Reflections on Gratitude by Steven Shomler

Reflections on Gratitude

“Gratitude is to your heart like oxygen is to a fire”

Last week I was lucky enough to be in Bozeman, Montana for Bozeman Craft Beer Week.

I had an amazing time. If you’re a craft beer fan, you have got to go to Bozeman. They have nine breweries right there in Bozeman itself, and just down the road in the town of Belgrade, there are two more breweries.

In addition I have been told that two more breweries are coming to Bozeman this year, and that two more breweries are coming next year. I think it’s eventually going to be a celebrated craft beer destination.

While I was in Bozeman I recorded six on the road episodes of the Portland Beer Podcast and five on the road episodes of the Portland Culinary Podcast.

I met a lot of wonderful people, had a lot of great food, and enjoyed terrific beer.

I am already planning on going back for Bozeman Craft Beer Week next year.

Reflections on Gratitude by Steven Shomler  Reflections on Gratitude by Steven Shomler

Reflections on Gratitude by Steven Shomler

Waking Up With a Deep Overwhelming Sense of Gratitude  

One morning when I was there, I woke up with a deep overwhelming sense of gratitude and I started thinking about gratitude.

A day later, I found myself at the Wild Crumb – a wonderful Bozeman bakery.

That morning I had an Orange Pecan Roll and it was phenomenal! I also had a cup of Ghost Town Coffee Roasters coffee. FYI – Ghost Town Coffee rocks!

I spent an hour at Wild Crumb journaling about gratitude, and what was going on in my heart, and I’ve been journaling about it about for a week now.

Six Thoughts on Gratitude 

I have 6 thoughts for you on gratitude and the rest of this article lays them out.

#1 What is Gratitude?

#2 Three Life Affirming Traits that Gratitude Deepens and Three Dark Traits that Thrive in the Absence of Gratitude

 #3 A Simple Doable Way You Can Cultivate Gratitude in Your Life

#4 Something Precious That You Cannot Have Without Gratitude

 #5 The Awfulness Coming Your Way and How Gratitude Can Play an Important Role in the Midst of That Awfulness

 #6 What Melted Butter and Gratitude Have in Common

 #1 What is Gratitude?

I love me some I looked up “Gratitude” on and they say that “Gratitude is the quality of being grateful or thankful.” I love that definition! Simple and easy to understand.

Below are a couple of more ways to define gratitude.

Some people are head people, some people are heart people, and some people are gut people.

I don’t know which one of those you are, but I think at least of one of these next three definitions for gratitude will resonate with you.

Gratitude is a feeling – I don’t mean to say that gratitude is an emotion, but I mean like a feeling where someone might say “I feel so grateful.”

For others gratitude is a sense – those people might say “I have a sense of gratitude around me.”

Thirdly (Thirdly? Is that even correct grammar? I don’t care, it works for me) for some people gratitude is a perspective that they have.

Gratitude is kind of how they approach life, how they see things, and how they’re thinking about how what’s going on in their life. They have a perspective of gratitude

I don’t care if you are a head person, or a heart person, or a gut person – there’s something there for you with regards to gratitude; whether it’s a perspective or outlook you have, or it’s a sense you have, or it’s a feeling you have.

I think gratitude can be each of those things.

Reflections on Gratitude by Steven Shomler

At the beginning of this article I mentioned that gratitude is to your heart is like oxygen is to a fire.

If you take oxygen away from a fire it can’t burn, it can’t give warmth, and it can’t give light.

I think the same thing is true for your heart.

If you take gratitude away from your heart it’s not going to shine, it’s not gonna burn, it’s not gonna have warmth & light to give to others.

Do not miss out on having gratitude in your journey. Your journey just won’t be the same without it.

#2 Three Life Affirming Traits that Gratitude Deepens and Three Dark Traits that Thrive in the Absence of Gratitude

Kindness Vs. Meanness

In my life I have observed that people who embrace gratitude tend to be kinder, and kindness tends to be part of their journey.

Conversely, people that don’t have much gratitude in their life seem to be meaner.

Mean people – oh man, they can leave a lot of wreckage in their wake.

I knew someone once and they self-proclaimed that they were a “mean girl” and sadly they were vindictive, and divisive, and kind of an adult bully. This individual hurt people. That’s what meanness does. It hurts people.

I don’t want you to be that kind of person, and I am certain that you don’t want to have meanness in your heart or in your journey.

Embrace gratitude, and let it touch your heart and deepen your kindness.

Compassion Vs. Heartlessness

People that have a sense of gratitude, tend to be more compassionate.

Conversely, people that tend not to have much gratitude in their life, people who are not thankful for much – they tend to be a lot more heartless.

They just don’t seem to care about anyone else.

In my opinion, having compassion for others is such a much better way to live. Gratitude will deepen your compassion.

Hope Vs. Fear

Gratitude can impact how people approach the future.

I’ve observed that people who have gratitude in their life, and who have cultivated gratitude tend to be more hopeful.

They tend to approach the future with a more positive outlook.

Whereas, I have observed that people that are don’t have much gratitude, they tend to be more fearful.

They tend to approach the future with a more negative outlook.

Granted, hope brings with it it’s own set of heartaches, however, hope is so much better than fear. I encourage you to cultivate gratitude in your life.

Reflections on Gratitude by Steven Shomler

#3 A Simple Doable Way You Can Cultivate Gratitude in Your Life

Speaking of cultivating gratitude, here is a simple doable way that you can cultivate gratitude in your life.

I love doable steps! Life change happens one doable step at a time. Dreams come true one doable step at a time.

This is a very doable step and it’s very high-tech!

Hopefully you have a yellow pad and a blue pen. You can’t have life change without those two tools!

Tear off a piece of yellow paper from your pad and fold it in half. Fold it in half a total of three times.

Take that folded piece of yellow paper, and on one side write the word –


On the other side write the question –

“What am I Grateful For?”

Carry this piece of paper with you for a month. Put it in your pocket next to your phone.

A couple times a day get out that piece of paper and ask yourself “What am I grateful for?”

Ask yourself – “What good thing has come into my life today that I have I have missed or overlooked?”

Do that for a month, and I guarantee that at the end of the month you will have cultivated gratitude in your life.

You will have a lot more gratitude going on and you’ll start to become aware of things that you will want to be grateful for that you have previously overlooked.

You will most assuredly increase your awareness of what you can be grateful for.

Reflections on Gratitude by Steven Shomler

#4 Something Precious That You Cannot Have Without Gratitude

You have gratitude and you can have this very precious thing. You don’t have gratitude. You can’t have it.

When I work with people I teach them to “Walk the Good Life Path.”

For me, the good life path has three components and I call these three components the “Good Life Elements.”

Good Life Element Number One is Enjoy Life.

I often have to teach people about enjoying life, and I often have to teach people how to enjoy life.

Good Life Element Number Two is Make a Difference.

Somehow, someway, I don’t care how you do it, go make a difference in someone’s life and embrace this practice as an ongoing part of your journey.

Good Life Element Number Three is Pursue Wholerness.

I don’t think people can get whole, however I do believe that people get can “wholer.”

Yes – I created both the word “Wholer” and the word “Wholerness.”

What can I say, I have the same special writing permit to create words that Seuss and Shakespeare had.

If you Enjoy Life, Make a Difference, and Pursue Wholerness you will be Walking the Good Life Path and as you Walk the Good Life Path you will find The Four Treasures!

The Four Treasures are Joy, Serenity, Adventure, and Fulfillment.

I have to say – I have deeply fulfilling life now.

My life is much more fulfilling, especially when compared to when I started the journey to change my life, 7 years ago, back in the summer of 2011 when I decided to go live the life I imagined.

Trust me on this – Fulfillment is very, very important and you don’t want to miss out on having it in your life.

Here is the deal – You can’t have a fulfilling life and without gratitude.

Every person I have met who has a fulfilling life, also has gratitude.

Do not miss out on living a fulfilling life.

Getting to do that one of the BIG reasons you really want to cultivate gratitude in your journey.

#5 The Awfulness Coming Your Way and How Gratitude Can Play an Important Role in the Midst of That Awfulness

There’s some awfulness ahead of you in your path and it is coming your way.

I apologize for telling you this, but it’s a fact.

I teach the people that I work with the Five Fulfilling Journey Life Lessons.

If someone wants to have a fulfilling journey, they have to master these five lessons.

One of these five lessons is learning how to handle loss effectively.

I promise you this – you have got some loss coming into your life down the road – at some point in the future.

You will experience loss and some of it is going be tough, in fact, some of the loss you are going to experience will be gut wrenching.

For example – death is coming for the ones you love.

I teach this terrible truth that because it happens and I care too much not to prepare you.

I’ve had the kind of gut wrenching losses I am talking about.

For example, on Feb 8th 2015 my 17-year-old son Zayne passed away.

No parent should have to bury his or her child. It’s fucking brutal.

Learning how to effectively handle the losses coming your way, and learning how to grieve are two very, very important life skills that a lot of people just aren’t taught.

Here is where gratitude comes in.

When you experience a loss, that loss is either going to increase your gratitude, or it’s going to make you bitter.

People I’ve seen that have experienced loss that don’t effectively handle that loss, and don’t grieve that loss – often end up more bitter and less grateful.

I’m working on an article right now about how my son Zayne’s death has impacted my journey.

It’s been a little over two years now since he passed and that loss has impacted me in a number of significant ways.

One of the things that gut wrenching loss, did was make everything that’s left more precious, and it’s helped me be more grateful for what I have.

You may be wondering how gratitude will fit in when you experience gut-wrenching losses.

Once you are there, you will remember these words and begin to see how gratitude can make a positive difference in the midst of all of that darkness.

Don’t let those future losses make you more bitter. Let those losses make you more grateful.

#6 What Melted Butter and Gratitude Have in Common

How is gratitude like melted butter?

Well, here’s the deal. I love me some melted butter. I even own HappinessIsMeltedButter dot com.

My son Zac is home from college this summer.

Zac and I are going to go see some blockbuster movies this summer, and we when we do that we will get some popcorn!

Mark my words – we are going to put melted butter on that popcorn!

When you put melted butter on popcorn you are enhancing that popcorn and making it that much better!

I love lobster and when I dip lobster in melted butter, I’m enhancing that lobster.

Some people like crab – when you dip really good crab in melted butter it enhances that crab!

How about vegetables?

Grilled or sautéed vegetables are wonderful and when you put some melted butter on them they are that much better!

Melted butter enhances a lot of things and gratitude does the same thing.

The more gratitude you have in your life, the more that your life will be enhanced.

Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast and gratitude can even enhance beer!

It’s one thing to drink a good craft beer.

When you are grateful for that craft beer – it will taste that much better.

Many people enjoy drinking a really good IPA.

Gratitude can turn drinking a really good IPA into a phenomenal experience.

Gratitude will enhance everything that you have going on in your life.

The relationships you have, the people you love & care about, the more gratitude you have, the more that those relationships will be enhanced.

I am Steven Shomler I encourage you to Go Live The Life You Imagine!

I can’t fathom that the life you imagine is going be one that doesn’t have gratitude as part of the journey.

Start cultivating gratitude now, trust me, you be will super happy you did.


Steven Shomler

Steven Shomler

Reflections on Gratitude by Steven Shomler




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