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Why An Attitude of Gratitude Doesn't Work (And What To Do Instead)

Peter Kozodoy logo Posted Monday March 30th, 2020 Why An Attitude of Gratitude Doesn't Work (And What To Do Instead)

Have you read about the power of gratitude?

It's a form of having an abundance mindset, in which you frequently list the things you're grateful for and remember that you actually have a lot (even if you feel like you don't).

Here's the problem: You can list all the things you're grateful for in the world...but if your #1 or #2 or even top 3 biggest goals in life feel horribly out of reach, your list won't help you feel much better.

Here's what to do instead.

Look, I actually support gratitude as a daily practice. I think it's great to remind ourselves that we really do have a lot to be thankful for, and that things could be much worse.

But let's be honest: We all compare ourselves to people who are MORE successful than we are.

When's the last time you looked at a homeless person and said, "Ah HA! I'm better than that person!"

You wouldn't do that. Why? Because it's mean. And not helpful.

Just like it's not necessarily helpful to be grateful for 27 things when the only things you want are notoriously NOT on the list (and making you feel like a loser because of it).

Instead, I encourage you to face the facts, just like I had to: The only way I was going to feel better about my life and truly be grateful was if those huge goals were on my list of accomplishments.


For the last several years since I turned that horrible corner we call "30 years old" (ew), I've been stacking things onto my "shit to be grateful for cuz I did it" list like there was no tomorrow.

I was fed up with what I had achieved, and I set out to achieve them.

With every small step I took forward, I felt better and better. I had more things to be grateful for - the BIG things that really mattered to me and that were hanging over my head like a dark cloud of FAILURE.

That said, we're not all the same. For some of you, thinking about what you're grateful for will actually be enough to be grateful...and that's truly wonderful.

For others of you, like me, you're going to have to start aggressively pursuing your biggest dreams in order to feel anything positive at all.

It sounds like a simple thing to do, pursuing your dreams. But all too often, I see people get paralyzed by doubt and fear and never actually take the "big," "scary" steps that it takes to achieve big goals.

If you really want to be grateful, be grateful that you have the vision to recognize what you truly want in life and the willpower to move forward towards those goals.

In my experience, there is no substitute for pursuing and achieving tangible results in your life. Moral of the story: Go after your goals.