When you’ve got your head down and are hard at work reaching your entrepreneurial goals, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Maybe a project doesn’t go as you would like, a client runs out of money and can’t pay you, or your website gets hacked. These situations are frustrating, but in the grand scheme of things, they are minor compared to all the things you have to be grateful for.
The simple act of feeling and expressing gratitude is powerful. It not only helps you improve your mental well-being; research has shown that it can improve your physical health as well. Despite the benefits, however, it can be hard to make time for gratitude in your daily routine. To help you start practicing gratitude today, we present the following quotes about gratitude from renowned politicians, scientists, philosophers, and more.
1. Giving Thanks to Those Who Have Helped You
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
- John F. Kennedy
Even if you work for yourself and by yourself, you cannot succeed without the help of others. Whether it’s a mentor who gave you feedback on your first business idea, the first client who took a chance by hiring you, or the parents who encouraged you as a kid, you have someone to thank for where you are today (and where you’re headed).
So, take a moment today to send a quick email, text, or message expressing your highest appreciation to one of the people who has helped you out on your entrepreneurial journey.
For another expression of the importance of being thankful for the people who have helped you, see how Marcel Proust put it: "Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
2. The Importance of Expressing Gratitude
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
- William Arthur Ward
While there is great power in just writing down what you’re grateful for in your journal, it’s even more powerful to express your gratitude in a public form. This doesn’t mean you have to post constantly to Facebook about how #blessed you are.
But you could apply the idea to an annual post on your blog about the things you’re grateful for. Or you could send all your clients (or employees) a yearly holiday card thanking them for working with you. Whatever way you choose, don’t let gratitude stay within you; let it out.
3. Be Thankful for What You Have
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
- Oprah Winfrey
Setting goals is crucial to growing your business and getting what you want out of life. But if you focus too much on your aspirations (especially financial ones), you run the risk of being perpetually unhappy.
It’s not wrong to want more, but it’s also important to remember that you already have great abundance. Oprah’s quote reminds us of the value of being happy with what we already have, even as we continue to improve ourselves and pursue ambitious goals.
Or, as Brian Tracy puts it, "Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation."
4. Gratitude Is the Greatest Virtue
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”
- Marcus Tullius Cicero
While this may sound like a bold statement, it’s also true. If you want to be happy, generous, kind, or whatever other virtues you aspire to, gratitude unlocks the path to reaching them. Take generosity, for example. When you’re grateful for what you already have, then it’s much easier to give your money or time without fear of loss, since you recognize the great abundance already in your life.
5. Gratitude Is True Prosperity
“Gratitude for the present moment and the fullness of life now is the true prosperity.”
- Eckhart Tolle
When we hear the word “prosperity”, maybe we imagine having lots of money, or a beautiful house, or even a large family. These are all nice things to have, certainly, but this quote reminds us that when we’re present in this moment, and grateful for the gift that is life itself, we can reach a form of prosperity that doesn’t require material abundance. As Maya Angelou also wisely put it, "This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before."
6. Gratitude Transforms
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity… it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
- Melody Beattie
When we practice gratitude, we can transform not only our present lives, but also our relationship with the past and our plans for the future. As we’ll explore in the next quote, all the things that have happened in your past have come together to bring you to where you are today. Not all of those experiences were positive, but each had a role in shaping who you are now.
7. You Are the Sum of Your Experiences
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
This quote reminds us to pay attention to the little things in life. It’s easy to be excited when you hit a major business milestone, make your first sale, or receive a glowing review from a client. But it’s not as easy to see the smaller reasons for gratitude that come between the big successes: the sunny day that puts you in a good mood, the coffee you drink each morning, or the routine jobs you do each day to make the rest of your business run. As Robert Brault put it, "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
8. Life Is a Miracle
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
- Albert Einstein
To have a chance to live life at all is pretty amazing, if you think about it. The odds of being born are actually quite small, and the odds of you specifically existing are even smaller. Add to that the many advantages you already have that are allowing you to read this article at all, and there’s even more cause for extreme gratitude. You can, as Einstein says, also choose to view it the other way (that nothing is a miracle), but we think he would agree that life is a lot more spectacular if you choose to see the everyday as miraculous.
9. Don’t Take Things for Granted
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
- G.K. Chesterton
Einstein and Chesterton might seem very different on the surface (the former was a physicist, the letter a theologian and author), but they seemed to agree on the importance of gratitude. Chesterton’s statement is a pithy, memorable encapsulation of how gratitude is ultimately a choice. Life is going to throw lots of challenges your way , but the choice to accept these challenges with gratitude rests with you. Or as Brené Brown put it, "What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude."
10. Gratitude Reinforces Itself
“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.”
- Zig Ziglar
This quote shows how gratitude is a virtuous cycle. The practice of being grateful opens your eyes to how many other causes there are for gratitude. For example, you might start with being grateful for your friends. From there, you remember the school where you met and the teacher you had who encouraged you to take an unconventional path. And so on and so forth, with the gratitude building on itself.
11. Health Is Cause for Gratitude
"Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship."
This final life quote from one of the most legendary wise men of all time is a fitting conclusion to our list, for it reminds us that we should be grateful for our health. Good health is easy to take for granted, but it's the foundation for most of the things we want to achieve. Even if it feels like nothing else is going your way, remember that seemingly small things like good health are reasons to be grateful.
Cultivate Gratitude Always
We hope these inspirational quotes have helped you see that no matter what you’re going through right now in your business or in your life, you still have a lot to be grateful for. With gratitude as your foundation, you can go forward in your pursuits with less fear and more joy, knowing that your life is already full of abundance.