Gratitude fulfills the law of multiplication. Whatever you genuinely feel grateful for, you multiply in your life. Therein lies the secret of abundance and prosperity.
Think about it, if you gave a gift to another and that person felt genuinely grateful for the gift, you'd want to give that person another gift - just so you can experience those wonderful feelings of appreciation and perhaps to see a glow in another person's eyes, or feel really good about yourself for being able to do a good deed.
Well, the universe, or life in general, works exactly in the same way. As you feel a deep sense of gratitude, you begin to release that wonderful vibration that draws into your life countless blessings.
I ran across the following Four Stages of Gratitude and think there is a lot of truth to it…
1. Take some time to think about the things, people and circumstances that are truly beneficial to you and that are enriching your life now or have enriched your life in the past and feel a sense of deep gratitude for those blessings.
2. There may be things, people and circumstances that are beneficial to you, but which you took for granted because they've been such an intrinsic part of your life that you're not even aware of their wonderfulness and usefulness in your life - such as the air that you breathe, the bed on which you sleep, the clothes that you wear, maybe even your family and friends. Think about the life that animates your body, the wonderful mind that you have. Feel a sense of deep gratitude for those things, people and circumstances which are enriching your life every day, but which you might have taken for granted.
3. The more challenging step for most people, is feeling gratitude for dismal experiences in their lives, for losses, trials and tribulations, for those people and situations in our lives that brought us even some pain and discomfort.
Suffering may be considered useful or useless. Useless suffering is when we've gone through the experience and haven't learned anything from it. Useful suffering is when we've gone through the unpleasant experience but have gained some valuable lessons. Perhaps the unpleasant experiences have helped us to develop some skills and abilities we didn't feel motivated to develop before.
Perhaps the unpleasant experiences have pushed us to the point where, unaware of any other choice to stop the suffering, we finally discovered incredible resources within ourselves, powers that were lying dormant and untapped.
When we express gratitude for these dismal experiences, we acknowledge the blessings within them and our power to transmute any condition into its higher state - instead of coal we begin to notice diamonds. In this way we also release undesirable conditions and embrace and amplify hidden treasures, because that's what we choose to focus upon.
4. Now, go one step further and think of those things you'd like to have in your life - feel how you would feel having them right now and express gratitude for them as if you already have them. Gratitude is the fastest way to draw those experiences into your life. When you feel gratitude for something, you acknowledge that you have already received it, you program this desirable experience as your reality into your subconscious mind, you expect it to happen, you begin looking for proofs that it is a part of your life, you begin acting as if this is true for you now and you begin to experience what may be nothing short of miracles.
"To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."