Glass half full illustration gratitudist versus optimist versus pessimist
The half-full glass of water illustrates different attitudes or ways of thinking. Pessimists see the glass as half empty. Optimists sees the glass as half full. Whereas a gratitudist sees the glass and the water and is grateful for both.

How to be a Gratitudist

We recently met Dr Jade Scott at one of her online seminars where she taught us what it means to be a Gratitudist™. We were so inspired by her and her concept of being a gratitudist that we asked her to share her story. Lucky for us, she was happy to agree. To understand Jade’s dream of being a gratitudist, we ask her three questions based on our 3-step formula for turning dreams into reality: 1) Dream it! 2) Map it! 3) Play it! Below she shares her answers in a manner that will appeal to both adults and children. But, first, a little more about Dr Scott.

How Dr Jade Scott’s journey began

Dr Jade Scott
Dr Jade Scott

From a young age, Dr Jade Scott had a ‘never give up’ attitude and believed in the power of positive thinking. This mindset has helped her through some of life’s biggest challenges, including overcoming a brain tumour that was diagnosed just hours after her daughter was born — talk about bad timing! Despite overcoming big challenges, she does not see herself as the superhero of her story, nor will she play victim to life — she is simply grateful for what she has, and she is passionate about sharing what she has learned and building meaningful connections. You can read more about Dr Scott’s personal story on her website.

What defines a gratitudist?

A gratitudist is an attitude, and an attitude is like a default way of seeing the world around you. Take a glass of water as an example. We all see the exact same glass of water, but some people might be afraid there isn’t enough water. We could call people that see the world this way pessimists. They have a perpetual sense of FOMO — fear of missing out. Likewise, some people might see the glass as half full. They might think there is plenty of water for everyone. We call these people optimistic. But if, in reality, there is NOT enough water, we might call these people overly optimistic. A gratitudist is different. A gratitudist sees the glass of water for what it is, accepts it and is grateful for what they have.

1) Where did the idea of a gratitudist come from? (Dream it!)

A tiny man refilling a glass half full bucket by bucket.

For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with fantasy, fairytales and anything that glitters. Like most kids, it was fairies, unicorns and magical, far-away lands that often made me the happiest. I would spend hours writing letters, setting up tea parties and making tiny gifts for the fairies in the hope that they would come and enjoy my garden. Looking back, it was my vivid imagination that encouraged me to dream. I may have been a small girl, but I always had big dreams. I was convinced I had a message that would change the world. ‘The Gratitudist’ is the adult realization of those childhood dreams. It is the idea that we all have someone or something to be grateful for. Rather than worry about whether the glass is half empty or half full, why not accept what is and be grateful for what we have?

2) How does one become a gratitudist? (Map it!)

To become a gratitudist is easy. My 5-year-old daughter and I do it every night before bed as part of our nighttime routine. We put on our pajamas, brush our teeth, get into bed and reflect on the day. We think about everything that happened and pick two things to be grateful for: one person and one thing. For example, Last night, Lacey chose to be grateful for her Nanny, and the cupcakes she ate at lunch. Occasionally, we discover some favorites and write them down in a notebook so we can remember them. We are always surprised that no matter how hard our day is — no matter how tired, frustrated or upset we might be — we can ALWAYS come up with at least two things to be grateful for. By practicing this exercise every night, you can be a gratitudist too.

3) How might being a gratitudist change a person’s life? (Play it!)

A half-full glass with a sign that says "free refills."

A Gratitudist accepts the glass of water for what it is, and is grateful for having it. The glass of water is a metaphor that you can apply to anything in your life. For example, if it is raining, instead of wishing for sunny skies, you can be grateful that your garden is being watered. A pessimist sees a storm; an optimist hopes the weather will change; a gratitudist lifts the sails and captains the ship. “What exciting weather we are having today!” Likewise, where a pessimist hears a judgment, and an optimist hears an opinion, a gratitudist hears a constructive criticism. Remembering that you are a gratitudist can help you shift your attitude at any time.

Here are some more things a gratitudist can do:

  • When they feel scared, they are grateful their body is warning them to be safe.
  • When they feel sad, they are grateful that they care.
  • And when their friends feel scared or sad, they help them learn to be gratitudists, too.

In summary

Being grateful for a glass half full

Being a gratitudist is what triggers that warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy that makes you feel good. And, like a big warm hug, it is best experienced with others.

Please leave us a comment below, and tell us of a moment in your life when you were a gratitudist.

Illustrations of glasses half full of water as seen by different people: A Gratitudist™ is grateful for what is there compared to a physicist (half gas, half liquid), an optimist (half full), a pessimist (half empty), a realist (it's just a glass of water), utopist (the water is above the air), scepticist (it's not water), surrealist (the water is on the left-hand side of the glass), and relativist (the glass is half full and half empty).
How do you see the world? The metaphor of the glass half is used to illustrate many different attitudes, like gratitudist, pessimist, optimist, skepticist realist and more.
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