What I Am Grateful For

About a week ago I wrote in a newsletter that I was grateful for my daughter’s nightmares and I explained why. I then asked the readers to do me a favor. I’ve been trying to differentiate the newsletters by giving specific exercises that I think would be interesting. So after divulging my fetish on my daughter’s nightmares I asked the reader for one simple thing: tell me in a paragraph (or two or three) what you are most grateful for in life.

I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what people , in general, were grateful for. I got 91 pages, single-spaced, of responses. Usually a paragraph. Sometimes just a sentence. One after another.

It’s fascinating to see what people are grateful for. To read through all of them and see what buried treasure people discovered when they dug in deep to uncover the resources that kept them going, that lit up the caverns inside on their darkest days. I felt like an archaeologist, scraping away the layers of centuries on a long-buried civilization. The civilization that is Planet Earth 2012, beaten down by a decade of Depression and depression, bust and crisis, war and unemployment, anxiety and fear.

Perhaps the thing that stood out most, that surprised me the most, is that as a group, we are most grateful for nothing more than human connection. The ability to love someone and have them love us back. The ability to touch someone. To have someone listen to us. A child, a friend, a colleague, a lover, anyone. And the reasons we are grateful for that special someone are all different.

But often there is the overlay of a crisis. Each crisis unique as a fingerprint. A tattoo of suffering that can only be fully seen when we shine  the light of gratitude on it, which transforms it from infectious horror to human connection to the reason we live and go on. And that in the end is what we are most grateful for as a group: today we are alive. Today we can go on another day.

Below I’ve posted the first 10 or so things people are grateful for. Then I provide the link to the rest. Please read through them. It’s not just a set of unique fingerprints of gratitude, but as a whole it’s the  imprint of our entire society and how we, as a group, get up off the floor, how we turn on the flashlight in the dark, how we inject life into what we do as opposed to just going through the motions like zombies.

Gratitude has been the one tool of survival for the entire human race. And please share your gratitude also in the comments below. What are you most grateful for.

Again, here is  the initial newsletter. And, please, my one request is that you add your own addition in the comments below: what are you grateful for today?

Here are the responses.I’ve kept them anonymous. Each one is divided by a few dashes.


Failing to make the recent track and field Olympic team to London. I tore my groin 2 weeks before the Olympic trials and was devastated. This was my 3rd time trying to make the team after failing in 2008 and 2004. I was and am still beyond heart broken but if that didn’t happen I wouldn’t have been able to realize the terrible person that pursuit made me. I lied and cheated in relationships, broke hearts, neglected friends and family and even worse did all of that and more to myself.

I have become a whole new man in the last 2 months since my life completely fell apart. I lost the love of my life, my job and my dream……but I am grateful it all happened because it allowed that part of me to die and be born again a better man.

I can’t say great wife and kids, however they are pretty darn good, better than I deserve.  What I am grateful is my first born is still alive, and struggling with life.

See over a year ago he attempted suicide, gun shot wound to the head.  Shouldn’t have survived, but he did.  He is struggling with starting college (maybe), smoking too much pot, and not being in a happy place.  He has severe depression, and is/was incredibly bright.  Gifted in so many ways, that I am afraid it has been a burden for him.

So you ask, why am I grateful? Because he still has a chance, a chance to live and be happy.  All parents want that for their kids, most try real hard to give it to them.  But, until you see your son post brain surgery, tubes coming and going places only God and the doctors know, and understand; do you truly find how fragile and precious life is.

He is much better now, with a lot of healing to go.

Tonight he wants to quit school, move out and get a job. We are terrified for him, for us.

But he is 18, alive, and has a chance

Grateful for my wife Diane, She gave me a kidney.

Three years ago my wife had an affair. We’re still together but not the best of friends. She has never apologized, at least, never initiated an apology. Apologies have always been reactionary – in response to us discussing the affair. It is only discussed if I bring it up. Leaving me wondering if she was really sorry, or just sorry she got caught. So I had given up ever getting an apology initiated by her.

Last week she was backing up from a parking lot and so was another lady and they bumped each others’ back bumpers. The other lady was a real bitch, accusing my wife of doing it intentionally, telling my wife to shut up when she tried to explain she has enough trials already in life that it makes no sense to seek out even more like that, calling the police who simply said their was no apparent damage and it was a private parking lot, so no they wouldn’t issue a ticket which infuriated bitchy lady who believed she started backing up first so my wife should have deferred to her.  And then the zinger – she told my wife she should “clean the lipstick off her gross teeth”.  My wife does have somewhat crooked bottom teeth that we have not gotten fixed because of choosing to spend the money else-how.

As my wife recounts the whole story, she says that she hopes she is never a bitch like that lady, to very maliciously hurt someones feelings in such a way. She doesnt want to be that kind of person. And then she pauses and her voice cracks and she apologizes to me for the first time of her own initiative for all the hurt her betrayal had caused. We had not discussed the affair in any way for at least four months ( doesn’t mean I dont continue to feel the hurt of betrayel every now and then, but I’m learning I don’t have to bring it up every time).

I’m grateful for my wife’s crooked teeth, gratefully she had lipstick on them that day, and grateful she backed into a mean-spirited bitch, so that through a fairly harmless event, my wife felt a bit of hurt, which caused her to reflect on hurt she had caused me, and feel some empathy for the person on the other end of hurt she had caused. I’m grateful for the apology. It makes forgiveness easier. I’m grateful because the apology is helping me to abandon feelings of being the martyr sticking it out with someone I love desperately when the love doesn’t quite seem to be reciprocal, and so I harbor hidden resentments that affect how I treat her in subtle ways, creating walls between us.

So, in the same way you were glad for nightmares, I’m grateful for that mean bitch, and my wife’s small misfortune that day. It is helping bring us closer.

Right now, as I type, my 10-month-old only daughter is nursing at my chest.  I spent 90 days in the hospital before her premature birth.  My husband is not the biological father.  I had an affair, left him, and got pregnant.  Then I got left.  And my husband took me back.  He spent every day off work for 90 days commuting ten hours to the hospital and back, just to see me for a few hours…even though he was angry and hurt and not ‘really’ the father.

But he was there for our daughter’s difficult delivery.  He was there to help me recuperate and move back home and become a mom.  He has been there to protect and support me from family and mean people.  He has become the best dad our daughter could ever wish for.

He has been the first experience of unconditional love I have ever known.  And now we have an amazing, healthy baby girl together, which is just more unconditional love, from her and for her.

I am grateful for my husband and daughter: My husband’s forgiveness and willingness to start over; our daughter’s ability to unify and strengthen us.

This could have been a short answer: I am grateful for my husband.

But the story is where the depth of the amazing gratitude comes from.  Our history is dramatic and remarkable, and so is my love and gratitude for this partner who can love me, this daughter who is healthy, and this new chance at blissful, boring, domesticity.

I’m grateful for my daughter.  In 1985 I gave birth to her and immediately placed her for adoption.  I spent years wondering.  In 2009 I got a letter from her and we spent the next 15 months getting to know each other via email and an occasional phone call.  We finally met each other in 2010.  We haven’t talked or communicated since which breaks my heart all over again.  I guess she got what she needed and found her own closure.  I am ever so grateful that she found me, that I got to know her just a little bit, that I got to find out about her childhood, about her adoptive family, to see pictures of her growing up, to hear her life goals and aspirations.  I am grateful every day that I got to know her.

My wife is alive and healthy, eleven years after having cancer.

I am grateful for:

Ever since I can remember, nothing has ever worked out for me. So many wrong decisions. It seems like life has a way of yanking out the happiness from underneath your feet. And yet, in many ways, many things have worked out for me. I live in the United States. How lucky was that. The world is huge! I could have been born in a tribe for all I know. And also, in a way, I’m grateful for all the bad things that have happened to me as well. If not for them, I’d be an arrogant jerk.

My cousin died this weekend. From leukemia. She had had 2 stem cell transplants to try and save her life. I didn’t keep in touch with her, but our family is close. Close in how extended

families are connected when everyone grew up together in the same area. When all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great aunts, great uncles, even a great grandmother and her sisters were all still around.
It was like a small village of ourselves. I have only but good feelings and memories about that time.

I had a serious life threatening illness several years ago and I’m thankful that I’m alive. I had talented medical care. Although I have some lingering problems from it, I have high functioning good health in general.

Despite that my cousin… who was a daughter, a sister, and a mother lost her battle with a serious illness, and I did not, is not why I’m writing for what I’m especially grateful for today.

I spoke with my cousin’s mother and father, along with one of her brothers via video on Skype. My aunt, uncle and cousin were waiting for my dad, the rock star, the life of the party, to arrive for the wake and funeral to lift their spirits.

People I haven’t spoken to in years, let alone haven’t seen the face of for an even longer time, were endearingly calling me by my childhood name. Almost welcoming me home. Fondly telling me how much I look and sound like my father
(who might as well be Ra). It felt lovely that they noticed the good comparisons of me to him.

Girls are usually compared to their mothers. Even though my mother was beautiful, she sucked as a mother. They were all deeply saddened, decades ago, when she deceitfully convinced my father to move far away from them. To uproot from all of the devotion

and appreciation. From the support and admiration. She was running away from their pressure on her as a mother. Her emotionally neglectful ways had started. She hatched a plan of lies to escape. She was moving away from her family too but it
all still worked for her, as her sociopathic tendencies were just getting revved up. It did not work for me. Like my father, I was taken away from all of the love, support and cherished feelings of this family I was thriving on.

I am grateful for a lot of things in my life, but the special thing that I am grateful for today — I am grateful for this extended family. Who in the midst of their tremendous grief made me feel special. I was on Skype with them to offer my condolences,
but instead, they offered me their love and affection. After all of these years, I truly, and simply, was still treasured. After the call, I felt like I was floating in a warm sea of love, under a jealous sun.

Thank you for writing all that you do. I am grateful for that too. 😉


Here’s one thing for which I am grateful for:

Ritual of thinking about 3 things I am grateful for

Just read your email, and it gave me chills thinking about it. As soon as I saw the word “Grateful”, an image of my mother popped up in front of my computer screen. I have very strong and emotional thoughts about my mom, and what she had been through and sacrificed for my my brothers and I growing up.

When I was 9 (Like I had mentioned to you in previous emails), my father was locked up for kidnapping. We went homeless for a few weeks, and my mom had to scramble to find some kind of income to support three boys and find a home. She went door to door in our farm town of 600 people, and asked if she could clean their homes. Now, she has 19 clients a week after starting in 1997. Just writing this now is getting me teary eyed. When my dad got out of prison in {1997-2008} He had nude photos of women, and dirty letters that my mom had found. When I came home, I saw her on the ground crying her eyes out. She had taken us to visit him every week for 10 years, and thats how it ended with him. I physically picked him up and threw him down the stairs. We had wasted 10 years. But, my mother was so strong she said something that changed me forever; “Alex, it is what it is, some people dont change– just move on”. Mom I love you so much. And James, thank you for your writing. Its changed the way I think not only as a business person, but as a human being as well. The daily practice is great. Thank you thank you.

PS- Here is the link of my dads story in Chicago Tribune when he kidnapped the man. I had watched the news one night with my mom in 1997, and saw my dad in handcuffs walking into a police car.



I am grateful for the cheerfulness of my girlfriend.

What is really weird and almost uncomfortable for me is that I am responding to your post. This is the first time I have ever written anything or responded to anything on the internet. My guess is your seemingly unfailing complete honesty just appealed to me.

I have to tell you I went to bed the other night after reading your post about what you are grateful for. I came up with twenty items and then felt sad as I thought there has to be way more than that. I did thing of more but it is amazing what you forget you should be thankful for, there are so many things. Your post helped remind me there are so many. As human beings we tend to focus on the negative things, just watch the news, it sells.

You might be interested in how I found you. It was through your interview on Stansberry Radio. I found your interview and story very compelling and interesting. Being a middle aged engineer it is hard to remake yourself even if you want to. It also seems your  creative mind does not flow as well as when you are younger.

I am grateful that I have an attitude of gratitude. Keep up the good work; but don’t forget to take care of yourself so someone else won’t have to.

I’m grateful for my business partners and best friends. It’s amazing to share a dream and work together on making it real. Thanks for asking, and thanks for all the wonderful writing. It’s hard to find writers that inspire me to be more who I am. I really appreciate it.

I am grateful for my current girlfriend.  She is extraordinary for so many different reasons.  She has put up with my insecurities, jealousy, fears, and opened my eyes to the world of self improvement.  I am extremelygrateful that she has made me realize why past relationships haven’t worked out etc.  I am in the present moment with a girl who has never cheated, loves the shit out of me, yet I still can’t seem to overcome my insecurities.  I wanted to reach out to you during your Q&A and hope you can reply or give me some suggestions.  I know logically I’m worthy of love and have a ton to offer, but I get lost in the minute details of the day to day to relationships and its driving her crazy and I’m about to lose her if I can’t get a grip.  Any suggestions?  I am seeing a counselor, going to anger management and it’s opened me up to a world that I didn’t know existed.  I act this way because its the only way I know how based on my experiences, but they weren’t great experiences!  I need to somehow someway treat her better, like an equal, let her be herself, not control her etc.  Any books or suggestions?  Your articles help and I can go along reading, listening to audio books etc, but just one thing throws me back down to that dark place where I can’t help but use immature emotions.  She loves me for the real me, and my only flaw is my insecurities but its pushing her away and I want it to stop!!!

I am grateful that I am 55 years old and have never had an entire bad day in my life.  I do not think I need to add anything else.

Today, I’m grateful I’m working at home.  One day a week, I get to work at home. I don’t have to commute. I can work in my jammies all day if I want to. I can work with a lot less interruptions. The next day when I go into the office, most of the other people in my department are working at home, so that day back in the office is quieter.

i am grateful for finding someone that really cares for me. that really loves me, not what i can do for them, but me.

I am going through some really crazy changes now but I am grateful anyway. For the first time I am finding myself not making money in real estate and I just moved with my wife and my 10 year old daughter from a 4300 square foot home on 8 acres in a great area of Richmond Virginia. I am broke and stressing on what my new methods of income are going to be. I thought that I was building one of the greatest real estate family of websites and social networks in the world. But it seems that I keep running in to sabotage every where I turn. The last was the Google panda update and I am not sure that would be considered sabotage.

I am finding myself wanting to use all my integrity honesty and knowledge to really make a difference. I have been discovering like minded people at place like www.Ted.com . I feel like I am going through some kind of quickening and I have certainly done this often before.

I have other things to do just now. But I did want to take you up on your challenge. So I will send this now but I promise to share more of my story with you later if you have any interest for real.

First let me say that I admire you and i follow what post closely , I identify with you on some levels , although my life has been most an less financially successful due to my own weaknesses and not for lack of trying , as I am once more with a start up tech company . Now to the grateful part of the note . I am grateful I am alive and that I have the opportunity to rebuild my relationship with the greatest  single thing thats happened to me in my 50 years of life , My baby girl Arielle , she is now 19 , but i just came back from seeing her  Boston before she goes off to college, she is so great , i could not be more proud .
The regret i carried for some many years , i can let go of now . You see i left my happy marriage to her Mother in 1995 , when she 2 years old and for the next 17 years or so , i came in and out of her life . 17 years I spent being a drug addict , i held jobs , good ones too, I once reached to be  VP of a tech company, but most only lasted as long as i could hide my addiction to crack , during that span I tried to commit suicide 4  times or so ,I  was hospitalized more than 10 times , arrested 3 times and more .

So as you can guess i was not there for her , two years ago after another 3k binge , i decided to get away and fix me , decided that I messed up and was a bad person and I needed to become whole , i needed to stop blaming my pain for everything . I decided that i needed to put that crack pipe down forever , and i needed to do this for me , because I deserved to be happy , and being happy and whole would allow me to be the man that lurked inside me all those years. that i could be a true father to Arielle  , a true  friend, a good Brother and Son  and a good husband to someone .  I can say that today I don’t have much as far as money goes , just my tiny company that provides me with a living But I am a good father to my baby girl , I am good family member, I am
a true friend and a great husband ( work in progress) . I try to give to those who need , i feel i can breath now

I am the now the most grateful person i know , I thank the powers that be for everything in my life , I can not believe how lucky I am . I am grateful to life for allowing me the privilege of living . I am also grateful for  people like you that share your wisdom and insights so readily and open with others , you have in a way inspired me to not give up on unfulfilled potencial

I am grateful for the women in my life:

My wife, my mom, my mother-in-law, and my three daughters.  They have always been there for me and realize that they give my life meaning.

As for what I am grateful for, I would have to say that that it was getting stomach cancer 10 years ago. As strange as it may seem, that was the turning point in my life.

Prior to that, I was constantly depressed. I had no job, no girlfriend, and still living at home. My life was awful.

On an August night, I prayed to God and asked Him to make me care again. That I wanted to live and be successful in my life. I always felt that I had the brains and skills to be somebody, but my fears and lack of confidence imprisoned me in a life of mediocrity.

Then, on the last weekend of the next January, I felt a bump in my abdomen that was eventually diagnosed as a rare from of cancer. Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumor was an aggressive form of cancer that usually killed you within two years and neither radiation or chemo could kill. While waiting for my surgery, I realized that my life was over. When I looked back at my 32 years, I suddenly realized that I had wasted my life. I was so afraid and insecure that I never did anything or took any chances. I had spent my life trying to be like other people and not true to what I wanted.

I felt scared and angry. All I wanted was a second chance to live and I knew that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. When you are faced with your own death, all of that crap about being afraid really melts away.

I had my operation and have been getting a CT scan once a year since then to make sure that the cancer doesn’t return. But the years since then have been the best years of my life. I have gotten married, have had two kids and am making more money than I ever did before. I also now really believe in myself and strive to accomplish the dreams that I have.

I am actually looking forward to growing old!

So, that is what I am grateful for. I am also grateful for finding writers like you, Seth Godin, Jonathan Fields and others who really inspire me.

I ‘m a big fan of Claudia and through her I read your book ” I was blind but now I see” great book by the way. I have been reading your blog for a while as well as Claudia’s and you both make me laugh,make me company and make me understand and believe more in life. So….thank you for that!!!.I love yoga so I am following very closely Claudia’s bog :).

I really loved your post about your daughter SO MUCH!, it’s very sweet and great practice what you are doing with her by making her aware of how grateful we all should be. I’ll start doing that myself when my kids have nightmares…:)

In general I am so grateful all the time, even for the smallest things that come to my life. But writing you this, I am grateful most of all for my 3 children, because they are healthy, they are good , they are smart and of top of all they are cute and in spite all my flaws they think I am the best Mom of the world and they give me their love unconditionally.

Hope you have a great day!

The one thing I am most grateful for is the look of excitement in my two children’s eyes. Especially when I return from being away from them for a while. Although I may not be the best father in the world, they sure make me feel like I am when their eyes light up like that.

I am grateful that Betty and Calvin Boggs adopted me 53 years ago when I was 3 weeks old. Nothing else comes close.

Thank you for your blog.

Kevin Boggs

I’m grateful that someone said yes.

an attitude of gratitude…i try to think about this a fair bit…especially when things seem to suck.  Got news from two friends today- one has a brain tumor that went in for a check up and ended up having brain surgery 24 hours later…the other just learned his brother was killed in Afghanistan.  Things can always be worse…though i don’t tend to think that way.

Right now…I’m listening to dave mathews on axs.tv, my wife is sleeping on the couch…with our dog, my oldest just turned 16, my 12 year old daughter made it back safely from newport beach and my 7 year old is passed out asleep…all is quiet in the house, peaceful and healthy.  And i actually got to work-out twice today…the sun was shining.

Now, before all that, and in between, there was quite a bit of chaos, and yelling, especially between my 16 and 7 year old, my worn out and tired 12 year old, and barking from the crazy dog.  But if you stop and take it in, it let’s you know you’re alive and doing well.

My son turned 16 this week…check this out.

Here’s how i learned about it all…I was in the Navy with the SEAL Teams at the time.

Compliments of the US Navy…a newborn. This is how I learned about my son being born while deployed with SEAL Team 8 on the USS Enterprise and running around Israel and the Middle East. His mom went into labor, broke her water and had to drive herself through 45 minutes of rush hour traffic to Portsmouth Naval Hospital. Where the Staff proceeded to make her walk down flights of stairs to get her medical record. Wheww, and I thought I was roughing it.

I posted this to my friends on FB earlier this week on the 21st…Now I have 5 hours to pack my stuff and get on a flight from LAX to Miami…hasta.  Love your writing.  Best, Beau

I am grateful that my 12 year old son can see.

In June of 2004, age 4½, he was admitted to the hospital complaining of blurry vision. Within 12 hours, he was blind. Flashlight in the eyes, no recognition – blind.

When the attending Physician described his MRI to my wife and me, she started to cry.


After a brief treatment with steroids, it resolved. And then a year later, it returned. Treatment, then gone again.

Fast forward 8 years, they have a name for it:

Acute Demyelinating Encephalomyelitis


Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis

But no cause, no cure – only a treatment – an $892 interferon injection he takes, once per week, for the rest of his life.  If he stops the treatment – who knows?

I am grateful that my employer’s insurance sees fit to cover this treatment, at least through 2012.

I came across your blog by chance some months ago and have been subscribed to your newsletter since then. I always look forward to reading it and truely appreciate your honesty and generosity in sharing with us. It made me feel less frightened and alone to know I wasn’t so different from at least one other person. Thank you.

I am most grateful right now, and will be forevermore, for the fact that my daughter is still alive. She attempted suicide last year and I was the one to find her. She wasn’t breathing and had no pulse when I finally got her down but somehow – I’ll never know how – I managed to keep it together long enough to get her breathing again and get an ambulance. In the following weeks I almost had a breakdown but fought my way through it. It was the single most traumatic experience of my life but every time I look at my daughter or hug her or even just hear her come in the door at night I am filled with happiness.

My struggles. I’ve come to appreciate and almost welcome the difficult times in my life because of the growth that occurs. I look back at who I used to be and who I am now, and i see where I changed. Through the fires of tribulation I was reforged to be a better man. And I’m grateful to be better, every single day.

[To Continue Reading Responses of What People Are Grateful For, Please Click Here]

[Also, if you want, I have one small request: put what you are grateful for in the comments below. Thank you.]


45 Responses to “What I Am Grateful For”

  1. steve849 Says:

    I am grateful that my child, who has several learning disabilities, is able to go to a regular school and get at least average grades.

  2. Kathy Says:

    So many things I am grateful for but probably the single most is living with a father who constantly lived in an attitude of gratitude!! My father recently passed away at the age of 85. His service was such a celebration of life with constant laughter as people stood in line for 2 hours just to pay their respects and relive their story about how my dad touched their lives!! My dad was a coal miner who worked 6 days a week in the most dangerous conditions imaginable but what I remember as a little girl was waking up at 5am and hearing my dad whistling as he was shaving because he was grateful he had a job to support his family! Just hearing his whistling made me know that all was right in the world……..and still today at age 59 when things can get me down all I do is hear his whistling and again I know all is right in the world!!! Thank you dad!!!!!!

  3. ctrapino Says:

    I’m grateful that I didn’t cry while reading this at work. I am also grateful that I’ve been so lucky compared to some others.

  4. Carolyn Says:

    Today is my last day as an employee. I will officially be self-employed, doing something I’ve wanted to try for almost a decade, and never thought I could because the income would be so unreliable. I am so grateful for my husband insisting I take advantage of this opportunity while we have it– what a wonderful man!

  5. Guy Scavone II Says:


  6. cobaltnebula Says:

    I found myself crying like a little baby, the woman who cheated and whose husband took her back, the man who reconnected with his 19 year old daughter, the father who saved his daughter’s life… Gonna read the long version now. Thank you for posting this.

  7. TheOneWhoKnocks Says:

    I am grateful for this column. Two weeks ago I was rear ended in a hit and run accident. I drive a popular sports car that I purchased for myself as a reward for paying for my undergrad and MBA by myself in cash. Night school was such a struggle for me because my wife and I would need to choose between eating, utilities and tuition. She had faith in me and we got through it.

    Now my car has 10k worth of damage and is being repaired. This hit and run has turned me into an evil and hateful person which makes me even angrier. You don’t know true hatred until you’ve been a victim of crime.

    It’s so hard to smile when all you feel is rage.

    The only people keeping me coherent and happy through this are my wife and our child. For them and their love, I am grateful.

    • yuyutsu7 Says:

      Anger is natural and ok if it comes and goes. But holding on to anger is like holding on to a piece of burning coal. *You* are the one to get hurt. Hope you can get over it.

  8. Chuck Says:

    I am grateful that I realised that I’m not grateful more often.
    Will try to work on this as it’s very important.

  9. me Says:

    Weeping at these beautiful stories, stories of unconditional love and acceptance and starting over and triumph. Oh my god these are beautiful.

  10. Kamal Says:

    Thank you.

  11. Warren Shaeffer Says:

    I’m grateful to all the people who took the time to share their stories of gratitude … this is really touching. James, thank you for encouraging this.

  12. John Says:

    I am grateful that:
    – I did not have to shoot anybody and nobody had to shoot me in Vietnam.
    – my wife said yes
    – our five children turned out well
    – I have two sisters
    – I can draw and paint, read and write – what a universe those things open

  13. Megan Says:

    I am grateful that reading this, I finally was able to cry. My Dad died. My friend died. My boss accused me of fraud, threatened to terminate me, then changed her mind, because it wasn’t fraud. My husband and grown kids have been totally supportive. My colleagues tell me I am a good person. I am grateful for all the people who have written here, and all the positive human spirit that they’ve shared, how we can still be grateful amidst difficulties, and telling their stories, which finally let me cry. I feel so much hate for my boss. I am grateful for you James, I now have a million reasons to quit my job, and I am going to, which will also get one supremely crappy person out of my life.

  14. Efrain Says:

    Thanks James. I’m grateful that you made this site in which we all come together and be reminded that happiness is only found right now. I love all you guys.

  15. Pook Says:

    I’m grateful that I am smart enough to break the cycle.

  16. jenny Says:

    I sit here speechless with chills after reading these amazing stories!

  17. Kat Loterzo Says:

    I’m sitting in a cafe having breakfast and trying not to cry just from reading all of this. Isn’t it amazing how we all walk around with these masks on but underneath we are all so very human. For lack of a better word.

    I am grateful for the ability to connect on and offline, for blogs like yours which make me think and stimulate my creative side, and for the ability to make a living doing what I love as a writer.

  18. mary lemmer Says:

    This is what I am grateful for

  19. JChristineC Says:

    This article gave me tears; I am grateful to have read what you wrote, as well as what each (brave) individual has written, the strength it has taken for each person to push through hardships, and the fact that you did.

    I am so entirely grateful for so much. The aftermath of the last decade or so has been a struggle for me. My heart was broken by those I loved, unconditionally. First and foremost, I am grateful for my angel, my mom; she has given me unconditional love since day one. Without her, I wouldn’t know what unconditional love is, or how to give it; and, I am grateful for that gift. For me, it is the gift of all gifts.

    I am grateful for my family; although we’re separated often, I am grateful that we are each alive, and that we can spend time with each other. They are my very heart, and they mean the world to me. And, I am grateful for their support during the last few years; without it, I’m not sure how I’d ever have the chance to mend my wings. I love them more than my own life.

    I am grateful for every single friend that I have ever had -and, I am especially grateful for the ones I have always had, as well as the ones I continuously meet, who I seem to relate with on a greater level than I ever have, when instantly meeting people.

    I am so grateful to be alive. I do not understand what this is all about, why I am lucky enough to be here, why I have been so very, very lucky in so many, many ways. But, I am so very grateful. And, I hope to help others, as best as I can, once I am fully free to fly. Love to all.

  20. Lisa Says:

    I am grateful for my daughter who was unexpected at the age of 39. She was sexually abused and has PTSD and severe anxiety at times. She may be bi-polar or have borderline personality disorder also. She has been in the hospital several times because she has been suicidal. I have had severe anxiety and depression from her outbursts because I also have PTSD from a previous abusive marriage. But she has taught me more about unconditional love than anyone else ever could. Compassion, tolerance, and finally acceptance. I would never have been the person I am without her. I am able to love even those who seem unloveable. I am much slower to judge and I see the pain in other’s eyes more easily. I look for the good that is hidden under the pain. And I can understand why someone might kill themselves. It is so incredibly hard to struggle with the amount of pain she has had, from the age of 8 for 7 years. She is 15 and is now starting to see what I have always known. That she is the strongest person I know, with kindness and compassion and loyalty thrown in. Even though others would judge her as a spoiled, child with a verbally violent temper, and us as parents that give into her all the time, and just need to toughen up on her discipline. She is my hero. I am also grateful that I have come to the place where I can be at peace no matter how her life turns out. We see so much growth and inner strength in her, but we know that all it takes is a moment of weakness and she might take herself out of this world and into the next. We are doing our best to prevent that,But we only have her under our roof for the next 3 years. Grateful! She has been a gift from God.

  21. Nick Says:

    I’m grateful that I got laid off about 4 years ago. I was just sitting there, content to collect $42k/year with no real chance of moving up. So I got laid off, used my severance and GI Bill to go through school full time with minimal student loan debt, and it opened many doors for me. I had no problem finding a job I love after graduating in December.

    And honestly, I know James is anti-college, and the classroom lessons haven’t proven all that important. But I did connect with a lot great people and it gave me the inspiration for several further pursuits that’ll keep me occupied for many years.

  22. murali Says:

    Wow! Powerful stuff. It is inspiring to read this. I am grateful that people have come forward and shared their life-stories.

  23. Anders Says:

    I’m grateful for the Taoist tai chi society, their practice has cured me of 25 years of back pain

  24. imane imi Says:

    i’m grateful that i woke up after what i have been through . i spent nights awake thinking what to decide about ” a turning point in my life ” ….. now i got it over thanks to my mom . the most amazing person in my life .

  25. Jill Says:

    I am Grateful That no one on earth knows what happens after we die and cannot capitalize on it.
    under our clothes we are naked and sometimes we can be.
    I am alone even though it would be nice not to.
    I stepped back to observe and ponder rather than jump in.
    for the peach I ate that tasted like a peach.

  26. Lupe Says:

    James, I am grateful for the seven young men and women who are related to me by blood or marriage. They are between the ages of 17 and 25. The thought of what they will experience in their life spans is so exciting for me, and my wish for them is to achieve happiness in this lifetime, in whatever unique form works for each of them. As you and I know, it is the downs that make you a survivor and also allows you to really appreciate the highs. Thank you for reminding me of this.

  27. Dan Says:

    I am grateful for being here on earth, alive. For reading and responding to this blog. For bartending (one of the coolest jobs ever), as a means of supporting my family. For having three beautiful children and an amazing, wonderful, sexy wife. For attending college (because I met my bride and really great people there). For all my friends and family members, and every person I have ever had the opportunity to meet. For my mother who had the courage and love to marry a blind man. For my dad’s first fiance` who left him because she couldn’t handle being with a blind man. For my dad, who is the strongest, most encouraging, most dynamic and caring man I have ever known. Most importantly, I am grateful for the two men who back in 1969, who walked into an Ann Arbor gas station, robbed and shot my father execution style, leaving him for dead. Selfishly, for that bullet, I am grateful. For without that moment altering the course of history, I most likely, would not be here on earth, alive.

  28. Robin Says:

    I am grateful for waking up happy today. The slights from others, the teduim of work and the scary life changes ahead, all seemed to be inconsequential today. Why today? I am not sure. But I won’t question it , just live it.

  29. kamalravikant Says:

    This is beautiful, James. I am grateful for you. I’m grateful that you came through your personal human trials and had the courage to share them. I’m grateful that you met Claudia and the beauty and magic she’s added to your life. I’m grateful I discovered your blog, I’m grateful I got to watch it grow. I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned and will learn from you. I’m grateful that we’ve met. I’m grateful to consider you a friend.

  30. Sadie Says:

    My first love. I never told him how I felt, and when I moved back to Canada I deleted all his contact info so I never could. He’s in Europe, living his life and not giving me a moment’s thought. But I think of him. Not with melancholy, but with joy; he inspires me, and when I have moments where I don’t like myself, I think about the fact that he did. If someone as amazing as him could like me, then I must be ok. Better than ok. In some way, I must be beautiful.

  31. Lilly26 Says:

    I’ve read a lot of your posts, James, but this is the first that made me really cry.
    I’m grateful for this post.

  32. Giovanni Isaksen Says:

    My son is the best thing that ever happened to me but I want to thank you James for I Was Blind But Now I See and How To Be The Luckiest Person Alive. Since reading them I have been writing down three things I am grateful for every morning and it is amazing how that frames the day in a positive way. Thank you James.

  33. Jason Says:

    Hi James,

    I am in my 30s and thinking about what to do with my life, where to set the priorities. For example whether I should continue concentrating on my career or rather spend more time on finding the right girl for me and start a family.

    Usually it’s easier to just keep walking on your old paths but these people have made me think. They all seem to be most grateful for being healthy and for relationships.

    However, I also know that the biggest REGRETS people have in life are also about (failed) relationships. Relationships seem to be a two-sided sword with regard to your emotional well-being.

    And I am surprised that nobody mentioned career or financial success. And friendship is also rarely mentioned even though I heard that after the kids have moved out, friendship becomes nearly as important as the relationship to your spouse.

    So basically my question to you is: are the texts you published above a representative selection of the contributions you received?



  34. Andy Says:

    I am grateful for the worst boss I ever had. I had been working as a mid-level administrator for a great guy in a job I didn’t really enjoy. The great guy left and we hired a lying, manipulative, incompetent piece of shit. One week after he arrived I knew that I had to move. I went over his head to the VP and got some encouragement about looking at a lateral move, so I spent the next year working on that. It didn’t work out. Finally I had another interview with the VP and he said that I would need to suck up and do what I was told. I thanked him and resigned on the spot. He was stunned. Walking away was the best thing I ever did.

    Almost three years later I am still unemployed and happy. I could find a job if I needed one, but I have enough saved up that I can be retired (and my wife works and has health insurance). I volunteer at various places doing work that I enjoy and think is important. I don’t waste time or energy on assholes or office politics any more. The only people I work with are ones whom I like- otherwise I just leave.

    So I will always be grateful to that jerk for making me realize that I didn’t need a job any more, that I could do what I wanted, and for getting me out of the fur-lined rut I was in.

  35. Natand Says:

    James, your unflinching honesty is changing my life and how I deal with it. I had a horrible nightmare last night. The only thing that helped me calm down (and eventually fall back asleep) was telling myself, “Remember, James says to recite everything you are grateful for.” I started the list and kept going, on and on. What I’m really grateful for today is…animals. All of the animals that have been and are now on this beautiful messed-up planet of ours. I can’t control the fact that we are wiping out so many species right now. We are human beings and can’t seem to help ourselves. But I can appreciate all the animals. and especially my two beautiful dogs. Oh, and of course my messy human relationships, especially with my husband, mom and brother.

  36. thankful Says:

    I am grateful that 5 years ago I had an unplanned pregnancy with my boyfriend I was thinking of breaking up with. We decided to get married without any of our families involvement. My son is the best thing that ever happened to me, along with my daughter I had 2 years later. They have brought meaning to my life.
    My sister-in-law was going through infertility treatments at the time and all hell broke loose in my husband’s family. I was the bad guy for having the pregnancy she couldn’t. Dealing with his family has been a real struggle. But I am thankful for the experience because it helped me realize (with your help James) that their problem wasn’t personal to me. They would have been awful to anyone who got pregnant when she couldn’t. I have been a people pleaser my whole life and this situation has begun to break that chain for me.
    I am also thankful that a year ago I met a guy that I instantly clicked with and developed a huge crush. I had an epiphony that my marraige was on the rocks. I was ready to cheat on my husband because I didn’t like how he treated me. I felt unappreciated. I liked the attention this guy was giving me. Luckly I was able to avoid the guy. My husband and I have since made some changes that has been really positive for our relationship and we have grown. Things are better than ever.

  37. Laura Says:

    I am very good looking and I’ve always been. But I only realized it for the very first time in my life just now, that I’m almost 21 years old. Thing is, my parents have always been nuts about my weight and due to that I have always seen myself as a fat not good enough girl. Over the last year I gained 26 lbs and also a nearly serious injury in my right knee, which makes losing weight harder. I’m grateful that those 2 things happened to me, because I finally got the chance to talk to my parents and make them see that their attitude was only doing me harm… I had bulimia twice and they never knew about it – until now. Also, by seeing my old pictures and checking the clothes that don’t fit me anymore I also realize I’ve never been fat nor ugly. That it was all in my mind. I’m also being forced to learn to eat better, which I never did before. My injured knee opened my eyes to the things I was losing, like running and walking (I have always loved wandering around), because I had been wasting too much time browsing the internet and watching TV, when I could have been outside taking more out of life. When I get my old body back I’ll be more confident, because the concern about my looks was always holding me back, and now I also know that I can get the guy I want.

  38. Barton Frets Says:

    One of your best James.

  39. zach Says:

    I’m grateful for Mr. James Altucher. Fearless in revealing yourself through your writing, honest in delivering thoughtful responses to your reader’s questions, and innovative in your approach to life. You’re an inspiration and this blog played no small role in changing my outlook on life.

  40. Jon Says:

    I am greatful for the people in my life who are close to me and allow me to express my love for them as best I can.

  41. Kate Says:

    I am grateful for having so many chances to live and make good choices in life. I survived two tours in Iraq, a physically abusive girlfriend, and other crappy events. Life has beaten me up, a lot, but I have a chance to make new choices and be happy for me and for those who choose to share life with me. Thank you for my health and well-being. Thank you for keeping me safe.

  42. Ms. DOXY Says:

    Today I stopped and prayed for a minute, not knowing why. Guess what? This blog answered a million questions. I am thankful for the person who sent me this link. Because without it, i would not have heard the answer to my question so loudly!

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