Your journey of discovery, transformation and mastery of Gratitude as a way of being already began. 

How do we know. Well, for one thing, you’ve read this far … about 2250 words!

If you have not already, it’s just a matter of time before you recognize that you have launched into the Journey.

You will have experiences of the Journey unique to you. 

However, we offer a sneak preview of the beliefs that most of us share.

Epic Journey Beckons 14

Level I Formulation 15

Level II Concentration 16

Level III Momentum 17

Level IV Integration 18

Our Theory of Change 19

Level V Mastery 20

First Principles of Life Masters 20


Also, here’s the landscape, simplified but accurate, that summarizes the classic Epic Quest.

Level I Formulation

Life just happens, irrespective of our feeble attempts to control what shows up. And, there’s no stopping Life from happening. 

As life showed up, our biological systems generated a seemingly endless and automatic stream of impressions (thoughts, feelings, attitudes, sensations, gustatory tastes and smells) and involuntary reactions (“tells”, non-verbal communications, odors, and pheromones). 

From birth, our brains learned to make sense of this stream of impressions and reactions, creating narratives about what these impressions mean and predictions about what will likely show up next.

Our brains always made sense of what happens. It did the best it could. Failing that, it generalized, distorted or deleted the material facts of Life happening. Our brains force-fitted a story that made the best sense, in that moment.

Our brain first constructed narratives about what happened and what it meant to us, about being related to the situation and others in it.

It used mental shortcuts (cognitive biases) to make sense of what just happened and, more importantly, what would happen next.

This explains why rational and mature adults sometimes react like scared or angry children. Why again? Because within our Greater Self, our persona-ego is still a young and easily scared child … until we learned otherwise.

Level II Concentration

As its most basic level, Life and what it meant arose from making choices and experiencing the consequences of those choices.

The most crucial choices resulted in our perceived level of Happiness … which we hold expresses the depth, richness and diversity of our communication and interactions with others. Everything else was just stuff.

How we make sense of our initial impressions, actual or imagined communications and deliberate or unwitting interactions with others determines what we feel and what that means about us and our relationship with others and the world at large.

Once awakened to that choice, we began to build the knowledge, power, and skills to make better choices. And, a result, we can induce more preferred consequences, such as more Joy, Happiness, Pleasure, Satisfaction, Wonder, and Gratitude.

With deliberate practice, we can replace old and suboptimal sense-making routines (habits of mind) and narratives (also known as embodied beliefs) with better ones.

That includes the answer to the ultimate question of life, 42, the ASCII code for *wildcard* (limitless possibility)

Level III Momentum

We experienced each moment of Now as a Moment of Focus. We have learned to become more thoughtful and deliberate in how we named and framed these moments of focus.

We named and framed the flow of Life as a Gift from the Universe, altering your mood and rewriting the circuitry of our brains.

When we did this in hindsight (Evening Journal of Gratitudes), we disrupted old habits of mind and begin installing new patterns.

When we remembered our day before it started (future proofing), we activated new routines, deenergizing older routines and flattening their cues.

When we chose more thoughtful and loving response to-the-red-hot-moment, we trained our mind of old habits and stories and shift into a deeper, abiding sense of appreciation and gratitude.

We used Gratitude Protocols to retrain our brains, akin to how Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, rehabilates nervous and aggressive dogs into submissive and responsive allies. Only in our case, we trained our persona-ego to become submissive, responsible and power allies.

The work entailed surrendering the isolated sense of I or me to our Greater Self and, in the process, induced the birth of an Integrated Self who today leads, feeds, and protects our persona-ego as a guide dogs for the physical world.

Level IV Integration

Up to this point, you picked and chose which aspects of Gratitude Games to play. Then made Gratitude your organizing principle for life, “I am grateful and I am in”.

When you made Gratitude the central focus of your life, it initiated you into a Guild of Masters, launching you into a noble lifelong journey of discovery, transformation, and mastery.

Your started this epic journey as an Apprentice, the person who made the decision to disregard or put aside all subsequent decisions about whether or not to master Gratitude.

That means leaping into the Abyss of Possibility. It means living the rest of your life on Ultimate Adventure…with no possibility of going back.

As an Apprentice learned the basics of Stillness. Silence. Acceptance. Generosity. Witnessing. Thoughtfulness. You found tools, protocols and peer coaches here at Gratitude Games and elsewhere.

Then you became a journeyperson. You made mastering Gratitude as a Second Language. For a while you seemed to make a small advance every day. Then sometimes it felt that you had hit a plateau and remained mired there for weeks or months. 

Instead of chasing after “it”, Life brought it to you. It seemed that everything and everyone showed up to teach, mentor, or coach you. You entered into the guild with masters who have dedicated themselves to your growth and mastery. Some of these circles of light are light-hearted, playful and easy. Others, not so much.

Then, like a ton of bricks, it hit you hard, “I am Gratitude. I am not longer just a recipient. I am a beacon and co-generator of Gratitude.” You crossed the final chasm. As the poet T. S. Elliot wrote, “And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”