Whether you’re a parent or a young adult, it’s never too soon to start realising the amazing benefits of gratitude. Gratitude is a real-life superpower, capable of properly connecting you to people around you, helping you work hard, and deal with hardship, while making you inherently more likable. Show me one other thing that does all that!
While gratitude is most definitely a superpower, it’s not one you can win in one fell swoop, no bite from a radioactive spider is going to sort this. Real gratitude and humility is something you have to implement and practice in your life. It has to be a conscious effort, and with time and some practice, you’ll begin to see the huge benefits.
Who’s best at learning language and overall lifestyle shifts? The young! It’s true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can most definitely teach a young one a whole range of them.
Whether you’re a parent looking to instil some altogether far too uncommon values in your child, or you’re a teen or young adult looking to learn a real-life superpower that’ll allow you to do some pretty amazing stuff, here’s why you should be learning all about gratitude earlier in life.
What is Gratitude?
Let’s go all the way back to basics. What is gratitude really? At the core of things, gratitude is really just a different way of viewing life. Some would say a more realistic way. It’s all about looking at everything you’ve been given in this world, and every new gift you take for granted, like a new day of good health, and seeing it for what it really is.
Because none of us really deserve to be here. We’ve not done anything to warrant being born into such a fantastic time period of bounty, medical advances, acceptance, progress and technology. Why wouldn’t we have, instead, been born three hundred years ago, when we’d have been lucky to survive to adulthood?
Just think about the sheer improbability of our existence. Do you know how many millions of chance encounters have to have happened in order for us just to exist? All the millions of couples that had to lead their lives, and then randomly come together in the exact right sequence to create you. We’re all pretty amazing, and we’re all incredibly lucky
There’s always going to be someone worse off than you. Even in the direst of circumstances, things can always be worse, and there are plenty of things to be grateful for.
Internalise that, and you’ll have no reason to not be happy. To not ignore your own selfish desires, and properly connect with people around you, and to accept hard work as a simple fact of life. If you can do all that, you’ll be reaping the rewards of gratitude.
In reality, gratitude really just lets you see the world for what it is, away from the depressive, affected and cynical veneer society casts over reality. It lets you see the wonder, brilliance and sheer fortune, and that can be its own amazing reward sometimes.
Why for Younger People?
The fact is, gratitude really is an amazing way of viewing the world, and in today’s world of disaffected, cynical and spoilt kids, managing to either produce this stance and skill in yourself or your children, will really set you or them apart from the crowd.
The sooner in life you start working hard, and the sooner you start connecting better with people around you, is the sooner you’ll start succeeding and building a great friend group around yourself.
I remember being in school and feeling endless admiration and respect for the one kid at my school who seemed so much cooler and more mature than anyone else. His trick? He treated everyone well and worked hard, while still being a fun guy. That’s the kind of thing gratitude can instil in you.
As we grow into adults, we all become all-rounders to some degree, but as kids, a lot of us had rather more two-dimensional skill sets. There were the sporty kids, and the social kids, and the academic kids, and many other subsets.
If you’re not all that academic, gratitude can help you work harder and get on that path. If you’re not all that sporty, gratitude can help turn you into a great team player. On top of that, it’ll help you connect better with other people around you. Being a skilled all-rounder in school is one of the best things you can be, and gratitude can help you get there.
During Your Formative Years
One of the best times to get into any habit is during your formative or adolescent years. I’ve read endless accounts of people who got into the habit of getting up at six in the morning to get to school every day and stuck with that habit the rest of their life. What we do as teenagers can shape the rest of our lives hugely, so make sure you’re making the most of it.
If you want to build a habit, doing it as a teenager is ideal, and if you want your child to get into a habit, you’re just going to have to inspire them. Either way, learning to be grateful and humble can be an amazing thing to do when you’re young, and you’ll be glad you took the time to do it.
For a Child
In essence, if you want your child to embrace gratitude, you’ve got to embrace it. You can’t simply expect them to do something you’re not doing and don’t rationalise not doing it yourself by thinking you’re already great in this department, we could all be better at gratitude.
Start becoming more aware of yourself, and start seeing more opportunities for gratitude. Be more cheerful and happy, and tell your child exactly why you’re happy and what you’re grateful for. Talk about the ways it’s helping your life, and make it interesting to them. In short, inspire them, because amazing habits aren’t built out of nagging.
As a Teen
If you’re a teenager who wants to build gratitude into your life, that’s absolutely amazing, and utterly commendable. It’s not hard, but it does require consistency, so make sure you set a little time aside in the morning for a bit of meditation, and just start adopting a more grateful mind-set when it comes to life in general. Reflect on all the things you own and have achieved, and think about whether or not you’d have them if not for people around you, or sheer luck.
Don’t devalue your own achievements, just remember that it wasn’t a solo effort, and you’ve got a lot to be thankful for. If you’re struggling to think clearly about gratitude, try doing ten minutes of meditation on your bedroom floor in the mornings, it’ll help you out.
As a Young Adult
When you’re in your late teens or early twenties is an ideal time to start thinking about gratitude. You’re still studying and working, but you’re not yet completely bombarded by a career or family, and you’ve got plenty of time to pursue a bit of self-improvement.
Plus, gratitude can really help you dive into any studies or work you’re doing, and help you to build a much better work ethic. It’s never been harder to get lots of work done either, with endless distractions in the form of your smartphone or console available. Gratitude can help you fight through that.
Plus, males in this eighteen to mid-twenties category are at a darker risk than distraction. They’re one of the most vulnerable groups in society to depression and mental health problems.Click To Tweet
And really, the earlier you properly start any positive habit that’s going to help you work hard, stay happy and maintain relationships the better.
It’s Never Too Late Though
One thing I don’t want you to take away is that gratitude is better for younger people. It’s more effective or it’s easier. Learning to be a grateful, humble person is fantastically valuable in life, whether you’re seven or seventy-seven. It might get a little harder to pick up as you get older, but it’s still just as worthwhile.
Tricks and Tips
Regardless of age, we could all do with some help when it comes to learning how to be a little more grateful and aware of ourselves and reality. If you can learn a skill that helps you become harder working, while connecting better with people around you, and feeling happier and more resilient, why wouldn’t you?
It can be hard to get on that path though, so that’s why I’ve got a couple handy tips. First off, you have to try meditation. Meditation is the best way to think clearly about anything, so it’s always going to help out with gratitude and get you feeling grounded. Then there’s a fantastic app out there, called Analyze.Life, designed specifically to help people track their emotions and feel happier. This is also pretty handy.