practice inverse gratitude during adverse times

It’s a great virtue to have gratitude and appreciate things in our lives but an even greater one is to have gratitude and appreciation when things don’t work out for us and for the obstacles and adversities that we face.

We get so overwhelmed with the current scenario that we fail to notice the advantages those adversities bring with them. As Ryan Holiday writes in his book The Obstacle Is the Way, “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”

We all face adverse times but the difference lies in how we respond to them. With a change in perception, we can start viewing our obstacles in the right light.

One thing that we can always express gratitude for during hard times is our growth. Every adversity compels us to expand and think in newer and better ways. We can think of obstacles as catalysts that speed up our growth. Disadvantages and roadblocks propel the alchemy of turning mediocrity and stagnation to genius and progress.

Instead of asking why a particular event happened to us, we can ask: What am I learning out of this experience? In what ways am I becoming a better human being and growing due to it?

Some other questions that we can ponder upon are:

  • What’s something I’m upset about and why am I grateful that it happened that way?
  • Who’s the person that I feel the most anger towards and why am I grateful for them?
  • How’s the pressure that I am feeling due to this situation helping me out?
  • Can I take the 100% bad in this disaster and make it 99% bad and then be grateful for the 1%?

Once we become aware of the benefits that the problem that we’re encountering is bringing us, it gets easier to express gratitude and appreciation for them.

Expressing appreciation for obstacles is an uphill battle and is not easy. But it’s an important area where we need to become an exception. Unless we acknowledge and view the obstacles in the right light, we will never be able to appreciate and act upon the opportunities that they bring with them.

We don’t have any control over what happens to us, but we can control our perception and attitude. Ultimately, it’s our response that dictates our success.