By Lucian Cade

If you’re like me, you spent most of your childhood being called an ungrateful little brat for some reason or another.

The problem is, as a kid you never quite understood it. When Mom or Dad said that you needed to finish your pea soup because kids in Africa were starving, all you could think about was how it was pea soup—and there was no way you’d suffer through such a horrible ordeal.

Once we grow up, we usually begin to understand that there are a lot of things to be grateful for. At least on a grand scale, most of us realize at some point or another that our parents were right, as usual. So, once in a while, we may give thanks for the big, unexpected successes that come our way. But as usual for high achievers, in order to become one of them you have to take this gratefulness a step further.

A saying I recently heard that will stick with me for a very long time is that “the enlightened give thanks for that which others take for granted.” As with most truths, it is very simple and yet very profound. I have never met or even heard of a person who has experienced overwhelming, or even moderate, success in his or her life who hasn’t dedicated some time each day to giving thanks for what he/she already has—and make no mistake, we all have plenty to be grateful for already.

Gratitude is key to achieving any level of success or fulfillment simply because, even if you achieve success, you won’t enjoy it in the least if you’re not used to being grateful for what you have.

This is why I call it the “Breakfast of Champions,” and hopefully Wheaties won’t sue me. But gratitude trumps whole-grain flakes any day in my book. I’ve mentioned it many times in other articles, but if you haven’t already done so, you need to get into the habit of giving thanks each and every day.

Find a way to do it; there are plenty of ways. Some people use journals, some put a reminder on their dashboard, and some use Lee Brower’s idea and keep a gratitude rock in their pocket. Every time they touch the rock, they remember to be grateful for what they have.

Regardless of how it affects your success, I strongly believe being grateful every day is crucial to even your basic happiness. As I said before, you can accumulate any amount of success or wealth you want, but without gratitude it will feel empty; you’ll always seek more and never appreciate what you have until you lose it all and have to start from scratch. 

The simple fact is, though, that gratitude does affect your success in a wonderful way. Because of the now very famous Law of Attraction we’ve all heard about, we understand that being grateful puts you in a state of mind that attracts more into your life for you to be grateful for. The opposite—basically being that spoiled brat my parents always used to call me—is detrimental to your success. 

Lacking gratitude is like a roadblock that keeps all the good you’re trying to attract from coming into your life. If you’re not grateful, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot!

Make sure to take time each day to be grateful for your lot in life. Be it your family, your friends, heating and air-conditioning, an apartment to live in or even just the fact that you’re alive, there is always something to be grateful for. And as you take a moment each day and give thanks, you’ll make more room for good to flow into your life.

After a while, you’ll realize that being grateful isn’t an exercise anymore, but a lifestyle you’ve chosen that is guaranteed to leave you fulfilled and happy—the loftiest of all goals.

Lucian Cade is an entrepreneur and cofounder of  Visionskape LLC, with his brother and business partner, Tristan Cade. When he is not pursuing athletic or academic endeavors, he spends all of his time studying and seeking a deeper understanding of how the law of attraction, and its brother and sister laws of the universe, pertains to self-improvement and human potential.

You’ve just learned how being grateful is crucial not only to your success, but to your basic happiness. Find the resources you need to manifest the life of your dreams in record time by picking up a free copy of Wallace D. Wattles’ classic, The Science of Getting Rich.