Inspiration Report

Inspiration Report

Gratitude: The Secret to Practicing Happiness

This week’s theme is happiness. If you haven’t read the blogs, here’s a recap:

It kicked off with a video from Pastor Joel Osteen on Habitual Happiness.

Then, a discussion on What Makes You Happy.

Followed by the results of my short happiness survey entitled A Few of Your Favorite Things.

What I loved most about the results were realizing 1) how we all generally enjoy the same things (family, friends, food, faith and nature) and 2) how practical those things are. No one mentioned vacationing in a five-star hotel. Very few said winning the lottery, and owning your own island didn’t make anyone’s list.


So, if the things we love are so easy, then why aren’t we all skipping to work and smiling all the time? Why are people still so unhappy?

Because, the more you look at something, ironically, the less you see it. What once seemed like a miracle, when experienced on a daily basis, slowly becomes mundane. And just like that, we overlook our sources of happiness. We take them for granted, and generally we don’t miss them until they’re gone.

I’ve made a conscious effort to take nothing for granted lately, and it’s truly opened my eyes to how amazingly wonderful every day can be. For example, I thoroughly enjoy my parents and visit them whenever I can. I do this for many reasons, but one is that I know they won’t always be here. I keep in mind, one day, that drive to their house won’t be so joyful. So I want to take advantage of every happy moment with them now.


I just read this quote by William Edward Hartpole Lecky in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. It says:

There are times in the lives of most of us when we would have given all the world to be as we were but yesterday, though that yesterday had passed over us unappreciated and unenjoyed.

I like to think of it this way. Somewhere in the future, you’re reflecting on the moment you’re in right now and wishing you could go back.

Practice happiness today by being grateful for everything. It’s all about living with your eyes wide open to all of life’s little miracles.

For more:
Present Moment Quotes
How to Live Everyday in Heaven…on Earth
Joel Osteen on Embracing Now


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Donna Johnson

    What a joy to know “Practicing Happiness” can be so simple and Joel Olsteen is an inspiration always. Yes, we do tend to take every day
    things for granted and then when we lose the simple things in life we
    surely do want to go back and usually live to regret those important
    things we wasted away.

    Thank you for the message, it surely opened my eyes since I’m kind of
    in a turmoild right now and praying for God’s will to be done as he
    sees fit for us.

    Donna M. Johnson

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kathleen m peterson

    everyday I am Blessed,gratefull and thankful.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment frances

    Happiness,hmm been trying to embrace it. I have not been happy for 7 years. In beteen those seven years I always thanked god. I’m not depressed or maybe I am, don’t know no more but I will like to experience happiness. Yes, my happiness is watching my kids grow and making sure they are safe. I thank god for that. My happiness are my children but my inner happiness has not surface

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Heather Galarneau

    What an amazing quote! “Happiness… is all abouot living with your eyes wide open to all of life’s little miracles.” I think I am going to base my next workshop on that very idea. Thank you Jennifer, very inspiring! Well said!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Heather Galarneau


    Gratitude as the key to happiness is about so much more than just thanking God for our blessings. If you will, take some time to focus on all the tiny miracles of life and appreciate them simply for what they are and that they are there to be appreciated.

    For example, I live in the north, and I have been observing the trees as they come back to life after a long winter. I stand in awe of the infinite wisdom of each and every living creature as it knows just what to do and when to do it! The trees are budding, leaves are sprouting, flowers are growing, bees are helping to spread the pollen… Next, think about the interconnectedness of all of nature. Those very trees are there, quietly cleaning the air we breathe every day. They may also serve as a home or source of food for a variety of living creatures. These creatures continue the chain that eventually leads to us…

    Take time to notice these things and allow yourself to be amazed at the beauty and wonder of the world we live in. Be thankful for the opportunity to experience something so Beautiful. Thank God for creating all the things we need to sustain our life here on Earth because it is all truly amazing! These are life’s tiny miracles… the miracles of life!

    Next, take a moment to turn your attention to the sky. My favorite times to do this are at sunset, on a starry night, and during a mostly sunny day where I feel the warmth ot the sun on my body and the relief of a cloud to wisk by and offer some shade for a cool off! I also enjoy watching the clouds move across the beautiful blue sky. You have to take the time to discover the things that move you the most… but please, allow yourself the quiet time to observe and appreciate the tiny little details like these.

    When is the last time you just sat and watched the sunset, focusing on nothing more than it’s simple beauty and appreciating that it is there for your enjoyment?

    Take time to sit for a moment on a clear night and gaze up at the stars contemplating that you are actually peering into a vast universe that is beyond comprehension. Imagine yourself floating into outerspace and looking back toward the Earth to see what looks like a beautiful blue and white marble from the greater perspective of the universe. That is where we call home. That is truly a miracle, that we live on this tiny little marble that holds all we need to sustain our lives and that we are given the gift of life, to enjoy as we will, these beautiful things, to appreciate as we choose, and the awareness to decide where to put our focus!

    Every day, you choose what you will focus your attention on. Why not choose to focus on The Good Things in Life a little bit more? Now I don’t know you and I don’t mean to assume that you don’t do these things… but I wanted to share this all with you in hopes that it may help you gain more perspective and happiness in your life. Not long ago, I lived my life in despair… I thought life was just something to be dealt with and I did what I could to get by. It was miserable and I was missing out on all the simple joys of life ~ until I realized, that “Happiness… is about living with your eyes wide open to all of life’s little miracles.”

    I wish you All The Best in Creating More Happiness in Your Life Today! :-)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment PrettyWeng Laraquel

    Happy to read a lot of comments from Happy People around. Smile, God Loves us!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kathleen m peterson

    everyday you wake up and you are walking on ground is a good day!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment DONNA

    Heather, thank you for waking me up to all those simple things that I used to enjoy and I am enjoying so much again. I am not one to take things for granted, that is one my biggest petpieves, being taken for granted and taking things for granted we never know when they will be taken from us and then we are sorry for not appreciating what we have in the moment we are in right now. We need to take time and appreciate it when we have it. God is an Awesome God and the most peaceful and beautiful path to follow. Thanks for the reminder as we all get caught up in life in the flesh. Let’s not take anything for granted.

    Donna Brancato

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Heather Galarneau

    Happy to be of service! We all need reminders from time to time. I was so moved by this article and just love the topic of gratitude! It is such a simple thing that can completely change your life ~ especially when you discover all the little miracles and create a new habit! The key for me was knowing how and where to look for them 😉

  • http://AfterreadingthisarticleIrealizedmyhappinesssiswithinmyself.Notalwayslookinforsomeone2 Martha

    fullfill the emptiness, Only God is qualified 2 full the spot

  • http://AfterreadingthisarticleIrealizedmyhappinesssiswithinmyself.Notalwayslookinforsomeone2 Martha

    Happiness is fulfilled by the presence of God

  • Chester Branch

    This is great! This reminded me of behavioral psychologist Daniel Kahneman when he said that happiness is ultimately determined by the way we retell and remember the events of our lives.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment carolyn

    please tresure each day ,waking with a smile and ending the day with a smile, knowing that God is walking with me every minute and hour.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mike


  • http://AfterreadingthisarticleIrealizedmyhappinesssiswithinmyself.Notalwayslookinforsomeone2 Martha

    This article is one I could reflect on every moment of the day. When u have been hurt by everyone in your life that suppose 2 love u. U focus on the hurt instead of happiness. God has removed people that I thought were after his heart, from my life. It hurts. Serving the Lord will pay off so if he must remove to replace I’m willing 2 follow him. Please Pray for me!

  • Pingback: Donna brancato | Effectiveimage

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