The Attitude of Gratitude

Do you keep a gratitude list? Well, rip it up.

I’m kidding. Lots of folks recommend keeping a Gratitude List to increase overall happiness. If you’re not familiar with the practice, keeping a Gratitude List is when, on a daily basis, you write things down that you’re grateful for to help you see things as glass-half-full.

Of course being grateful is valuable and it’s easy to do when things are going well. But when things aren’t, I find the practice intellectual and it doesn’t lift my emotions – so not much changes. I know someone who benefited from doing it but it took a very long time to make a difference.

In fact, for me, keeping a Gratitude List often made me feel worse, focused on all the struggles in the world and I couldn’t see progress coming into my life. As if I was lucky to get the breadcrumbs life decided to offer that day. I didn’t feel any power to make good things happen. It was just plain luck.

But I think I’ve found the missing piece that puts some attitude in gratitude. It gets to the emotion of it all and provides a more immediate uplift, saving time.

It’s a Damn Proud List.

Keeping a Damn Proud List is the acknowledgement of what you did to help make what you’re grateful for happen. Don’t worry, this isn’t a Narcissist’s List, and no one will call you a Show Off. It’s much more sophisticated than that. Plus, it’s just for you. It empowers you to see what you’re doing so you can create more moments that you’ll be… what? Grateful for.

I’ll tell you how it’s done.

Take a piece of paper. Two columns. Gratitude List on the left, Damn Proud List on the right. Write the thing you’re grateful for and then ask yourself: What did I do to create that awesome situation? Write that in the Damn Proud column.

Why put some attitude in your gratitude? We’re in a time where no matter what efforts we make it can seem like it’s not enough. Expectations of each other, of ourselves, and of our websites, are high. I believe this is due to a lack of cultural boundaries when it comes to Time.

Before email and texting, there was a time of day when people stopped getting in touch. Work was done. There also wasn’t a rating of “likes” or “followers” – a competitive numbers game that can literally go to infinity. Knowing the daily achievements of everyone around you on social media (A beautiful family in front of a sunset in upside down yoga poses holding trophies after their outstanding meal at an exclusive restaurant!) compares. These are influences that can make things feel endlessly unachievable.

Let’s bring it back to reality. If you’re like me, you easily think about your responsibility when things don’t go right. So how about taking responsibility for what has helped manifest something fantastic, heart warming, or connected? How about something that just moved things forward? Was a healthy chance you took? A vacuumed home? Even if it was just that you were paying attention to that beautiful view, chose to have patience, or challenged the status quo, noticing your part will absolutely increase these kinds of moments.

This magnificent Damn Proud tool brings to your awareness how much you do that gets results. Get it? What you’re grateful for is the result! What you’re damn proud of, hint: you can do again. This twist on gratitude will make you feel more satisfied, faster. It’s such a time saver.

  • A Gratitude List depends on the outside. A Damn Proud List comes from the inside.
  • A Damn Proud List helps you accept good things with grace instead of desperation.
  • While a Gratitude List is reactive, a Damn Proud List is proactive. You’ll be able to see your small, ordinary choices as purposeful.
  • Being proactive goes for not doing things, too. Be proactive with your limits. Protect your time.
  • A Damn Proud List turns failure on its ear. “Took courageous step”, “Learned from that mistake”, “Was authentic”, “Didn’t engage in the drama”, “Accepted a compliment without self-deprecating”, “Limited my time on social media” are all things to be Damn Proud of.

The extra special super happy fun time bonus is that you’ll soon be able to be proud of other people’s progress too. That means less judgement, less jealousy, and higher self-esteem. When you do your Damn Proud list, please ignore any irrelevant voices that pipe up with “Don’t get a big head!” Thank You For Not Wasting My Time is all about respect. Self-esteem means you’re giving yourself esteem. Esteem is simply admiration and respect.

If you can’t think of anything to be grateful for but you have a ton on your Damn Proud List, it may mean you’re overextending yourself and likely don’t have a plan toward what you want in life. Turn over the paper and start a goals list. If it’s work related and you’re putting out lots of effort but not making traction (more out-go than in-come), get a business plan in place. Also, make sure you’re not over-extending yourself just so you’ll get something in return. Extending is great. Over-extending might be keeping you stuck.

Then take your gratitude and get it off the list and into the world! Express your gratitude. Say it out loud. Share good news. Say Thank You. Send a note of appreciation. Ask someone about themselves. Treat everyone with dignity. Have integrity. If you don’t like the customer service representative, ask to be transferred to someone else. Communicate with clarity and kindness.

Go to it because a Gratitude List may help you see the glass as half-full, but a Damn Proud List lets you drink it.




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6 Comments on “The Attitude of Gratitude”

  1. Aileen Gould says:

    Totally fabulous. I love the idea. 1 things a lot it’s really challenging to find gratitude so I love the idea of pretty damn proud list as always thank you my dear cousin

    1. Heather Maidat says:

      Thank you so much for your note. I’m sure you’re doing so much to be damn proud of. Please feel free to share some of those things here if you’d like!

  2. Aileen Gould says:

    Totally fabulous article. I love it. I have a friend who keeps an eternal gratitude list but is never happy so I must show this to her as I really think it will help as always thank you my dear

    1. Heather Maidat says:

      “Eternal Gratitude List”! So well said. Thank you for sharing this. I’d love to hear if it flips things around for her.

  3. Thank you for another keeper from Heather Maidat. I think it’s a brilliant way to be aware of those old patterns of thinking and change them with this action. I can’t wait to try it!
    Funny AND profound: a Gratitude List may help you see the glass as half-full, but a Damn Proud List lets you drink it.

    1. Heather Maidat says:

      You put it perfectly – change them with action. Thanks for your last line note – I chose the photo based on your comment!

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