even is. Well, gratitude basically is just being thankful, recognizing the things that you have and showing it to yourself and to your higher power, to God or to someone else. And that’s all it really is. It’s showing appreciation and it doesn’t have to feel difficult.

It might feel difficult at first, but after some time you might actually feel like you enjoy gratitude. I show gratitude to you because I released this free podcast every week and I show gratitude to you by making it free content and also sharing with you something else, some other valuable resource that I’ve created that you can get for free.

So that is a way that I show gratitude to you every week. And a lot of times a lot of us have may have trouble loving ourselves too. So it’s important to show gratitude to yourself. And part of the gratitude journal has a little entry where you can give one thing or three things that you love about yourself. What are some things that you love about yourself? This is something I’ve struggled with. You know, a lot of women struggle with it, putting a lot of other people before ourselves. But we do need to put ourselves first and we need to realize how great of people we are. So showing that gratitude for yourself, telling yourself how thankful you are that you’re alive and how beautiful you are and how great of a person you are, that can really make a difference in how you think about yourself.

Way #1: Gratitude Journal

So this episode is sponsored by my simple weekly gratitude journal. It’s a printable journal. It’s actually a one page where you can print it out and fill it out for the week. So there’s actually, I believe seven spots on there to where you can fill it out. It’s really easy and right now you can get it for free. I’ll link to it in the show notes or you can go to the fit and just put in gratitude in the search bar and it’ll pop right up and then just put kind of put them in a binder or a notebook whenever you’re not feeling thankful. Just take a look back at your past gratitude entries whenever you feel the need to feel grateful in this thankless world. I can tell you I’ve been doing that this for a while now and it is really kind of made a difference.

And it may take some time and it may take some practice to get to that point, but you will get there eventually. We’re all a work in progress, but we will get there eventually with time.

So what does it mean to express gratitude? It takes some practice to really, really heartfelt Lee express the gratitude that you want to express. So getting out that gratitude journal, writing in a notebook, what you’re thankful for, and then how you feel about yourself. That is a great way to express the gratitude. You’ll realize that when you feel good about yourself and about what you’re doing, then you will be ready to express it to others. So really you need to love yourself first before you can serve others. So number one is to start with you. And then number two is to share that love with other people. There’s several ways to express your gratitude.

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    Way #2: Share the Love with Others

    You can just simply say thank you. Simply say, I appreciate you. You know, people want to hear that again, we live in a thankless world and an ungrateful one. And when people actually have other people doing sweet things for them, even when it’s just a sentence of you are loved, you are needed in this world, you know, that can make a big difference in someone’s life. You might just make that person’s day turn that person’s frown upside down. That is just a great feeling. And if you keep doing that, you will feel great too. Showing gratitude just makes you feel good as a person. Over time, it’s passing on kindness to others and the world that we emits, the world we live, and really that’s what we’re put on this earth to do. I believe we’re put on this earth to help others and serve others.

    Way #3: Volunteer or Serve in Your Community

    We’re not put on this world to be alone and to be isolated and, and to just do for ourselves or not. We are put on this world to do something bigger, to make it better and to help other people. So that’s why I believe it’s important to show gratitude. So else how do you express gratitude?

    Volunteer to serve in your community and actually be a pillar in your community. Whether that be a community event or serving on a like the school board or the church board or whatever, wherever somebody might need you, even as a teacher, a Sunday school teacher, or you want to be a 4-H leader, or maybe you want to invents a camp or some kind of volleyball league or something like that.

    Way #4: Use Your Talents to Express Yourself

    Whatever it is that you’re good at and you have talent and you can actually serve your community better by using your talents to come up with a great thing for the community. Something that can bring others together or help other people.

    Along with that is expressing yourself and again, if you’re kind of scared to talking in front of people or to people, the gratitude journal is your first step, you know, to kind of, it’ll help you gain that confidence with a little routine and practice every day and loving yourself and loving others and just being thankful about what you have and for what you have.

    You know when you’re with that gratitude journal in the morning or you’re thinking in silence in the morning or in the evening before bed, either one where has worked good.

    Way #5: Practicing Mindfulness

    Just whenever you have a little time that’s quiet, you can practice mindfulness and within that mindfulness just kind of be thankful about everything that you have currently have.

    You know, it’s easy to go about our day and look around and see what others have. You know, I have to tell you, in my season of life and where I live, lots of families and couples that are Matt and I’s age are building new houses (which is great for them). But for years and years, I kind of knew in the back of my mind that we would have a new house built from the ground up someday.

    But the more and more that I practice gratitude, the more things have started to come together. You see, our house was kind of put together with some kinks. It’s taken some time to really understand the house, but I believe that God has helped me to figure out some of those kinks and in that I’ve kind of overcame the thought and the wish of actually building a new house just because I’m feeling more thankful for my own and I’m finally making it mine.

    Way #6: Count Your Blessings

    There’s no reason if you already have something good in your life to get something better unless it’s really truly needed.

    You know, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Have you ever heard of that? Basically this guy named a Maslow made a hierarchy or a little graph of all of our basic needs: Shelter, clothing, food. Therefore, if you don’t have access to anything proper of one of those, you are going to eventually die. So clothing, food and shelter are huge.

    You really do need those things, but if you already have access to those things, good access and you’re getting everything that you need, there’s really no reason to pursue anything more than what you already have. And that’s where I’ve came to the conclusion that actually leaving our house that we have and building a new house, it’s not going to move the needle forward for us. It’s only a status thing and it’s not going to move anything forward. For us, our big goals and dreams that we have were better suited to pursue something different than we are to actually build a brand new fancy house.

    Also, what you have in your life and what you need in your life is different from what I have and need. So just keep that in mind as you keep reading. So I’m just giving you an example for my own life.

    And you could come up with some similar examples in your own life of it may not be where you live, it might be your food choices, it might be your clothing choices. Maybe you don’t need to buy name brand clothing. I mean, that is just a status symbol. Do you really need to be a status symbol wherever you’re living?

    Or could you just get hand me downs for your kids or even for you or shop the lesser name brand stuff. It’s just something that that maybe is worth thinking about as you practice your gratitude and really think about what you want to do with your life.

    Way #7: Spend Time With Those Who Matter To You

    Continuing on with the list. Spend some time with the people you love, spend some time with your families. My grandma introduced this thinking of gratitude to me years ago. I don’t know, I probably made some comment about, well it shouldn’t have been this way. We should have gotten more or something like that. It was, it was all about more and more and more for me. And she kind of introduced me with one little sentence. I wish I could remember the exact words she said, but it was something to the effect of, well, you should count your blessings every day.

    So thank you, Grandma, for reminding me. And it still took me years after that cause that when she said that, I just got mad, you know, because I knew everything. But over time I continued to think of that moment a little bit more. And I continued to think about her and really what she was meaning when she told me that I already have everything I need and I should really, you know, think about what it is that I should be focusing on more than some other things that I really don’t need.

    So spending time with loved ones can help you to realize that as it did for me.

    Now other loved ones might be more ungrateful and self-absorbed and might have this thought in their head that they need more and more and that could influence you. So keep that in mind too, that not all of your loved ones are going to be on the same page of gratitude is as you’re wanting to be. If that’s the case just remember that you have the power to react to or disengage from them.

    So you always have to come back to that piece of aloneness and piece of mindfulness and to your gratitude journal and really think yourself what it is that you’re striving for and where you want to be with your gratitude. Another thing gratitude does, it improves your humbleness and your happiness and all areas of your life. And we all have those moments still where we, we lose it, who are we? We don’t feel containment, we don’t feel happy. And that happens, you know the cycles of life that that just happens. But know that you can come up out of it, the cycle is going to come around again to where you’re going to be. You’re going to feel strong again and you’re going to feel like you’re content again. It, it’s funny how that works. You know how that cycle kind of spins around.

    Like I know for me, I always have a week where I feel really down really low. It’s like my low week and I don’t feel like doing anything. I’m grumpy with everybody. And then after that it gets better. I have a week where I really want to get everything done. I have all my list out ready and I want to get everything done and I’m really productive and then the next week maybe it’s something different. So you know, in a sense we all have those kind of circles where it changes. It’s a chance to change. But the one thing that shouldn’t change is your outlook on life and your goals. I’m going to do a podcast later on about how to kind of maximize on that. I listened to another podcast, a Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger podcast a while back, actually probably earlier this spring or summer and I’ve been practicing kind of what she told what she said in that, but it is about about your circles of life cycles of life and how to kind of maximize on your productivity with that.

    Way #8: Embrace Your Challenges

    Everybody has challenges for sure. We all have different challenges. It’s just how we choose to embrace those challenges that’s going to make or break us. And approaching those challenges with gratitude can really make things happen for us. You know, your challenges is just a roadblock to really where you want to be. So once you power through those challenges, it’s going to be mind blowing for you. How much the next step is going to move towards. So I want to encourage you to do that, to sit with your challenges and really find thankfulness in them. Be thankful that you have been faced with those certain challenges. Even though they feel hard, they’re going to really help you move a little bit closer to where you’re going to be in the long run.

    You know, everything happens for a reason and as I look back on my life and keeping a journal is nice for this too. You can look back on certain things that you went through and really kind of feel like, Oh well at the time I was thinking that this would be a bad thing, but it actually turned out to be good. So you can really look back on that. And it is funny how that happens.

    Appreciate Everything You’ve been Given

    Appreciate those challenges. Appreciate your your one story double wide house. Appreciate your 10 acre farm until you have opportunity to buy another 10 acres. Appreciate your second hand shoes until you have the opportunity to find somebody with no feet. Even Confucius had had a moment of unthankfulness.

    He was complaining that he had no shoes until he met a man with no feet. And we’re all going to meet those people that have it worse than we do. And it’s how we embrace that moment that can make us feel so thankful and so gracious for what we have.

    So I hope that you can see kind of see the importance of gratitude and why it’s important to practice thankfulness every day, all year round because big things can happen to you. Big things can change you.

    I’ve kind of already told you that my story about how it’s kind of changed my outlook on having on building a new house, but looking over through my life, you know, we all, as we all look over our life, we see a lot of mountains and valleys in our lives, high points and low points. And as I remember back through my life of those valleys and low point, those low points and high points, it really starts to come together kind of why they happened and where I am today.

    Mountains & Valleys

    You know, if I wouldn’t have went to college then I definitely would not have met my husband and if I would not have met my husband, I would not have my two girls and if I wouldn’t have met, have had my two girls, I don’t think that I would be here right now talking to you. Everything has happened for a reason. I definitely don’t think that I would be as grateful about things as I am today. If I wouldn’t have seen an article for Bible school, vacation, Bible school, and the newspaper, then I wouldn’t have brought my daughter to vacation Bible school and I wouldn’t have met my pastor and he would never have invited me to church and that saved me. It really did. I talk about faith openly because I strongly believe that faith is behind everything that we do from our day to day.

    Every accomplishment that we have is there’s a piece of faith lying behind it. We just don’t always realize it, but it is there for all, for each and every one of us. And so I’m definitely thankful for that as well for the faith that I have and for being called. And I think that being part of a church has definitely made me more of a thankful person.

    You know, I’ve talked before about my anxiety and depression. I had some, a lot of low points after having my two girls and staying home, quitting my job and staying home. And I think that the reason God led me to church is because of how much I was suffering and I am so thankful that I’ve found a community, a church community to where I can lean on each week. That is my therapy – Hearing the word of God is my therapy.

    Sitting there and having it told to me – It all comes pouring into me and that is exactly what I need for the week. It’s just an amazing feeling. And that is something that I do for myself. I take my family along kicking and screaming sometimes, but really it’s something that I know I need every week to really be the full person that I can be for me and my family. And that is something that is, has changed over time also.

    And just the past couple of years I’ve realized that that is something I need and something that helps me to remember how grateful I am and how blessed I am for everything that I have in my life.

    How to Deal with Ungrateful Jealous People

    You know, when I got to quit my job and stay home with my girls, there were a lot of people who didn’t treat me very well.

    Mainly they were jealous, I think. And that is not a good feeling to be on the other side of that treatment, you know, little snarky comments like: Aren’t you lucky to be able to do that?

    And I’m not sure if they even know what I went through and not saying that I wasn’t lucky and wasn’t blessed to be able to do be able to stay home with my kids, but I wasn’t a happy when I did at first. It’s definitely not for everybody and I had to start my own outlets in order to find happiness and coming back to my equation for life:

    Gratitude times, blessings equals happiness and success.

    Grow that gratitude that you show yourself and that you keep track of. It allows you to realize what your blessings are and once you realize what your blessings are, you realize how much you have and how little you need, how so little you need.

    8 ways to be so thankful in a thankless world

    Closing & Wrap Up

    I’m hoping that this post encouraged you to practice gratitude as well. I hope that my stories and my experiences have really inspired you to start taking action. Take my grandma’s advice and count your blessings every day. It really, really will change you as it has changed me.

    Think about Confucius. He was complaining he had no shoes until he met a man with no feet. That quote just gives me chills and I put myself in his, {I want to say shoes}, but he didn’t have any. I put myself there and I really think about what I would do in a situation and I think that that answer has changed with time and with knowing what gratitude is like and what it feels like.

    If you love this episode and know of somebody who needs to hear it, then go ahead and share it. You can share the show notes or I believe you can share over on Apple podcast. If you’re on Apple podcast, if you’re not subscribed to the show, go ahead and push that subscribe button. Get leave us a five star review. We would love that.

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    I want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. It is Thanksgiving 2019 I can’t believe it’s already here. It’s been a short year, but a very good year. Well, lots and lots of things to be thankful for. Lots of blessings this year. We are so thankful for everything that we’ve been given and I hope that you are to hone your dreams, own your life, and I’ll see you down the road!

    ~ Much Love ~