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February 22nd, 2016

Four Levels of Gratitude

By Ron Nakamoto

If there is one life change that has, in our experience, been proven to increase happiness, fulfillment, and meaning in life, it’s to increase the level of Gratitude we experience and express daily. How might we increase the level of Gratitude in our lives? Lee Brower, the founder of Empowered Wealth, has developed a four-level model of Gratitude that’s a helpful guide.

The lowest level in this model is “Ingratitude”; not having gratitude, feeling entitled, self-absorbed, unhappy, stressed. We all experience this state from time to time but awareness of when we experience ingratitude can actually be the first step towards becoming more grateful.

The next level is “Social”; that is, showing respect for others by saying “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome” whenever it’s appropriate. It’s having a genuine sense that we live in an interdependent world and that others contribute to our lives in many ways. Genuine respect is the key to this level of gratitude; it’s the basis for a civil society.

“Appreciative” is the next level of Gratitude. This is what most people think of when they think of gratitude. It’s showing appreciation for the blessings we have, no matter if they are big or small. Often it’s about nature or our good fortune or our friends and family.

The highest level of Gratitude has to do with generosity; giving unconditionally without expecting anything in return. Lee Brower calls this Empowered Gratitude. The more time and attention we devote to Social and Appreciative Gratitude, the more we set the conditions under which Empowered Gratitude can occur; the more we can contribute to the well-being of others and the more we can express our True Wealth through Contribution.

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