Mild adventurer. Prolific daydreamer. Always authentic.

TED – David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be grateful

After the brilliant Store Metaphor I’ve struggled to find something to top it. There are so many inspiring things out there, but for me The Store Metaphor made so much sense, topping it was feeling impossible.

I wanted to find out more about happiness, and where other people think happiness steams from, and where else do you turn to for profound answers and brilliant video content…. TED of course!

All of us want to be happy, it’s no great secret, but as Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar points out in this TED Talk “how we imagine our happiness, that differs from one another” but still has the common thread, of wanting to be happy. Happiness he suggests steams from gratitude, there’s tons of publications and blogs out there highlighting that gratitude and happiness go hand in hand but this is one of the best and simplest explanations I’ve come across. 

You can’t very well just decided “right then, I’ll be grateful” and BOOM happiness, where does gratitude  even come from? I know I struggle to pluck gratitude from thin air, so what creates this feeling of gratitude. David sheds some light on this “it has to be something valuable, and it’s a real gift….it’s just been given to you”. Much like the perfect cocktail or a truly magic recipe  when these two things come together, something truly valuable  happens according to David “if it’s freely given, then gratefulness spontaneously rises in my heart, happiness spontaneously rises in my heart. That’s how gratefulness happens“. I guess this is true, the things in my life I am truly most grateful for aren’t things I’ve purchased, worked for, or traded for they’ve just been given to me as genuine gifts. Most of these things you can’t buy, or always work for and they aren’t easily traded for either. But, random gratitude dotted throughout your life isn’t the answer though we should live gratefully ALL THE TIME as he so rightfully points out.

How do we live gratefully??





It’s a GIFT

You haven’t earned it,

You haven’t bought it. 

I had sudden heart palpitations at the thoughts of trying to be forever grateful… eeeep! That could get tricky. FEAR NOT though, David covers this off with brilliant tact and highlights the importance of building stop signs into our lives. He reminds of the importance of STOP! LOOK! GO! as well as the opportunity we have to transform the world and make it a happy place.

Scouring the web I found that grateful people apparently …

  • Have more energy and optimism
  • Are less bothered by life’s hassles
  • Are more resilient in the face of stress
  • Are healthier
  • Suffer less depression than the rest of us
  • Are more compassionate
  • Are more likely to help others
  • Are less materialistic
  • Are more satisfied with life.

So lets be more grateful!!! A grateful world is a world full joyful people apparently and on the flip side grateful people are also joyful people (handy!) and the more joyful people there are out there, the closer we are to a joyful world.