Two Opinions: Gratitude Makes Us Great

This is a monthly column on becoming a great human being and has two opinions on the subject from eastern and western parts of the world namely Dr Amit Nagpal from India and Michael Thallium from Spain. If you wish to read more articles on this topic, please visit The Joys of Teaching by Dr Amit Nagpal.

Amit Nagpal’s opinion

“I have noticed that the Universe loves gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more goodies you get. When I say ‘goodies,’ I don’t mean only material things. I mean all the people, places, and experiences that make life so wonderfully worth living.” - Louise L. Hay

Dr Amit Nagpal is a consultant and coach whose primary interest lies in providing Personal Branding Consultancy specially in digital space. He is also known as a passionate Blogger, Motivational speaker and Trainer (in Life skills and Digital Marketing). He is a Leadership Mentor for IAYSCP (International Association of Young Supply Chain Professionals), USA and is also a member of the Global Mentoring Committee for Entrepreneurship Incubation, 3E Innovative Foundation, Delhi NCR, India. His blog, “The Joys of Teaching” (A Blog on Life Mantras for Sustainable Success) is read in 100 plus countries and the numbers continue to rise as the words spread day by day.

Dr Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant & Global Success Coach. He is based in New Delhi, India and specializes in personal branding with a holistic touch. His philosophy is, "Take charge of your life and your brand.”

In my opinion, gratitude is the first characteristic we need to be called human. In English we use a term ‘ungrateful pigs’ for people lacking gratitude. But sadly the greed (and focus) for more and more, has created thanklessness in most of us. Sometimes when someone helps us, we feel that we have returned the favour by doing something in exchange and hence gratitude is not required. I strongly feel that if you have asked for a favour and done something in return (of your choice), you still need to be grateful, for you don’t even know whether you have done enough in return.

Even a person like Albert Einstein who gave so much to human race, was full of gratitude instead, in fact gratitude as a sense of responsibility. He wrote, “A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” If we are not grateful for what we already have, what is the guarantee that we will be grateful if we get more. If cribbing is our very basic nature, we will crib even as billionaires, for all the things which could have been there.

Once I was doing a workshop with MBA students and I told them to immediately leave the hall and call up their parents to express gratitude for all that they have done. The students came back with funny responses from their parents. If one parent questioned the son whether he was drunk, the other parent was worried if everything was alright. The parents were surprised with the sudden expression of gratitude and one even remarked, “Son, do you need money?” We can imagine what an ungrateful society we live in (if people get so shocked by a simple expression of gratitude).

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Indian Spiritual Guru puts it beautifully, “As long as you are in the run for more, you are not going to settle. Unless you settle, there is neither peace nor grace. Got it?! So somewhere you should take this whole ‘I want more’ thing and dump it and say ‘okay, that is it!’….. If you are grumbling, you can’t be grateful, and if you are not grateful, how can there be grace? Do you see what I am saying? It all fits one into another. So now, don’t ask me how can one be more grateful? Just stop complaining!”

Gratitude is not complacency but rather it is doing our best and accepting with grace what we get back from the Universe. Our desires keep changing and even Universe gets confused what we want in life. Once we start listening to our inner voice and get absolutely clear about what we want, all forces combine to bring those things in our life over a period of time. If you are grateful, the universe will give you more and more. But if you are grateful only to get more, the universe will be able to sense the lack of sincerity and the fact that it is not gratitude but greed.

Eric Hoffer rightly says, “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” After all why do we find it so difficult to feel and express gratitude especially when we were made in the image of God itself? A very simple reason is the level of consciousness with which we live, as we have forgotten our true nature. We all are in bright daylight with a blind fold and to return to our true nature and uncover our greatness, the only thing we need to do is to remove the blindfold.

Spirituality turns off many people but it has all the answers to the questions for which we do not have answers. Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Teacher emphasizes on the fact that enlightenment is not some huge achievement or miracle where our bodies will develop some superhuman powers but it is just the realization that each human being is a wave which is part of the ocean. And if one is just part of the ocean and has separated for a while, we can understand the inter-connectedness and feel the immense gratitude for all the other waves which are travelling along with us.
So let us jump with joy and let the vibrations of gratitude for the beautiful life, reach every nook and corner of ‘The Sweet Universe’.

“The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best; therefore, it tends to become the best.” – Wallace D Wattles

Michael Thallium’s opinion

Michael Thallium is a global and greatness coach based in Spain. Michael has spent many years of his life traveling around many countries and continents, sailing the seas, flying the skies all over the world. Since 2008 he is dedicated to his passions namely coaching, language & communication and music.

Michael Thallium is a global and greatness coach based in Spain. Michael has spent many years of his life traveling around many countries and continents, sailing the seas, flying the skies all over the world. Since 2008 he is dedicated to his passions namely coaching, language & communication and music.

Words have always captivated me. However, I am not going to talk about words today, but about just one word which makes us great: Gratitude. Most of dictionaries define gratitude as a feeling of being thankful and appreciative. What gratitude is then? I guess that everyone has a particular way to feel that word. I would like to define it as that inner feeling which makes me appreciate everything that happens in my life and repay with grace, with style, with respect for my own life and the lives of others.

One month ago, when my friend Amit Nagpal -by the way, I really thank him for that- suggested we could write an article on gratitude, I thought that I could put into practice that feeling and spend as much time as I could in a state of gratitude. This led me to come up with the idea of creating a video which would show, at least, a tiny part of that gratitude. And that’s what I did. So, instead of writing I ended up recording and editing.

When I look back, I see that I have been quite fortunate in my life. There are lots of people I am thankful to. If I mention just some of them, that would be unfair with all the rest. I am thankful to every single person I came across in my life. To all of them, thank you! However, there are two people I cannot help mentioning here: my parents.

After a month of practicing the daily exercise of spending as much time as I could in a state of gratitude, I can say: Yes, ”Gratitude makes us great”. No more words. I invite you to see this video:

Who are you going to show your gratitude today? Are you ready to embrace the gratitude of others too gracefully?

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