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If we perceive our current life to have more good, we will also believe our future life to have more good.
Optimism is correlated with gratitude because those with an optimistic disposition are biologically more likely to focus on the good (gratitude) than on the bad (personal disappointment, anxiety, etc…). The problem with materialism is that it makes people feel less competent, reduces feelings of relatedness and gratitude, reduces their ability to appreciate and enjoy the good in life, generates negative emotions, and makes them more self-centered.
The pursuit of wealth and power has been shown in dozens of studies to be a highly inefficient method of increasing well-being and happiness.
To be sure, if your income doubles you will be slightly happier.
This also means that we get use to the bad things that happen to us.
Put more simply, we get use to the good things that happen to us.
Many of the sub-traits associated with spirituality are the same sub-traits associated with gratitude.For example, spiritual individuals are more likely to feel a strong spiritual or emotional connection with others, and to believe in inter-connectedness.Both are prerequisites for feeling gratitude – someone who feels weak connections with others, and who believes in the illusion of self-sufficiency is unlikely to feel gratitude. I’m a lot better now that I’ve brought gratitude into my life, but I still spend way too much time thinking about myself, and too little thinking about others.In this regard, gratitude practice can be better than self-esteem therapy.Self-esteem therapy focuses the individual back on themselves: I’m smart, I look good, I can succeed, etc….