Is There a Difference Between Gratitude and Appreciation?

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Why do we have so many words in the English language? We’ve swiped/adapted many of the thousands of words that make up what we call “English” from other languages.


Trivia question: what percent of the English language comes from French? Answer: 45%. That’s amazing, isn’t it?


We love variety in our lives. And one of the ways we express that desire for diversification is in our everyday use of language.


One of the reasons I cringe when I hear the overuse of “four letter words” is that it’s such a lazy way of speaking. You need only a miniscule vocabulary to use the F-bomb as a verb, adjective, adverb and noun in every sentence. We English-speakers have an incredibly rich language open to us to explore and use. So let’s use it!


We use different words to mean similar things, but think about the words “pretty” and “beautiful” – both mean someone or something is attractive or pleasing to the eye. But they are different degrees of what we are trying to express, and usually beautiful is used for something of a higher degree.


It’s always subjective, of course, as is any expression of our thoughts via the clumsy use of language to define the indefinable and try to share what we experience in a way that others can get a picture of it in their own mind.


Back to Gratitude and Appreciation – are they completely the same? Think about it for a moment. All of us have our own reaction internally to different words, depending on how they were used in our family growing up, or in school and among friends and people who influenced our thinking.


Every word in our language is actually a vibrational use of speech that sets up a reaction in the person or persons who are hearing or reading that word and the complex construction of paragraphs, essays and books. Effective speakers and writers use language to paint pictures for their audience, but there is no way to resonate the same with every single person, because of our individuality and our own experiences with certain words.


If you have the practice of writing a daily Gratitude List, which is something I often recommend to my readers and in my coaching courses, you know that being grateful for something is also a way of saying that you appreciate having it in your life.


When we take gratitude further, we can generate the feeling in the present for what we want to magnetize to us from out of the “unseen” picture of it in our mind and into the physical so we can experience that new job or relationship or vacation.


But for many of us, if you grew up being scolded that you neglected to thank someone for a gift you hate, and being forced to say you are grateful for it, then the word “gratitude” can set up an invisible sense of dismay and anger inside. Perhaps even a big resentment! That energy will negate the good that you are trying to create with your Gratitude List.


If you sometimes have that feeling of resentment at the idea of “having to” be grateful when there are so many things going on in your life that you feel upset or unhappy about, try this…


Switch to the word “appreciate.” Here’s why:


When we shift into a word that resonates more happily with us, we can use it like a stepstool to reach that higher vibration where our results are waiting for us to catch up. Think about it a moment. In saying “I am grateful for…” we may unintentionally set up an image of someone else giving us something as if we are a lower sort of being, gifted with it and having to say thanks.


But when we say “I appreciate…” we may feel more empowered. We can look around us and say very easily, with no resistance, “I appreciate how pretty that flower is… I appreciate that I have clothes to wear and food to eat…”


And in that state of appreciation, we are feeling less resistance and doubt about deserving all the things on our vision or wish list…and we allow those wonderful outcomes to come to us.


Play around with the words you use to build your consistently higher vibration of happiness. You may discover that simply plucking a different word out of the vast dictionary of the English language will be the simple key to manifesting your desires.


When we turn our attention toward finding things and situations to “appreciate” in our lives, it uplifts us – we not only feel better about ourselves and our day, but we begin automatically attracting into our experience even more things to appreciate!


As Wayne Dyer put it: “What we appreciate appreciates.”


When money appreciates, it gains interest.


When we appreciate life, those things we are happy about multiply.


Start now…

I appreciate that no matter how my day is going, I can start over by changing my attitude to a more positive and hopeful outlook.

I appreciate that I always have second chances in any situation.

I appreciate that I am here at this time in history for a purpose.

I appreciate that I can help others smile.


Smile, and appreciate your ability to do so!


When we learn to reverse some of our old thinking habits that we learned in childhood from others who were taught the old way of reacting to live instead of creating what we want, then we truly have the power of manifesting our desires.


We manifest all the time—whatever goes on in our lives is something we vibrationally had a part of, no matter how awful it appears. Does that feel discouraging or too preposterous to believe?


What it means, though, is that we are already very high level manifestors!


You don’t have to “learn” how to create things on this planet. You’re already doing it all day long—but when we do it without realizing we are even doing it, then we’re acting in a haphazard way.


Try appreciating everyone around you. Today, find something to like about each person you encounter. Begin each day feeling more appreciative, and yes, grateful, for the incredible opportunities to create more joy in the world, and to be a part of progress for humanity.


with love,



Signs Your Manifestation Is on the Way

Have you been studying how to manifest all that you want? Perhaps you have something specific in mind, such as a new car, and you’ve been using the law of attraction processes of imaging that you already have it, holding the feeling of owning and enjoying that car you want, and cultivating an expectation and belief that since you can see it in your mind’s eye, that means it is real in the metaphysical plane and soon will be real in the physical plane.


However, given the fact that everyone I’ve ever met grew up with the advice that “seeing is believing,” it can be a challenge to hold your faith in the new car steady and strong enough for it to actually manifest.


Most of us wish for some kind of sign that it’s on the way, some hint that we’re not doing all this visualizing and affirming to no avail. We’ve been taught to be logical and rational, but the reasoning mind is our enemy when we are in manifestation mode. It looks all around and grumbles, “You’re an idiot falling for that law of attraction stuff—where’s the car?!”


What if you could learn to detect the signs that your manifestation actually is on the way? That would be a big help, wouldn’t it? It would give encouragement, and help you keep going with the process. The worst enemy to our manifestations is doubt, and the fear that somehow this is never going to work, not for us, not in this lifetime.


So let’s look at the signs:


  1. First sign is that you will feel happier! This is a wonderful sign because it shows you are vibrating at a higher level. We have to elevate our frequency to get what we want; otherwise, we continue getting the junk that matched our old, lower energy frequency.


  1. You’ll start seeing that new car, in the color you want, seemingly around every corner as you go about your day. Your connection with that car is now in growing harmony, so that source within you is manipulating your turns and the other driver’s turns, and the events of your day so that you will be in the right place at the exact right moment to see that beloved car. Use these sightings to bolster your visualizations and expectancy. Some people take the opposite tack, and seeing others driving “their” new car evokes feelings of anger and frustration—which, of course, makes their energy vibration take a nose dive off the frequency where the manifestation was humming along.


  1. Another car will be offered to you, or come into your experience, such as a friend asking if he can park his car in your garage while he’s on a business trip. At first, this might seem like a slap in the face and a rejection of your manifestation wish, but it is a sign that you are bringing a car into your life. It’s on the way. This other car arriving at your house is a sign of the change in progress.


Too often, we misread those signs because we were never taught how the process works. What if a friend called and said you could have their old car for five hundred dollars and it’s better than the one you’ve been driving. You might mistake that offer as being a sign you’ll never get that new car, and that you might as well take your friend up on the used car deal.


Metaphysical author and teacher Florence Scovel Shinn tells the story in one of her books about a woman who was trying to manifest a new set of china dishes, and was given a broken plate, which she thought was the answer to her manifesting processes. Shinn explained that it was simply a sign the dishes were on the way, and to bless that broken plate and be grateful for it, to keep the energy frequency high in the final stages of manifestation. Her client followed the advice and soon thereafter was gifted with a beautiful set of china.


When you seek too hard for signs, it can evoke a sense of discouragement. Far better to enjoy the process, enjoy the new feeling of happiness and lightness of being, and simply allow your new car (or dishes or soulmate) to show up in the perfect way and at the perfect time.


Restoring Tibet Book Is #1 on Amazon

Restoring Tibet book cover

I am very grateful for the reception my book Restoring Tibet: Global Action Plan to Send the Dalai Lama Home is enjoying. It is #1 in the category of “Peace” and as of this writing it is #11 in the category of “Meditation.”

The reason I wrote this book is to help create a global shift in our positivity via meditating. You probably already know about the power of your thoughts–there are many books and seminars on this topic, and the movie The Secret explained the basics of using the Law of Attraction to get what we desire in life instead of the opposite. However, you may not be aware that when we join together, we amplify the power of our thughts and we can create miracles. The demonstration proposed in this action plan is to envision the Dalai Lama at home again in Free Tibet, to hold that truth in our minds, to see it as real and true. In this fashion, we can achieve magnificent outcomes.

Here is an excerpt from the book:


“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask.

Everything you want also wants you.

But you have to take action to get it.”

―Jack Canfield


 By combining our magnetic power of manifestation, we will bring forth, from out of the field of infinite possibilities, the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet.

We will collectively create the biggest positive demonstration in history. (Up until now the biggest demonstrations have been World War One and World War Two.)

We will join globally in the vibrational energy of focused “collective consciousness” meditations and online events (including grassroots get-togethers around the world) to celebrate in advance the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet.

Quotes from the Dalai Lama on 10 Topics

Sometimes we read a quotation in an image on Facebook or in a tweet that is being shared, and we glance at it, smile or nod, and pass it along without really taking time to absorb the meaning or see where we might apply it in our habitual actions.


However, when we pause and reflect on a quote that catches our attention, we allow ourselves to learn from its simple wisdom. This is how we grow, how we start making choices that are better, how we slowly but surely create better results in our lives and impact others around us in a positive way.


Here are 10 quotations from the Dalai Lama on various topics:


ANGER & HATRED “Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.”


ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL “The creatures that inhabit this earth—be they human beings or animals—are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.”


ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION “Instead of wondering WHY this is happening to you, consider why this is happening to YOU.”


COMPASSION “You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.” 


ENEMIES “I defeat my enemies when I make them my friends.”


KNOWLEDGE “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”


LOOK TO EACH DAY “Let us try to recognize the precious nature of each day.”


SUCCESS “Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.” 


VIOLENCE “Through violence, you may ‘solve’ one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.”


WORRY “If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.”



Why Is Obedience Important to Success?

At first glance, many of us cringe at the word “obey” or “obedience” because it brings up instant memories of being ordered to do something we didn’t want to do, at threat of punishment or a failing grade, or a treat withheld.  However, a deeper understanding of obedience puts us into the scientific framework of quantum physics, where we can delve into the truth that we must be obedient to the universal laws or we cannot possibly get the results we want.


For instance, we know that we must be obedient to the Law of Gravity. Just because your hands are full of packages doesn’t mean you get to put one of them mid-air and expect it to stay there while you grope in a pocket for your keys. We know that, because physical experiences taught us about gravity starting about age 18 months (if you’ve ever seen a child playing the game “dropsy” where they toss food or a cup or toy over the high chair edge and watch gleefully as it drops to the ground, you’ll realize the child was learning basic compliance with gravity.)


When we want to succeed with a project, whether it is something tangible such as getting a new home or car, or something that’s a circumstance such as attracting a soulmate or money freedom, we also need to be in full compliance with the universal laws or we’ll be sabotaging our results.


In his book called Working with the Law, Raymond Holliwell explains about obedience to the laws of the mind:


The word “obey” means to submit to rule or to comply with orders or instructions. Obedience, then, is the governor of all movement whether it be mechanical, literal, or spiritual. A  giant machine without its governor would tear itself apart, would be utterly destroyed because it  failed to  obey its own laws  of momentum or gravity.


An intellectual giant who fails to comply with the laws of learning will become as an idiot. A student failing to comply with or to obey the instructions of spirit, the Law of God, will reverse that good and create evil. We are dependent entirely on obedience for our success or failure in this life.


Our societies, cities, states and nation are supported by it. Our properties and lives are dependent upon it. Because of our respect for obedience, we, as a whole, support it. But woe  unto the man who tries to break through to pillage, to plunder for selfish gain.


As we look into the home we see the mother training her child into habits of discipline. Tomorrow we see a  happy mother because her child has grown into youth and manhood and has earned success. A success because, back in the beginning of his life, the seed of obedience was placed there which brought forth respect, obedience, and unselfish thought.


On the other hand, we may see where others fail because they have been allowed to grow up being disobedient, disrespectful, and selfish.

Our Capacity for Denial Is Huge

Why do we seem to have an endless ability to fool ourselves with lies? Because we have practiced denial for so long. That is the only reason. It’s not because there is something inherently wrong with us. It’s just that we were never taught how things get stronger. Our thought habits grow more entrenched and seemingly “normal” with practice. In fact, anything we put our attention on, and energy into, will grow whether it is something wanted or not wanted.


This morning, returning from a walk in Central Park with my Golden retriever Sugar Bear, I saw a middle-aged man ambling down the sidewalk ahead of me, smoking a cigarette to the very dregs of tobacco. He tossed the lit stub into the street and began coughing, then he swilled from his coffee cup as if to stop the cough, and went into his apartment building.


Let’s imagine this conversation:


Doctor:  Sir, smoking is causing your cough.

Man: No it’s not. I must’ve picked up that cold that’s going around.

Doctor: Smoking causes cancer. You really should quit cigarettes.

Man: No worries. I’ll quit before I’m at risk.


Future scholars will marvel at our capacity for denial, as evidenced by the remnants they’ll study of our lifestyle. Pollution caused by man. Deliberate ingestion of over-processed foods and inhumanely “farmed” animals (by the way, animals don’t grow from seeds like corn and wheat do, they are sentient mammals, fish and fowl. Pet owners would never do to their beloved dogs and cats and hamsters and koi and parrots what goes on behind the scenes in the food industry.)


What are you denying in your own life? A bad relationship you put up with, out of fear that you’ll never find something better? A job you hate but stick with for the same reason?


There’s always something that we mentally push away as if it will go away if we put off dealing with it. Instead, the very pushing makes it stronger, and it begins to eat away at us inside, like a cancer.

Make a list of the incompletions, the things you know are important to take care of that you keep shuffling to the side. The more we can take care of those things, the freer we feel inside. And with that freedom comes a more enlightened and joyful way of living.



How Do You Make Fear Go Away?

When we look at emotions, at first it can seem like there are so many different ones: happiness, love, compassion, annoyance, hate, despair, confusion, bliss, and so many more in a wide range of changeable feelings.  However, if we simplify matters, we can set up two umbrellas, one for “Love” and one for “Fear,” and then place all emotions under the appropriate umbrella.  If it’s an emotion that feels good to us when we experience it, then we can put it under the category of “Love.” Most of us were taught that “hate” is the opposite of love, and yet it is more accurate to say that “Fear” is the overall umbrella for what we term the negative emotions.  Hatred is an outcropping of fear.


But what can we do about it when we feel in the clutch of fearful emotions? Whether we call it a panic attack, “GAD” (General Anxiety Disorder), disgust, contempt, or nervousness, it comes about when our thoughts have instantaneously judged a situation and sounded an alarm: danger! Get ready to run!


You’ve heard of the “fight or flight” syndrome that pops up with fear—it’s our incredible bodies preparing us with a rush of hormones and energy to defend ourselves or to flee. Nowadays, it’s rare that we are being chased by a sabre-toothed tiger, but our bodies can’t tell the difference between the perceived threat of poverty as you open a credit card bill, or the actual threat of physical danger. Indeed our emotions are tied completely to our thoughts, but the emotion happens so swiftly we don’t often take time to get curious about why we are feeling the way we are in any given moment. It seems to be so random, so out of our control.


But what if you could do something to ease your fears? To make your fears go away? Here is a wonderful affirmation to help you do just that. This comes from Thomas Troward who was a famous philosopher and metaphysical author/teacher early in the last century.


“I am breathing in the life, love and power of the universe right now! I and my father of love are ONE. I am protected and supplied with all the love and power life has to give.”


Repeat that affirmative statement slowly to yourself, again and again until you feel calmer. You will discover that your fear has disappeared. And in that calmer state of being, you will be more capable of making decisions and choices about your life instead of reacting in haste that could lead to worse problems.

Did You Install a Virus in Your Thinking Program?

The fact that you’re reading an online blog gives me at least a little bit of information about you: you know how to use a computer, however rudimentary your skills or confidence level might be.  And since you use a computer, you’ve probably had windows and messages pop up now and then informing you that a certain software on your computer needs to be updated. We get used to these messages, and most of the time we simply accept the update, allow the installation to go on in the background while we keep working. Sometimes another message will pop up to let you know the update was successful. With some software programs, we’re asked to restart the computer to finalize the change.


That’s all routine, and most of us take these updates in stride because we already have the programs on our computer and we want to keep them working smoothly. What about when you want a new program, and you discover a free download online? What about the freeware that might tag along with that new download, and you don’t even realize you’ve got some pesky program running on your computer now that you don’t want and can’t figure out how to get rid of? Sometimes you might have to go online for instructions for uninstalling, or even get tech support if it’s a malicious download.


If you’ve been reading my blog or my books over the past years, I’m sure you realize I’ve set you up for an analogy.


What about all the times we are humming along, minding our own business, and get caught up in a conversation with friends or colleagues or neighbors and someone talks very strongly about how things should be done. Maybe they are vehement that this is a bad economy and your best bet is to watch your money, and be very careful not to risk any investments or even think of taking a vacation. Along with the conversation – a program that you thought was about socializing—here comes a virus: the unwanted advice to be scared, to worry, to be fearful.


If you don’t pay attention to how you feel as you go through life (and most of us were trained to totally ignore our feelings and look to outside conditions to decide if we’re happy or not), you won’t notice that you picked up a virus in your thinking. You’ll just find yourself nodding along, and agreeing that it’s a big worry of yours, too. And with that nodding, you inadvertently invite in even more virus programs to clutter your thinking and get things all balled up in your mind.


The solution: a virus cleanup program for your thoughts. Start by paying attention to the quality of thoughts you allow to flourish. If you focus on thoughts that evoke unhappy or scary feelings, those feelings end up leading you to make certain choices in life. Back to the virus about being scared you can’t make money, what if you decide to release that idea? How would it feel to be more in charge or your own thoughts and thus your life? The study of the laws of the mind leads us to make better decisions. And one of the first decisions is to choose who you hang out with. If you want to keep feeling fearful and worried about money, success and everything else important to you, then hang out with the complainers and worriers, and they’ll be happy to spread more viruses in your direction.


But if you’d like to experience joy and love and expansion and learn to attract prosperity into your life, there are plenty of people like me teaching you just how to do that.



Perhaps you saw the film “Invictus” starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, captain of South Africa’s national rugby team, who was entrusted with an idea Mandela had to help unite the bitterly divided country following the end of apartheid in 1994.


Invictus is the Latin word for “unconquerable.” The poem of that title, which is an integral part of the film mentioned above, was written by William Ernest Henley at age 26 while he was recovering from a leg amputation due to complications from childhood tuberculosis. Knowing that true story, we can step into Henley’s thoughts and imagine that he wrote this poem as a commitment to himself that he would not give up, no matter what came next.


As a matter of fact, it wasn’t long before his doctors announced that it was necessary to perform a life-saving operation and amputate his other leg, but by then Dr. Joseph Lister, the scientist who championed antisepsis (anti-germs in medical settings and health matters), was on the scene and was able to save the young man’s limb and life.


What in your own life is calling to you to be brave? Perhaps you are struggling with poor health, or financial challenges that just won’t seem to go away. Although it may not seem like it, we always have control over our own thoughts and attitude, and as you learn more about accessing the power of using the natural laws of the mind, you’ll discover you aren’t the victim of circumstances at all, but rather the captain of your soul.


By the time you reach the end of this poem, you’ll recognize an often-quoted excerpt, which has become part of our lexicon: I am the master of my fate/ I am the captain of my soul.



Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,   

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of Chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the horror of the shade,

And yet this menace of the years

Finds, and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how straight the gate,

How charged with punishment the scroll.

I am the master of my fate;

I am the captain of my soul.


William Ernest Henley

(written in 1875; published in 1888)


Formula for Success

Russell H. Conwell was a famous author and speaker, and the founder of Temple University. You may have read or heard of his inspirational book Acres of Diamonds about the right way to set and achieve a goal that uses your individual talents and abilities, and capitalizes on being right where you are. You can prosper in any business in any city by learning how to use your mind in the right way. He explains that it’s not true that you must leave home and travel far away to some “other place” to find your opportunities for success. Plenty of opportunities abound wherever you are, if you look for them.


In another of his classic books called What You Can Do with Your Will Power, Conwell wrote, “Every one has within himself the tools necessary to carve out success. Consecrate yourself to some definite mission in life, and let it be a mission that will benefit the world as well as yourself. Remember that nothing can withstand the sweep of a determined will–unless it happens to be another will equally as determined. Keep clean, fight hard, pick your openings judiciously, and have your eyes forever fixed on the heights toward which you are headed. If there be any other formula for success, I do not know it.”


His method can be explained in more modern terms, I believe, in this way:

  • Keep clean: Keep your habits of thought and action orderly.
  • Fight hard: Be persistent; don’t give up just because you’ve hit a stumbling block or two.
  • Pick your openings judiciously: Weigh your choices; avoid the tendency to dash off in the direction of every shiny new idea that pops up.
  • Fix your eyes on the heights toward which you are headed: Keep your goal in mind, not in a slavish way that is fear-based, but by allowing that vision of success to draw you onward, day after day.


Enjoy the journey.