The Hindrances to Living a Life of Gratitude

Gratitude, as explained in the previous post is the “acknowledgment of goodness in ones’ life.” Secondly, it is recognizing that every good gift has a source. However, there are some hindrances to why so many don’t live a life of gratitude, and it is the goal of this article to explore some of the hinderances to living a life of gratitude.

Gratitude is a pleasant attitude that appreciates that we are given something either by anyone outside us. For instance, our parents, spouse, friends, inlaws, neighbors, job, ultimately our Higher Power.

Are there some obstacles or setbacks in living a life of gratitude, for all the goodness we have received? Of course, there are. It is never too late to start a new life.

 Just like in other life goals, we will always encounter obstacles whenever we want to achieve any goal. Gratitude as I discussed in detail in my last post, is a choice. It is a lifestyle, discipline, or habit we consciously decide to have.

Personally, I don’t it as I ought to often time. But I have learned not to take anything or anyone for granted without expressing appreciation in any way I can.

So as a result, I have become aware to some extent, I should say because, I’m still a work in progress on this, but can identify some of the hindrances that work against gratitude in people’s life or mine.

So, in this post we are going to explore some of the subtle obstacles that make it hard for us to practice gratitude.

Negative Attitude or Carefree Attitude

For some people, it is natural to ignore the benefits they have. Hence, the suggestion, count your blessings. We need to cultivate, learn, and sustain our understanding and reason we have chosen among every other array of emotions, to live a life that exchanges pleasantries, rejoices with what’s got, and thanks to the giver instead of ignoring it and expect more.

Feeling of self-sufficiency.

Another obstacle is our erroneous belief of being self-sufficiency. When we live in the illusion of I don’t need any help from anybody, or even from God, such kind of thought will hinder us from showing gratitude. I tell you this can be very bad. I have a person who is like that, the person will eat your cooked food finish without a word of thanks. Even to push back the seat he sat on.

And that is the kind of attitude some management give their workers that are damaging and draining worker’s enthusiasm. Because the service is taking for granted.

 Lack of appreciation, acknowledgement of the sacrifices, hard work, devotion of subordinates is being ungrateful to them.

Do you want to be appreciated? Show appreciation to others, whatever help, advice, kindness you’ve received.

Over Expectations

Often times in our relationships we have the tendency to expect much from it. And so often that leaves the person with disappointments, resentments, regrets, and ingratitude. This is similar to when we receive or give another person a gift that is not appropriate for the person’s status, or for the occasion. Honestly, some gifts can uplift a person’s mind or drain the person’s joy, and thereby causing a hindrance in giving and receiving gratitude in this regard. On such occasions we need to be aware of what we give is during Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Anniversary, Birthdays, and so forth. Let your gifts be well thought out, to add happiness, value, appreciation to the mind of the receiver.

For instance, during this past Mother’s Day, my son gave me an unexpected cash gift. And I appreciated it so much and lavished praise on Him and his family. Why because the gift was more than I expected and worth more than taking me out for a dinner. Whereas my other son gave me a bad attitude as his gift for me, which really hurt my feelings that day. You see, in this scenario both of my sons gave me their Mother’s Day gift, one was appreciated and the other was not. Because of the nature or attitude of the giver.

So, the point here is that the kinds of gifts we give in kind or cash can obstruct the expression of gratitude.

Because gifts have so many meanings both to the receiver and the giver. And also important is that our gifts must be given with a pure motive of love, kindness, respect, appreciation of who that person is to us. It is not to manipulate or control the person to guarantee the person’s royalty or something of that nature.

Another thing that comes to my mind is our relationship with God. He gave us the best gift ever! How do we appreciate God’s goodness, kindness, mercies, benefits in our lives, family, and as a nation? If we value such a giver, our gratitude to Him will have no bounds.

Competition and Comparison Attitude

People are so wealthy today but less satisfied. I don’t need any scientific research to prove this. Mere physical observations and conversations with people you will know. The hinderances to living a life of gratitude are many, unfortunately, many people are not even aware.

There is much competition going on, and competition breeds comparison. And the more you compete and compare, who has what, whose children are doing better, which couple is more loving, who has the latest house, SUVs, who is being promoted, and so forth, the harder it becomes to be grateful for what you have, and who you are.

This happens when your mind begins telling you that you’re missing a lot. In that case, you start seeing only scarcity, lack, and inadequacy. Such thinking is a hinderance.

 I mentioned that some people can feel self-sufficient earlier. As the person sees no need for help, and no one to appreciate because he or she thought that their power, and smartness, have gotten them all they have.

In that sense, why do they need to practice gratitude. They in their pride ask you show gratitude to whom? Ad for what?

This reminds me of the story of Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible found in Daniel 4:30. If you read the story, I tell you many people are like that today! Have you been able to identify the hinderances to living a life of gratefulness?

But on the flip side is someone who feels ungrateful because he sees himself or herself not measuring up to others. We ought to be careful how we think and react to life’s circumstances.Living a Life of Gratitude Even During Tough Times

There is no doubt that since change is inevitable, where you’re today may not be your last station. Just choose to be grateful. Show gratitude to God, and to people in your life, and those you meet or will meet along life’s journey.

 Learn to count and recount your blessings daily. Do not discount what you have or who you are by focusing on what you do not have or who you have not become. Do not depend on your emotions to be grateful. Instead, let it be based on the acknowledgment and recognition of the goodness and privileges you have.

Let us be wise on how we live this life. Showing gratitude is realizing and appreciating that we have everything that we need right now. Therefore we have to be aware of the hinderances of living a life of gratitude.

After all, do you know that life is a journey? So, you don’t need excess luggage! This week, I was going through all the material things I have accumulated over these years. I was shocked. Before now, my children have been asking me to de-cluster the basement and the garage. That there is too much stuff. Indeed, there is much I have, which I can comfortably live without them. So, thank God for the Goodwill outlets. You see, I have a lot to be grateful for, my life, health, food on the table, a roof over my head, mobility, family, grandchildren, and all that. I’m grateful! And I believe you have to.

Hinderance Due to Suffering and Pains

As we look around us, we can see pains and sufferings. We can hear it on the news, read it on the daily News Papers what is happening to people around the world. Many hearts are getting crushed. There are millions of people who are suffering due to no faults of theirs. They have suffered atrocities, pains, torture at the hands of others, or cruel twists of fate. In such situations when the soul sees or feels nothing but suffering, it will appear that sufferings and pains have taken the place of gratefulness in such lives. It is like the person finds no reason for gratitude again in life.

When we realize how others in such catastrophic situations deal with suffering, we can’t help but pray to be grateful! In the midst of life’s turmoils, many will lose hope and therefore sees no light at the end of the tunnel while some will have resilient and just find one thing to be grateful for. May we at any stage of our life find a reason to be grateful, happy, and content. Gratitude is a choice, decide to chose it today. Be grateful for life!

2 thoughts on “The Hindrances to Living a Life of Gratitude”

  1. One of the most important things that we need to show in life is gratitude. It has a tremendous medicine for ourselves and for all those among us. We sure need help of others. And most importantly, we need help from God.  It is a good think to constantly understand our dependance of God’s grace.

    1. Ann, thanks so much for stopping by.  I love how you amplified the topic. Indeed we need each other, and above all, we can’t do without the grace of God sustaining our lives, whether we believe it or not. If can just be grateful for all we have, we will never lack. 

      Once again, thanks!

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