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Gratitude is a life-changing vehicle

Gratitude is the attitude from which all good things come. In times where there is financial hardship and opportunities are limited, it can be difficult to stay encouraged without gratitude.

Why is that? The answer could very well lie in the fact that when we are able to appreciate the good, the things we do have and the gift of life itself, we are uplifted and become hopeful as a result. Literally, there is a shift that occurs in our mindsets and we begin to therefore think, speak, and act according to our state of being.

Gratitude has within it, the power to alter undesired circumstances. This is able to happen because when we choose to be grateful for every little thing in our lives, taking for granted nothing, from the roof over our heads, to the carpet underneath our feet, from the bed that we sleep in, to the running water that we use daily, from the food that we eat, to the air that we breathe, we feel blessed and fortunate. When we feel blessed and fortunate, we feel good on the inside and when we feel good on the inside, we operate from that place and it is from that place that all good things come.

One of the authors from the book "The Secret" stated that whatever we think about and thank about, we bring about. This idea lends itself tremendously to my point.

Whenever we find ourselves irritated and complaining, we are not in a state of gratitude. Irritation and complaining does not allow us to appreciate the good in our current circumstances. This mindset places emphasis on negative factors that derails positive transformation.

There is no doubt that if we face periods of lacking, there is the tendency for frustration and anxiety levels to increase over how ends will meet. There is a lack of peace and a loss of clarity. However, if you recognize that this is taking place in your life, it is important to stop, take a deep breath, and simply utter the words, "I am grateful." Begin to name all that you are grateful for until you really feel that shift in your mindset occurring. Then, take another look at your situation and be grateful that it is only temporary.

If you choose gratitude over fear and helplessness, your circumstances will change. If you choose gratitude over anger and resentment, your circumstances will change.

It is easier said than done, but you have to constantly remind yourself that the path to more and better is through the tunnel of thankfulness.

I remember when I had reached the point where I wanted a new car when I was in school. My first car was handed down to me and after a few years, I wanted something better. My car had gotten me back and forth to school and home for visits, not to mention an occasional road trip. Rather than complain about not having a newer car, I decided that I would identify what I could do to improve what I had. I called around to price various services from CD player installation, to a paint job. I had gotten real excited about sprucing up my ride and then a couple of weeks later, I received a call from my dad for me to come home. When I arrived home he told me to go to a particular car dealership and when I did, there was a salesperson there waiting for me. He handed me the keys to my new car.

It was already done. I believed then, as I do to this day, that because I chose to be grateful for having transportation, and focused on the good that I already had, I set the atmosphere for my situation to change.

Well, it is that time again. I want a newer car, but I am so grateful for the one I have.

Be encouraged.

Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at ln_dunn@yahoo.com.