In his TED talk, Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful, Brother David Steindl-Rast provides great leaders insights into the power and magic that a more grateful mindset has in living a fuller, richer and happier life.
“All human beings have something in common, all of us want to be happy”, he begins. One of the major contributors to being happy, he suggests, is the sense of gratefulness. Gratefulness arises when we experience something that is valuable and freely given. It is the combination of these two things – something of value and freely given – that creates gratitude which creates happiness.
How can we live gratefully? He suggests: “By experiencing, by becoming aware that every moment is a given moment… it’s a gift. You haven’t earned it, you haven’t brought it about in any way…. This moment with all the opportunity it contains.” The key to our happiness is availing ourselves of each opportunity each moment presents. “We hold the master key to happiness in our own hands.”, he says. “Moment by moment, we can be grateful for this gift.”
He proposes to great leaders a method for living gratefully. “Stop; Look; Go. We have to stop, be quiet and build stop signs into our lives. Look – open eyes, ears and nose, all our senses – for this wonderful richness that is given to us. And the third one: Go and really do something.”
Gratitude can be a key to our happiness. It will come when we fully learn and appreciate the value that each precious, freely given moment offers us… to be someone more, to do something more. May we embrace each of those beautiful moments with joyous passion, love and commitment that, at days’ end, they will say of you: He/she truly lived every day of her life.