Everyone says gratitude is the key to happiness and after coaching more than 8000 people to achieve happiness and success, I believe they are right. But how do you actually achieve gratitude? Have you ever noticed that your mind, which I call The Drunk Monkey isn’t normally grateful? In fact, have you noticed that being grateful isn’t as easy as people make it sound? In this article, we will explore why it is hard to be grateful. And what to do about it.
Why is Gratitude Hard to Achieve?
Gratitude is difficult to achieve because The Drunk Monkey isn’t particularly interested in what you are happy about. As you pay attention to The Drunk Monkey in your head, you will notice that is concerned with safety, getting ahead and routine matters. The mind is just biology. It is just energy moving through fields of neurons in your brain. Its job is to assist this giant colony of cells, which you call your body, to stay alive and propagate.
Today, as you start paying attention to The Drunk Monkey in your head, it will be easy to see The Drunk Monkey does not spend time appreciating and enjoying. It’s to busy keeping you safe, organizing the future, analyzing the past, making assumptions about what will happen next and planning to do something about it. Since gratitude is not about anticipating potential problems and avoiding it, gratitude is not a normal process for The Drunk Monkey.
How to Achieve Gratitude
To achieve gratitude you must recognize your habitual mental states and go beyond them. You must see the mind for what it is, and ignore its attempts to distract you with unimportant things. One trick to loosen the grip of the mind is to make a list of things you are grateful for each day. Take just a few moments now, and make a list of 10 things. Who are you grateful for? What parts of your body? What opportunities? What simple pleasures?
When we intentionally shift our attention away from The Drunk Monkey’s need to protect and keep us safe from things that aren’t happening, we are more present, calm and able to enjoy what we have now.