Use the Power of Threes to Refresh Your Gratitude Practice

An easy way to discover lots of overlooked blessings to be grateful for

Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.
5 min readSep 29, 2021
man, arms wide open at sunrise, expressing gratitude for all he has
Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash

One of the joys of waking up is getting to do my gratitude practice. I do it most days before I even get out of bed, although sometimes I wait until I’m seated at my computer desk. I think of the things I’m grateful for at that moment: my warm soft bed, air conditioning (or heating in the winter), my apartment, my friends, my neighborhood, my writing career.

Lately, I’ve found my morning gratitude practice getting a bit stale. Reciting the same list over and over started to feel like I was merely going through the motions. Gratitude became one more chore I had to get done in the mornings. It was kind of like, “(sigh) I don't really feel like doing gratitude, going to the gym, and cooking breakfast, but I guess I have to.”

You never want to approach gratitude from that kind of place, and here’s why: You attract what you are. If you’re genuinely grateful when you do your practice, you’ll attract an even greater abundance of things to be thankful for. If you treat it as a task you have to get done, you’ll attract more tasks — more chores. Who wants more chores?

Today I’ll share with you how I freshened up my gratitude practice. It made me realize I had been overlooking many, many things to be grateful for.

The power of threes

One morning, recently, I found myself lying in bed, reciting the same list, going through the motions. “I’ve got to make gratitude fun again!” I thought to myself.

I decided that for each item in my regular list of things to be thankful for, I would come up with three more related items for which I am also thankful.

For example, I’m thankful for air conditioning. That made me realize I’m also grateful for

  • The electricity that powers my air conditioning unit
  • The fact that I live indoors, sheltered from the elements, where I can enjoy air conditioning
  • A warm blanket to snuggle under when I blast the cold A/C at night



Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.

I write about writing, ideas, creativity, intuition, spirituality, life lessons. Ex-college teacher Twitter: @paulryburn