As a reminder, just as lighthouses are powerful lights used to avoid dangerous areas; lighthouse principles are powerful beacons to guide successful people in all endeavors in life. They rise above so that they can be easily detected and used to navigate any situation involving the specific principle.

If you choose to ignore the principle then you run the risk of running aground and preventing yourself from moving forward. You will find out how critical they are if you live your life in contrast to the principles. This is the third in a series of blogs that are dedicated to highlighting the 10 principles that spell out L-I-G-H-T-H-O-U-S-E:

• Listening
• Integrity
• Gratitude
• Honesty
• Trust
• Humbleness
• Optimism
• Understanding
• Strategy
• Empathy

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into more than enough. It can turn a meal into a celebration, a house into a home, transform a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Gratitude is expressed in abundance not ever being withheld and becomes a central value in all relationships and interactions.

Gratitude means you are aware of the world in which you live and are thankful to belong in it. While many have said to ‘count your blessings’ – try it sometime, your list will be endless if you really think about it. With an attitude of gratitude you start noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life and seeing everything as a miracle.

Gratitude helps you shift your focus and mind set from a scarcity to an abundance mentality. Behavioral and psychological research have been able to demonstrate the unexpected life improvements that can result from the practice of gratitude. Expressing gratitude makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

Gratitude enhances your relationships. There are many great suggestions on how to live your life by focusing on gratitude, for example keeping a gratitude journal, making it part of your daily routine by verbally expressing a number of things you are grateful in everyday. It is part of Shawn Achor’s Happiness Advantage, a really good TED talk on how to be more productive.

On a much more personal note, I was inspired by John Kralik’s – A Simple Act of Gratitude. Like Kralik I took one year to send out a hand written thank you to someone different every single day who made a positive difference in my life. While somewhat challenging to commit to every day, it was so rewarding that I would absolutely recommend it if you want to experience the best year of your life.