The Power of Being Thankful | Motivational Podcasts

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you are among the hundreds of listeners who have purchased our Majesty self-development program, you might find today’s podcast of particular interest, because it helps explain the transformational power of gratitude and joy, mental states which play essential roles in our 7 key affirmations for self-growth.

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Now, on to today’s ready, which was edited and adapted from Thinking for Results By Christian D. Larson, published in 1912.

The attitude of aspiration causes us to think of the marvels that lie beyond present achievement, and thereby inspires the creation of great thoughts. There must be great thoughts before the mind can become great, and the mind must become great before great results can be secured.

Aspiration concentrates attention upon superiority and therefore elevates all the qualities of the mind into that state. This being true, every effort in life should be directed towards those possibilities that lie beyond our present achievements, if we wish to cultivate and strengthen an attitude of aspiration.

When we are simply ambitious, we proceed as we are and seek to make a mark for ourselves with what power we already possess; but when we are alive with the spirit of aspiration, we seek to make ourselves larger, more powerful, and far superior to what we are now, knowing that a great light cannot be hid, and that anyone with great power must invariably reach the goal they have in view.

The ambitious mind seeks to make a small light shine far beyond its capacity, and through this effort finally wears itself out. The aspiring mind, however, seeks to make the light larger and larger, knowing that the larger the light becomes the further it will shine, and that no strenuous efforts will be required to push its powerful rays into effectiveness.

When the attitude of aspiration looks beyond the personal self, it does not necessarily look outside of the self. The purpose of aspiration is to enter into the possession of the marvels of the great within, because what is found in the within will be expressed in the without.

Therefore, when we constantly rise above the personal self, we perpetually enlarge the personal self, thus gaining the capacity to accomplish more and more until we finally accomplish practically everything we have in view.

An attitude of aspiration therefore should never leave the mind for a moment; we should on the contrary keep the mental eye focused upon the boundless possibilities that are within us and deeply desire with heart and soul a greater and greater realization of those possibilities in practical life.

The attitude of contentment may truthfully be said to be the twin sister of aspiration, and its important function is to prevent aspiration from losing sight of what has already been gained. When contentment is absent, the present seems more or less barren, and when aspiration is absent the present seems sufficient.

But the present is never barren, nor is it ever sufficient. The present is rich with many things of extreme value, if we only train ourselves to see them. These things, however, are not enough for the advancing soul. Greater things are at hand, and it is our privilege to press on through the realization of those greater things.

We must therefore conclude that the best attitude of mind is to be content with things as they now are, and at the same time reach out constantly for greater things. When contentment is absent, the present is not fully utilized, and we cannot attain greater things until we have fully employed what has already been received.

When aspiration is absent, the present is used over and over again like the air in a closed room, and the result is mental stagnation to be followed by failure and final extinction. When, we look at this subject from another point of view, we find that the mind that is not content cannot be developed; nor can such a mind make the best use of the powers it may now possess.

Every moment therefore should be filled with contentment and perfect satisfaction. And every moment should also be filled with a strong desire for still greater achievements. In such a mental state (where contentment and aspiration are combined), we shall find life to be a continual feast, each course being more delicious than the last. We shall also find such a life to be the path to perpetual growth and continuous joy.

To cultivate a state of contentment, we should live in the conviction that all things are working together for good, and that what is best for us now is coming to us now. The truth is that if we are trying to make all things work together for good (and live in the faith that we can), we actually will so order things in our life that all things will work together for good. And what comes to us every day will be the very best for us that day.

When we live, think, and act in this manner, we shall soon find that the best is daily coming to us, and that the best of each day is better than that of the day before. The result will be perfect contentment, and the placing of life in that position where it can receive (in the great eternal now) all that the great eternal now has to give.

In short, when we so live that we permit the present moment to be filled with all the richness that it can hold, then we shall have the contented mind and the ever-growing mind, the mind that is proverbially described as a continuous feast.

The attitude of gratitude is closely related to that of contentment and is one of the greatest of all mental states; and the reason why is found in the fact that no mind can be right (nor think constructively) unless it is filled with the spirit of gratitude.

The fact is that new life is coming to us every day and with it new opportunities. Every moment therefore is richer than the one before; but if this coming of new life and new opportunities does not add to the richness and value of our own personal life, there is a lack of gratitude. And where gratitude is lacking, the mind is more or less closed to the many good things that are coming our way.

The grateful mind, however, is always an open mind, open to the newer, the higher and the better, and therefore invariably coming into possession of more and more of those things. The entire race is moving forward with the stream of continuous advancement; better things therefore are daily coming into the life of each individual.

If we do not receive them, the reason is that our mind is more or less closed on account of the lack of gratitude. So let us remember that the mind must be grateful for everything in order to be open to the reception of new things and better things. We simply cannot receive better things unless we are truly grateful for that which we already possess. This is the law in this matter, and it is a law that will stand up to the most rigid analysis.

To give thanks therefore with the whole heart for everything that comes into life, and to express constant and whole-souled gratitude to all the world for everything that is good in the world — this is the secret through which we may open the mind to the great cosmic influx; that influx that is bringing into the life of every individual the richness and the power that a complete life has in store for every individual.

But in order to be grateful in the best and most perfect manner, we must have appreciation. We must be able to see the real worth of that which comes into life, before we can express the fullness and the spirit of the grateful heart. The attitude of appreciation is also valuable in another direction. When we appreciate worth, we always gain a higher consciousness of worth and thereby make our own minds more worthy.

To cultivate the mental state of appreciation, we should eliminate all tendency to fault find, criticize, and the like, and we should make a special effort to see the worthy qualities in everything and everybody with which we come in contact. The result of such a practice will not only be a better appreciation, with a deeper in- sight into the superior qualities of life, but also the building of a more whole- some mind.

Realizing the value of appreciation, we should (whenever we discover a lack of appreciation in ourselves) proceed at once to remove the cause. We shall not hesitate in doing this when we find that a lack of appreciation also tends to give the mind a false view of things, thereby preventing the acquisition of the best that life has in store.

The appreciative mind has a natural tendency to look upon the better side of things. But this tendency becomes complete only when the optimistic attitude is added. To be optimistic does not mean to think that black is white or that everything everywhere is all right. The true optimist can also see the flaws and the imperfections in life, but he or she gives direct attention to the good side, the better side, and the strong side. And having this larger view, they always know that the strong side is much larger and far superior to the weak side.

The optimist therefore never becomes discouraged, because they know that failure and wrong are only temporary, and that the right finally wins every time. In addition, they know that they can aid the right to such an extent that the victory can be gained now.

The pessimist lives in the false and does not see things as they are. Their conclusions are therefore worthless. For this reason, we should never pay any attention to the words of the pessimist, as we shall be misled in every instance if we do. Instead, we should listen to the prophecy of the optimist, and then put all our ability and all our faith into the possibilities of that prophecy, thereby making it come true.

The value of the optimistic attitude in scientific thinking therefore is very great; because to think correctly on any subject, the mind must have the mountain top view, and we must think correctly if we wish to think for results.

Though the optimist may live on the sunny side, still the full value of life’s sunshine cannot be gained until we add the attitude of constant cheerfulness. To be cheerful, bright, happy, and joyous is absolutely necessary, if we wish to think scientifically, think constructively, and think for results.

When we proceed to think for results, we think for a purpose. We employ correctly the constructive mental processes, so that we may work ourselves up to the goal in view. Growth and development therefore must take place all along the line of action, but no mental growth can take place without mental sunshine.

Accordingly, we should resolve to be happy no matter what may transpire. We cannot afford to be otherwise. Sunshine will melt the most massive iceberg, if the rays are direct and the clouds are kept away; and it is the same in daily life. No matter how cold, disagreeable, and uncongenial your present environment may be, plenty of mental sunshine can change it all.

It pays to be happy. Cheerfulness is a most profitable investment and there are no riches that are greater than constant joy. This attitude is not for the few or for occasional moments, because all the sunny states of mind can be made permanent in a short time by a very simple process.

Make it a practice to go to sleep every night with cheerfulness on your mind and with a feeling of joy in every atom of your being. Through this practice you will carry the cheerful idea into the subconscious, and gradually the joyous state will become an established state in the subconscious mind. The result will be that the subconscious will express cheerfulness and wholesomeness at all times, and it will become second nature for you to have a sweet disposition, a sunny frame of mind, and an attitude of perpetual joy.

This method may seem to be too simple to be of value, but the simplest methods are usually the best. And anyone can prove through a few weeks of trial that this method will produce the desired results, and will (through more continuous practice) actually transform mind and disposition to such an extent that the mind will henceforth live in constant mental sunshine. There are few things that are more important than this, if we wish to train the mind in those attitudes that bring success to our personal and professional lives.

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All transcripts from our self-help podcasts are edited adaptations of the original work and copyrighted by LivingHour.org.