Live Life Gratefully (and You Will Never Regret It)


“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” (G. K. Chesterton)


I remember at a very young age the constant urging of my parents to always say “thank you” in response to any kindness or friendly words shared in my direction. For many years, I saw this advice from my parents as simply good manners and what people were supposed to do.

In my mid-teen years, I was mature enough to observe the heartfelt sincerity my parents always showed when they said “thank you” to others, offered prayers of thanks or expressed appreciation for the simple blessings in their lives…and how different it was from my perfunctory use of the words. They really meant it and I began to understand that their use of “thank you” transcended mere courtesy and it clearly meant something much more meaningful and powerful to them.

What I observed my parents practicing so well was the beginning of my deeper understanding of the word gratitude. My parents were wonderful role models and teachers in many ways and helping me learn to be grateful was an amazing gift that I work at demonstrating every day. My wife and I try very hard to model a life of gratefulness for our sons and for those we encounter each day and we know this ongoing effort has absolutely transformed us.

What are other fruits that result from being grateful?

  1. We desire less when we are truly grateful for what we already have in our lives.
  2. People grateful for what they have act with more generosity to those in need.
  3. Gratitude requires a positive frame of mind, which contributes to greater overall happiness. There cannot be happiness without gratitude.
  4. If we invest in consistently practicing gratitude with others, we can see a ripple effect as those experiencing our gratitude pay it forward to the people they encounter.
  5. We positively impact and grow our relationships with a grateful attitude.
  6. Gratitude is a healthy substitute for resentment, envy, jealousy and greed. See point number one.

How has gratitude manifested itself in your life? Many people, myself included, find it challenging to consistently act with gratitude. The great Catholic writer G. K. Chesterton observed that, “Gratitude, being nearly the greatest of human duties, is also nearly the most difficult.”

Gratitude Best Practices

What best practices should we follow to help us be more grateful?

  • Try to be grateful for our challenges, not just our blessings. Try looking at adversity as a source of helpful lessons rather than frustrating burdens to carry.
  • Express gratitude at every opportunity. “I am grateful…” “I appreciate…”and a simple “Thank you” can never be overused and should be shared throughout the day when an appropriate opportunity arises.
  • Make it memorable. Send a handwritten note of gratitude whenever possible.
  • Be intentional. Place a reminder on the calendar each Friday morning to express gratitude for the people and blessings we have experienced during the week.
  • Be grateful for EVERYTHING. “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Always give thanks to God. Be grateful to God for the gift of our lives, for air in our lungs, the shining sun on our faces and for all Creation. Share this gratitude in prayer throughout the day. “God’s generous presence in our lives lays claim to a form of gratitude that is never satisfied by the mere recitation of thanks, but requires us to express our gratitude in action. The kind of gratitude that God is hoping to find is one that includes a bond of friendship and a commitment to service.” (Donald DeMarco)

Today is Thanksgiving and we are hopefully soon to be surrounded by friends and loved ones. I encourage all of us to harness the spirit of gratitude that will be abundant on this special day and make Thanksgiving exist every day of the year.

Live life gratefully and you will never regret it.


Editor’s Note: Would you like to learn more about Randy Hain’s books?  You can find all of his books on Amazon.com


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By Randy Hain

Randy Hain

Mr. Randy Hain is President of Serviam Partners (www.serviampartners.com) and is a sought-after executive coach and leadership consultant for business leaders and companies all over the country. He actively serves on a number of non-profit boards in the Atlanta community, especially those connected to autism awareness, developing young leaders and integrating faith and work. He is the Senior Editor for the Integrated Catholic Life™, which he co-founded with Deacon Mike Bickerstaff in 2010.

Randy is a prolific writer and frequent presenter on a number of topics including faith, family, Catholic men’s issues, autism advocacy, fatherhood, faith/work integration, careers, authenticity, leadership and human capital.

Looking for a Catholic Speaker? Check out Randy’s speaker’s page and the rest of the ICL Speaker’s Bureau.

His first book, The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work, was released in late November, 2011 by Liguori Publications. The book provides practical advice on how to integrate the Catholic faith with our work and offers inspiration through the examples of real Catholics in the workplace. The Catholic Briefcase was voted the Best Catholic Book of 2011 in the About.com Reader’s Choice Awards.

His second book, Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith was released by Liguori Publications in November, 2012. Randy’s third book, Something More: The Professional’s Pursuit of a Meaningful Life, was released by Liguori in February, 2013. His fourth book, LANDED! Proven Job Search Strategies for Today’s Professional, from Serviam Press was released in December 2013.

His fifth book, Journey to Heaven: A Road Map for Catholic Men was released by Emmaus Road Publishing on May 12th, 2014. Randy’s sixth book, Joyful Witness: How to Be an Extraordinary Catholic was released by Servant Books in late November 2014.

His latest work is Special Children, Blessed Fathers: Encouragement for Fathers of Children with Special Needs (Foreword by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia) which was released through Emmaus Road Publishing. His books are available through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and local Catholic bookstores.

A convert to the Catholic Faith in 2006, Randy and his wife have been married for over 20 years and have two sons.

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