The World of Gratitude: Finding the good wherever you are

By: Josh Lynott

Have you ever heard the Japanese word "YŪGEN"? It's one of those special words that doesn’t have an English translation, but I’ll give it a shot. "YŪGEN" basically describes that feeling you get when you think about the mysterious and elusive beauty of the universe.

I want you to close your eyes and imagine a few situations:

  • Moonlight on the snow of distant mountains
  • Watching the sunrise over the ocean
  • Flying above the clouds at sunset and watching the clouds turn from peach to burnt orange
  • Tall trees swaying and creaking in the forest

It's moments like these that create YŪGEN.  

Discovering this new word helped me understand the concept of gratitude and how it allows us to stay connected to ourselves.

What does gratitude mean to me?

Living with gratitude at the forefront of my mind allows me to stay present, especially when it comes to relationships. As the world becomes increasingly connected, it’s easier to take people for granted. Every day, I remind myself to be grateful for the people that show up in my life. But I also believe that gratitude is more than just the ability to readily show appreciation. It’s the ability to return kindness. The world will always need more kindness, and it starts on an individual level.

But gratitude extends far beyond my appreciation and love for people. It also filters into the way I embrace the environments I put myself in. Appreciating the present moment no matter where I am is an important skill, and it’s one I consciously choose to maintain. Whether I’m in the jungles of Papua New Guinea or sitting at a local coffee shop with my friend, I try not to lose sight of the wonder and magic around me.

How does gratitude contribute to living an optimistic lifestyle?

I’ve always really appreciated this quote from Yoko Ono:

“Try to say nothing negative about anybody.

a) for three days

b) for forty-five days

c) for three months

See what happens to your life.”

This quote speaks volumes in itself, but I like to apply it to the concept of gratitude:

"Try to be grateful for the people and places around you.

a) for three days

b) for forty-five days

c) for three months

See what happens to your life."

I think that if we implemented this idea in our lives, we’d discover that small actions of gratitude can evolve into noticeable positive changes. What we think will impact what we say, which will inevitably impact how we act.

Easier said than done. Every day, we schedule meetings, events, training, work, and so much more. Without thinking, it can be easy to roll through the motions and complete these scheduled activities with very little thought. Our brains switch off, and the sparkle in our eyes starts to flicker like a broken light as it searches for energy. Gratitude is the well of abundance that fills us up and puts us back where we need to be.

Appreciating the intricacies and nuances of life allows us to be fully immersed in the present moment. There is no longer a need to worry about the future or stress over the past. Sometimes simply thinking about what we are grateful for in our day is the most powerful catalyst we need to live positive and impactful lives.

So, take the time to practice gratitude as if it were a sport or an instrument. Allow yourself to be a positive influence in someone else's day or life. Let your friends and family know how grateful you are for them. Thank Mother Earth for the beauty she provides every day. Until next time, keep burning bright.

Big Love,

JL

P.S. I'd love to hear some of the things you are grateful for today! Send me a message @joshlynott on IG.

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