There are a lot of reasons to develop an attitude of gratitude. But, if you’ve been stuck in a pattern of negative thinking for a long time, it can be hard to break the cycle.
If you’re having a hard time being thankful for all the good things in your life, keep reading.
Listed below are twelve great thankful quotes that will help you put things in perspective.
1. Oprah Winfrey
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Media executive, actress, producer, and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey regularly talks about the importance of saying, “thank you.”
In fact, she said in a recent interview that saying, “thank you” every morning is what helped her to become a “gazillionaire.”
Winfrey is definitely onto something with the above quote. Think about it: If you’re always focusing on what you don’t have, you’re always going to be striving for more and feeling incomplete.
By expressing gratitude for the things you already have, you’ll be able to feel content. You’ll also send out positivity into the universe and attract more good things into your life.
2. Henri Frederic Amiel
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
The Swiss philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel makes a great point with this quote about actions speaking louder than words. It’s one thing to say that you’re thankful for something in your life. It’s another to go out and show gratitude with your actions.
What does it look like to show gratitude with your actions?
For many people, it looks like paying it forward and doing good things for others, with no expectation of them reciprocating. You’re merely doing good for the sake of doing good.
3. William Arthur Ward
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
When was the last time you actually told someone in your life that you were grateful for them? When did you last sincerely say, “thank you”?
The famous 20th-century writer, William Arthur Ward, is clear that it’s not enough to just feel thankful for the good things and people in your life. You need to express that gratitude.
Don’t just assume that people know you’re thankful. Tell them.
It might feel awkward at first, especially if you’re not in the habit of saying, “thank you” on a regular basis. But, with a little practice, you’ll find that it quickly becomes easier to open up and express your gratitude.
4. Albert Einstein
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Of course, Albert Einstein had something meaningful to say about gratitude.
These days, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of expressing appreciation for the little things.
When we’re inundated with the latest technology and have so much information and entertainment at our fingertips, it’s easy to overlook everyday wonders like the sunrise or the refreshing feeling of a cool breeze on your face.
By taking the time to appreciate and express gratitude for the little things, the things you would normally not consider to be miraculous, everything else becomes a lot more impressive.
5. Charles Dickens
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
Author and social critic Charles Dickens has made several important observations about the importance of generosity and gratitude — have you ever read “A Christmas Carol?”
The Victorian novelist focused on gratitude a lot during his lifetime, but the above quote is perhaps one of his most poignant.
It’s important to remember that every single person on earth, even the wealthiest and most famous, have problems. Everyone is struggling with something, but everyone also has something for which they can be grateful.
6. Dolly Parton
“If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
This quote from country music singer and philanthropist, Dolly Parton, is a great reminder that you can’t have something good without having to struggle first.
Rainbows are beautiful and worth celebrating, but we have to remember that we can only experience them after we’ve first experienced a rainstorm.
If you’re currently in the middle of a “rainstorm” in your life, remember that you’ll get to experience a rainbow when the storm is over.
7. Audre Lorde
“We are all more blind to what we have than to what we have not.”
It’s easy to get caught up in all the things we don’t have and forget about the things for which we need to be thankful.
This quote from Civil Rights activist, poet, and essayist Audre Lorde is a great reminder to change our perspective and think a bit more about the blessings that have come our way.
8. Ralph Marston
“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”
This quote from Ralph Marston, who played as a quarterback for the Boston Bulldogs in the early 1900s, is a great reminder that thankfulness is a habit. And, it’s something we all need to get in the habit of doing more regularly.
By making a habit of showing appreciation without any expectation, we’ll get a lot more out of our lives than we will if we’re constantly living with a scarcity mindset and focusing on what we don’t have.
9. Harvey Mackay
“None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you.”
Renowned businessman Harvey Mackay is spot-on when he says that nobody got to where they are on their own. Everybody has received help from someone else (usually from many people) at one point or another.
Don’t forget to thank those who have helped you. Whether they’re a teacher, a mentor, a friend, or simply someone who smiled at you and gave you a boost on a day you were feeling down, acknowledge and thank them.
10. America Ferrera
“As a child, I didn’t know what I didn’t have. I’m thankful for the challenges early on in my life because now I have a perspective on the world and kind of know what’s important.”
It’s very rare to hear someone say that they’re not thankful for the challenges they experienced early on in their lives, and actress America Ferrera is no exception.
More often than not, the obstacles we face in our lives teach us a lot and give us the perspective we need to appreciate the good things that come later.
11. Nick Vujicic
“Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude.”
This is a powerful quote from Nick Vujicic, a Christina evangelist and motivational speaker from Australia. Vujicic was born with a condition known as tetra-amelia syndrome. This is a rare disorder that is characterized by the absence of both arms and legs.
If anyone had a right to feel bitter about the cards they were dealt, it’s Vujicic. Instead, though, he’s made the choice to be grateful for the opportunities he now has to inspire others.
This is something we can all aspire to do more frequently.
12. William Feather
“Many of our prayers were not answered, and for this, we are now grateful.”
Have you ever wanted something and not received it? Did you later receive something that turned out to be even better than what you initially hoped for?
This happens to most people at some point or another.
As the 20th-century publisher, William Feather noted, many of our prayers are going to go unanswered. That’s because the things we think we want aren’t actually the things that are best for us.
The next time a door is closed to you, remember that something better is likely coming. The door may be closed, but a window is surely about to open instead.
Looking for More Inspirational Thankful Quotes?
Was it helpful to read through these thankful quotes? Are you feeling a bit more appreciative of the things that are going right in your life?
If you need more inspiration, be sure to check out some of the other great quote lists on our site today.
From gratitude to self-love, we’ve got all kinds of information that will help you change your attitude and take steps toward improving your life.