This issue of Signal Fire is written entirely by a reader. It’s something I’ve been wanting to express for a very long time. I just could never put it as clearly as this. But then, clarity of thought and word is Jeff Nygaard’s way. If you don’t already read Nygaard Notes, I highly recommend it. Here’s what he says:
I’ve noticed a difference in how I resonate with gratitude depending on how I frame things. It’s hard to express, but I’ll try.
The more specific and/or personal I get, the less energizing it is.
It seems like the difference between “grateful to” and “grateful for”
“I’m grateful to Mark for donating to Nygaard Notes.” vs “I’m grateful for the generosity and solidarity that allows me to do my work.”
The first one is true, and I feel good about it. The second one makes me feel joyful and blessed to be part of a broad community. And it includes the gratitude I feel toward each individual.
I think the first one is more conditional, and depends on a specific action in order to be “true.” The second one rests on a long history and doesn’t change day to day. I’m ALWAYS grateful, and each specific act only reminds me that I am.
“I’m grateful for the beautiful day today.” vs “I’m grateful to be alive to experience a day like today.”
Good days come and go, but my gratitude for being a part of the unfolding is always there. My gratitude practice serves to remind me that I can live in a state of gratitude no matter what any given day offers me. What a gift that is!