One of my mentors suggested that there is a difference between being thankful and being grateful. He said that being thankful is appreciating something you already have, while being grateful is appreciating something you have not yet received, but have faith is coming.
Although the dictionary does not distinguish between the two, I like this way of looking at them. I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends; I am grateful for all the great people I am going to meet. I am thankful for my beautiful home; I am grateful for my three bedroom, oceanfront condo at the Jersey shore. I am thankful for my coaching practice: I am grateful for international speaking engagements. I’m sure you get the idea.
Being in a state of gratitude keeps us mentally and emotionally connected to our goals. It sends out a very different vibration than if we think “I want it, but I don’t have it yet.” When we think this way, the dominant vibration is one of “not having” rather than the faith that it is coming.
So last week, as we sat down to a delicious turkey dinner, I did something a little different at the start of the meal. Rather than say the usual “God, thank you for this delicious meal and…yadda, yadda, yadda” I asked everyone to express gratitude for something they very much wanted, but didn’t quite have yet. It was kind of fun. One person said they were grateful for all the crazy people at work who would be resigning. Someone else said they were grateful for the wonderful caregivers who were going to take care of their aging parents. And someone (not mentioning names) said they were grateful for the good grades they were going to receive this semester (which made me just a little nervous, person whose name I’m not mentioning)
So what do you think about being grateful for something which you don’t quite have yet, as opposed to being thankful for what you do have? When you think of a goal, do you ever feel grateful for it coming, or do you think “I will be grateful when it gets here.” Do you think there is a difference?
Give it a try~ think of something you really want to have or do or be. Then try feeling gratitude for having it; try to feel how you will feel when you do have it. Do you notice a difference?