One of the most effective ways to get more of what you want, is to be grateful for it. Want more money? Be grateful for money you already have. Want more meaningful connections in your life? Be grateful for the relationships you already have. This is how it works and we all know that. I won’t go into the “why” for now, let’s just agree that gratefulness works like an amplifier: it just brings more of what you’re grateful for.
But, there is a catch.
Gratitude, when expressed, tends to have a very feminine vibration. And that’s ok, as long as there’s no conflict between masculine and feminine. As long as we have an inner core in which both masculine and feminine vibrations are balanced and accepted, well, that’s great.
But in cultures where the masculine is valued more (like in the Western, career oriented culture), expressing gratitude can be quite difficult for a man. Because of the role we’re forced into (by social pressure, by tradition), expressing gratitude feels cumbersome. It may make the man seem weak. It can send a message of tenderness, and that’s not always in sync with the macho vibe we’re all expecting from our modern heroes.
Don’t get me wrong, at a fundamental level, there is no “good” or “bad” way to express gratitude. There’s no correct or incorrect emotion either. Everything is ok. I’m talking here about a specific cultural context, which happens to be the cultural context of the vast majority of my readers. And, in that context, if you’re expressing gratitude as a man, you tend to be perceived as weak, feeble, even unreliable.
How To Express Gratitude, The Balanced Way
Now you understand the conflict: you may want more of something, you want to express gratitude, but, because of your current social and cultural context, you can’t, actually. This situation generates a lot of internal conflicts and is perceived as a constant pressure. Instead of expressing gratitude, men are relying more on forceful ways to go after what they want. Which, eventually, drain them faster.
Here are a few ways to express gratitude as a man, ways that, usually, are perceived as being “politically correct” in our western part of the world.
1. Offer A Service Unexpectedly To Someone
Not an unrequested service, by the way. But something that you know and verified the other person needs. Do it out of the blue. Express gratitude either for the things you got from that person, or for what the other person did for you in the past. Be very open and clear about the service and about the fact that you’re doing it without expecting anything in return.
2. Offer Protection
In various forms. Protection is usually the playground of men (but mothers also know a lot about it) so it should feel comfortable. It may even be emotional protection by being an active listener to somebody. We, men, are not natural listeners, so that may require a lot of work, I agree. But it’s incredibly valuable and effective. Just lend your ears for a while to someone who needs to talk.
Yes, it’s about your money. In our modern, western cultures, money is an icon of accomplishment. If you choose to give it away, in a controlled and sustained way, it will create a lot of good stuff around you. Again, it doesn’t need to be public, it doesn’t need to be mushy, you don’t have to get emotional or anything. But it need to be done consistently and wholeheartedly. If you do it like this, yes, it does express gratitude.
4. Give Your Time Away
Time is the only non-renewable resource we have. Unfortunately, our modern times are often forgetting this, putting money ahead of it. Well, just keep in mind that, even if you don’t have any money to donate, you can still express your gratitude by giving away your time. Pick a cause, or an activity (like taking care of the elderly, or spending time with kids in orphanages) and stick to it. Be there for that cause, or for those people and try to be useful.
There are a lot of areas in which you can volunteer, from public service to sports events. As a long distance runner, I am very close to the latter. Being useful to other people who are running, or hiking, or doing triathlons, is a very effective way to express gratitude for the people who made the same type of events available for you. It just creates a virtuous circle of services, in which each of us are giving and receiving more and more.
It’s so easy, yet so underrated. This simple facial gesture is so powerful, so simple and so profound, yet, unexplainable. Why are we instantly connect with people who are smiling at us? Why do we feel the need to reciprocate smile? I’m sure there are thousands of answers to those questions, but what really means right now is that smiling is very powerful way to show to someone that you’re grateful.
7. Say “Thank You”
Goes on the same line with the one above. These two words are like the “swiss army knife” of our social life. You can use them in any context, at any hour with any person you meet. And they, just like the swiss army knife can solve pretty much any situation. Saying “thank you” is like a constant deposit in our gratitude bank.
And last, but not least, you can express your gratitude in by sharing articles about gratitud in your social media circle.
Or even this article, if the hint from the line above was too feminine for you, mate 😉
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.