The #1 mistake people make when giving gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

It’s that time of year. And no, I’m not talking about the eating fest that happens today and in December. Although, those days are quite delicious and I’m looking forward to the big meal tonight!

The holidays are a time when most people reflect back on their lives and give thanks. And you hear a lot about people saying what they are grateful for.

This is probably my favorite part about the holidays. Because we can stop for a moment in time to give our thanks to the divine universe, spirit (or whatever you believe in) for all the good fortunes that have come into our lives.

But there is one mistake that people often make when giving gratitude (myself included).

What is it?

Drum roll please…

It is giving thanks for the hardship, challenges, obstacles we faced in our lives.

You know, it is easy to recognize the good things that have come our way. Saying “Thank you” the positive outcomes is easy to do.

However, saying “Thank you” to the negative outcomes is much harder to do, but ironically, it is where we can gain the most too.


Because when you are grateful for the hardships, you are in essence telling the universe, “Thank you” for the lessons you’ve received. Obstacles and challenges come your way because the universe believes in your growth and provides new opportunities for you to learn. It may not be easy. And it may not be pretty. But each time there is something to learn.

When you give gratitude to those lessons, the universe knows that you’ve truly learned them. On the flip side, by not being grateful and avoiding those challenges and obstacles, you’re telling the universe that you haven’t learned those lessons and you need more challenges to learn.

The key to gratitude is to be grateful for both the positive and negative things in your life.

This week…Practice being grateful for the good fortunes and the challenges you are facing in your life.

One way to start is to write in a journal each day and list out every thing you are grateful for. You can start with the good fortunes (if that is easier) and move towards the challenges.

As you reflect back on the challenges, think about what you learned in each situation. Give thanks for those lessons.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called: Why challenges are actually your best friend. If you are struggling with this exercise, feel free to refer back to this article to help you.

Also, in honor of the holiday season, I wrote a piece called: 5 ways to keep the holiday spirit alive all year long. Practicing gratitude is one way (hint…you can keep practicing this after the week is over).

As always, the conversation doesn’t end here. Let us know what challenges you are grateful for and what lessons you have learned by commenting below. We are a community here to support each other!

I am truly grateful for YOU!

Thank you for being you and taking action in your life and bringing more JOY to this world.

with peace, love, and joy!

About the JOY Coach

Minling Chuang

Minling is the founder of {the JOY depot} and is on a mission to help new entrepreneurs start their dream business. She spent many years working on branding strategies for top brands like Lean Cuisine & Nestle Toll House and launching multimillion dollar products. Now Minling's passion is to help people create profitable businesses they love! She is also a Kundalini Yoga teacher in Venice, CA. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. And if you want to start your own business, book a clarity session with Minling.

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