Photo Credit: Simon Maage,

Naturally spiritually-minded folks will tuck right into anything that starts like this . . . they see gratitude as a place of rest. Of peace. Where they can just be in a way that they know, however intuitively, is win-win. In contrast, other, more pragmatic types may react differently: “Aw, that’s sweet. Gotcha. Next?”

But the fact is, there’s a secret sauce here that’s worth dipping into for everybodyeven driven nuts-and-bolts typesbecause I’m talking about a straight route to effortless energy for going after what you really, really want. You with me? Okay. So let’s start by backing up a bit.

Be the change.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” We’ve heard it. We may revere it. Honestly, we may feel more like it had its day. We think Gandhi said it. But apparently he actually said this:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him . . . We need not wait to see what others do.”

And I’m with you here if you flash on images of austere sainthood, of passive resistance and hunger strikes for humanity. But don’t miss just how radical this message really is, how there’s real power here even for us mere mortals. And there’s truth: as we change ourselves; doing our inner work, we begin to shift our experiences. Our good work creates results in the outer world. Yes, there’s freedom (and control) in “we need not wait to see what others do.”

Gratitude and action

Sometimes certain areas of life are tough sledding. While, in contrast, other areas just flow well. Nearly effortlessly. So much so that we come to expect that flow. We may forget about or take for granted what just works. We may put all our energy into and focus on what doesn’t . . . at least not yet. It’s human, folks.

The great news is that gratitude aids us. It helps us keep our heads on straight. In short, gratitude smooths the way. As we appreciate what workspeople in our corner, unexpected kindnesses, helpful coincidences, and all the little things that make the day or night goodwe can charge our own batteries. Then there really is no need to wait for others. And ultimately, gratitude can help keep our path clear: a cool, cleansing current running just below the surface of everything.

So . . . what does it take?

What does it take, on the ground, in the thick of it all, to access gratitude’s gains? To let that secret sauce flavor everything? And by the way, it isn’t that we don’t want to be grateful. But it can feel like trying to be “good.” Like there’s a morality to it, something we have to work to do. But the point I’m making is about less effort, not more. More thriving. Less striving. Through the energy-producing, pathway-clearing practice of gratitude. Also, consider what worldview underlies any instant thoughts you may have that this just ain’t the way life is. Or maybe for others, but not for you.

How about recognizing and valuing what works and who cares, no beating of drums required? Situations where life just flows and there’s a natural sweetness. Like the upbeat greeting we can count on from the grocery checkout girl. The down-home kindness of a good neighbor. The simple pleasure of your favorite pen. And quiet expressions of care, like my busy sons Taylor and Colin pausing at the front door to say, “thanks for a great dinner, Mom.” And the crazy-love of friends like Zuul, my son Aaron’s Bichon poodle. She’s a dog ambassador out changing the worldone Brooklyn block at a time.

And how about noticing—and relishing—all the small and large ways that coincidences, circumstances and life events, in fact, aid us? Does anything come to mind here that just came your way? And how about anything you’re grateful that you wanted, worked for, and didn’t get? The door you knocked and knocked and knocked on that didn’t open. How you were devastated and stressed then and utterly grateful later. Yep. Me, too, my dears. And ain’t that delicious.

An approach for pragmatic types

Take a look at number nine of my 10 Beautiful New Year’s Resolutions for a practical, boom, boom, boom approach to putting gratitude front and center in your daily life. Then you’ll see just how effortless it can be to count it as part of your can-do skill set. Now go reap its benefits.

Practicing deliciousness

Want a beautiful, productive 2019? Gratitude can no doubt help make it so. Because with the power of gratitude we can keep things real, in perspective. Keep our challenges and expectations from taking up all the oxygen in the room. In fact, consider it a grand experiment that I say is ultimately about the deliciousness of living. About you having what you really, really want. Now. Today. Through getting present to the sweetness of all the good things already aiding and abetting what you intend to create.

Undoubtedly, gratitude brings great energy to whatever you’re doing. So dip into its deliciousness daily on the wild journey. And let me know how all that’s going for you. Like what are you especially grateful for this season?


Photo Credit: Simon Maage,