What are two of the most powerful words in the English language? According to Andy Frisella, they are "Thank" and "You." Whether you're pursuing success in business or happiness in life, cultivating gratitude is essential.
Andy says: "You know what I think are the two most powerful words in the English language? Thank. You. Don’t agree with me? Fine. You’re entitled to be wrong. But the fact is that cultivating an attitude of thankfulness in your life—appreciation for the good things you have and enjoy—is absolutely essential to success."
Andy says, "As you work at your goals, you’re going to always be looking forward; the focus is going to be what’s ahead, what’s still out of your reach—what you don’t have. Depending on who you are, that could be more money, a bigger house, a nice car, maybe recognition in your field or profession. The point is that if you’re always focused on what you don’t have, it is going to be very difficult not to get discouraged or pissed. It’s going to be a battle to stay positive."
According to Andy, some people think that getting pissed and angry--wanting to prove people wrong--is what really motivates them. While he understand that, ultimately he says there’s nothing productive about negativity. Sure, you might be able to motivate yourself for a little while by wanting to prove somebody wrong or get the best of somebody, but what happens if or when you finally do that? Suddenly, all that negative energy that you used for motivation is gone. So then what are you going to do? Get pissed off at somebody else? No, man. Doesn’t work like that. Negativity might pack a little punch, but it doesn’t have any staying power. Oh, and not to mention that you’re going to drive yourself crazy.
To really succeed in life, over the long haul, you’ve got be positive. You’ve got to be driven by a good, warm, stable, energy. Basically, you’ve got pretty decently happy—and that happiness will keep you on course. Being positive is the only way you’re going to succeed. And the only way you’re going to be able to stay positive? Positivity is the fuel that will sustain you, but being thankful is the match that lights it on fire and gets it rolling in your engine.
That’s because, when you exercise thankfulness—when you actually express your gratitude for the good things in your life—you immediately take the focus off of what you don’t have and place it firmly on what you do have. You actively remind yourself that even though you don’t have a lot of the things you want, you have a lot of pretty damn good things in your life, too.
In using these most powerful words frequently, the thing about constantly saying thanks for the good things in your life is that you’re actually training yourself. You’re training yourself to focus on the positive. You’re training yourself to mentally latch on to something that will keep you in the right state of mind to succeed. By expressing thanks every day, you chase away the one thing that’s the biggest obstacle to your success: And in that sense, being thankful is actually an active—even aggressive—way to help you pursue your goals.
Not only does thanksgiving keep you in the positive state of mind that is essential for success, it also keeps you humble. As Andy has said elsewhere, humility is a huge requirement for success. It’s essential to be the best you can be. The funny thing about people who are ungrateful is that they usually think the world revolves around them. They get an entitlement complex. They act like everybody around them is there only to serve them. Along with that goes this idea that they are God’s gift to the world—and along with that mentality goes this idea that they are perfect, that they have every figured out. They think they are the center of the universe and they bitch and moan when they don’t get what they want.
But thankful people are different. They look at the good things they have in their lives and they are filled with appreciation. On some level, they look at their family, their friends, their car, whatever, and they regard those things as gifts. They don’t think they are entitled to any of it. But they are sure glad to have those good things in their lives. They don’t think, “Dude, I’m awesome. That’s why I have all this good shit in my life.” Instead, they think “Man, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I know I’m not perfect and I don’t do everything write. I don’t deserve to have this good of life.” That humble recognition of their imperfection is key: It keeps them open to wanting to live better, to learn, to grow, to be the best they can possibly be—to realize their potential. Being thankful is a huge catalyst for this whole attitude. That’s how powerful thankfulness is.
In addition to these thoughts, Andy shares his thoughts on practical ways to cultivate and express gratitude.