Purposeful Living: Two Sides of “The Gratitude Coin”: Different Perspectives on Gratitude

Nov 20, 2023

Gratitude is a simple but powerful practice that has the potential to transform lives in remarkable ways. When I think of gratitude, words that come to mind are thankfulness, joy, peace, meditation, calm, re-focus, uplifting. These all have a positive connotation, right? But there are two sides of “The Gratitude Coin.”

The two sides of the coin are:

  1. Giving Thanks
  2. Healthy Lament

When you sit in healthy lament, it makes gratitude fuller. Lament is not something most of us talk about often. Or we do, but we do not use the word ‘lament.’ (if you missed the video on lament, check it out here for a fuller explanation). The true definition is “a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.” That definition does not mesh at all with the words I used to describe ‘gratitude’ above. But I am telling you.... they are 2 sides of the same coin!

Sometimes when we are at our lowest or thinking of the times in our past when we have been the most sorrowful, it can help us develop deeper gratitude. It creates a shift in mindset and allows us to view circumstances through a different lens. Reflecting on both sides of the coin will allow you to practice greater depths of gratitude and view future circumstances differently. And within ‘gratitude’ I would say there is both ‘micro-gratitude’ and ‘macro-gratitude.’ Micro-gratitude is finding thankfulness in the small things in life. For example, feeling uplifted and grateful because someone gave you a compliment. Or having a great conversation with your kid in the car on the way to sports practice.

‘Macro-gratitude” is being thankful and appreciative and responding in kindness for the big things in life. For example, shelter or a job that provides for your family. More of the typical things we think of when we think of “things we are grateful for.” All very important, of course! HUGE things to be thankful for.... but there is just as much to be thankful for in the realm of “micro-gratitude,” and I do not want us to miss that.

There is much to be said for getting into the habit of practicing “micro-gratitude.” It changes my daily outlook on life. It shifts mindset when challenges and let-downs present themselves. And it shows how God is in the details, wants the best for us, and is the ultimate provider.

Above all else though, we are thankful for people. Each created intricately and uniquely. Every person has a name, every name has a story, and every story matters to God. We each have a unique purpose and career that will make us fulfilled and feel as if we are living in that purpose.

When individuals incorporate gratitude into their daily routines, the effects ripple through various aspects of their lives, enhancing their overall well-being.

Practicing gratitude improves mental health, reduces stress and depression, enhances relationships, leads to better physical health, creates greater resilience and emotional stability, and fosters a sense of self-empowerment and productivity. The impacts on someone’s life are profound and far-reaching.

It is a simple but transformative practice that anyone can incorporate into their daily routine. Check out this free chapter from our book, The Purpose Promise, all about gratitude. It frames gratitude in a unique way that is in line with the overall Purpose Promise journey that we created. The life-giving practice of gratitude is powerful!

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