Happy and Grateful or Grateful and Happy

Although this post is a couple of years old, it is a message that is timeless. Or at least I think it’s timeless. And along with being timeless, the marriage of gratefulness and happiness and how the two concepts interact or should interact is perhaps something we should all take a close at.

I wish I had taken the opportunity to snap a picture of the following quote on the sign that ultimately inspired this post.


Ironically, the sign was on the property of a large car dealership on the busiest road in the City that I work in.

Not only is it a place that sells cars and trucks, but apparently they are also delving into life inspiration and inspirational quotes to brighten our day.

Regardless of the car dealership’s motivation for having the quote at the edge of the road, the quote and the words within it, should if nothing else cause us to pause and think about the meaning behind them.

The question is, “are happy people grateful, or are grateful people happy?”

Here in Canada, we’ve passed through the “Thanksgiving Holiday” and are now pressing wildly along and riding the gut-busting roller-coaster of the Christmas season. To our friends south of us, they are in the midst of their Thanksgiving celebrations, which thus heralds the start of the holiday season south of the border.

So, what a perfect time of the year to take a short look at “are happy people grateful or are grateful people happy?”

Often at Thanksgiving dinner or certainly at some point during that time, people sit back and either ponder to themselves or say out loud “what they’re thankful for.” We go through and express gratitude for things like “what we have or been given” or “thankful for the people in our life.”

Thanksgiving and all it entails go hand in hand with expressing gratitude. Just try it for once!


Now, on a bit of a send note for a minute or two( and not trying to make it more complicated than it already is), “gratitude” gets its meaning from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness.

If we think about it for a second, doesn’t gratitude wrap itself around all three of these meanings?

Gratitude is being thankful for what we get or receive in our lives. When we express gratitude, by default, we are acknowledging the source of whatever we received. The source of goodness or whatever it is we received, often is found outside of ourselves.


Therefore, expressing gratitude helps us to connect to something bigger than ourselves as individuals. It could be other people, a higher spiritual power, or perhaps nature.

In a nutshell, expressing gratitude moves us along to feel and have more positive emotions; to be thankful for the good experiences in life. Gratitude or expressing it helps to improve our health; deal with rough stretches when they occur and help to build strong relationships.

All of that sounds like someone who is hap, hap, happy.

Conclusion – gratitude is associated with happiness

Okay then.

Have you ever come across someone who was truly happy, yet felt ungrateful for the blessings or the good fortune in their life?

Likely not.

It is akin to “I’ll be happy when…….?”

Unfortunately, in many respects, we live in a society where the “I’ll be happy when attitude prevails. The “when” in that statement makes that whole approach to happiness – exceedingly elusive. “When” is “when?” When or how do we know when we’re there; when we’re happy? If we don’t know or have any concept of what or where “when is”, how do we know if or when we’ve arrived there?

That philosophy puts us in a place where we could never be happy, peaceful, or fulfilled in the present. we’d always be chasing something we can never catch.

It is grateful people who are happy.

gratitude 1

It’s as simple as that.


—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

4 thoughts on “Happy and Grateful or Grateful and Happy

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