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Can (and should) we be grateful for both good and bad things?
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Gratitude is a feeling that we normally associate with the good stuff in life: our family, friends, a beautiful sunrise, a particularly fun night out…

This generally accepted view was called into question recently at one of our masterclasses, when our Founding Director, Lisa, commented:

“Gratitude is an acute understanding of both the responsibility and the privilege that it is to be alive, regardless of how today feels.”

This sparked quite the discussion. Most people were surprised by her suggestion that we should be grateful for things like grief, pain and loneliness, because they allow us to feel real joy.

But think of it this way: gratitude requires you to notice the small and big things. We all have an obligation to live in a way that’s present and responsible – for our environment, our families, and ourselves. It’s about trusting that everything passes. When life is awful, that will pass. And when life is amazing, that will pass, too. Life is precious and it’s a gift. We shouldn’t just feel grateful when life is beautiful, but also when we’re learning and hurting and grieving.

Now, we haven’t gone so far down the Pollyanna route that we expect you to show gratitude at the very moment you discover your beloved cat has been run over, or you’ve been B-listed by a friend. Rather, when we get a chance to reflect on such moments, we should try to be grateful for what they taught us, or the resilience they helped us develop. And there’s always the added bonus that everything good from here on in will seem so much better by comparison.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

– The Coach Place Global

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