Gratitude is an attitude of happiness. It will enable you to experience the best things in your life.

Gratitude is one of the basic things we need to order to experience happiness. It is the trailblazer to happiness. Do you want to be happy? Start by being grateful. If you are grateful, then you will not be unhappy.

Unless you are grateful for what you have, you really can't enjoy it. By being grateful, you actually are able to enjoy those common things you take for granted. Benjamin Franklin wisely stated, "To the discontented man no chair is easy."

Unless you appreciate something, you do not really enjoy it or even make the best use of it. Being thankful puts you in a better relationship with existence.

How do you access that attitude of gratitude? You can do it by finding something to be grateful for. It could be anything -- a loved one, something about your health (such as the fact that you can see,) or anything else that comes to mind. Think about how fortunate you are to have all these positive things in your life. You can also be grateful for many negative things you do not have, including a life of poverty, a serious illness or many other unfortunate life events. You will automatically start to feel better than you did before you thought about how fortunate you actually are. This positive change of attitude is the result of your gratitude.

Gratitude is your calculator, and you become your own accountant. When you count on gratitude, your happiness lies in the balance. Gratitude allows you to take stock of what you do have. You can now see how things have moved out of the minus column and into the plus column. You feel wealthier when you can account for what you have, instead of always thinking about what you don't have. Being grateful adds value to your life, as you become aware and take inventory of what you do have.

When I need something or would like something in my life, I respond with gratitude and act as though I already have it. Gratitude acts like a magnet in attracting those things to me. It's not always your job to make things happen. You can just let things happen.

I don't have expectations, just a preference for what I'd like to have. I ask for it, without expecting it, and act with faith that I have it or will have it shortly. If it does not happen, I change something or learn to be patient. If it still does not happen, perhaps it was not meant to be right now. I might realize that I may be better off without it.

If you are looking for happiness, gratitude may be a good place to start. If you bring happiness to others, you will also find it. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "You cannot pour happiness on others without getting a few drops on yourself." If you are already happy to begin with, great! Share it with others and it will intensify within you.

As Marcus Cicero said, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others."

If you want happiness, give happiness to someone else, and you will have it. I trust you to elevate yourself to a higher altitude and attitude, and profit from gratitude.

Lionel Ketchian is the founder of the Happiness Club, a Happiness Coach, and can be reached at PrintLRK@aol.com. The website is www.HappinessClub.com