Sunday, April 22, 2012

Zero-Based Gratitude

Perhaps you have heard of zero-based budgeting as a technique for governments, businesses, and occasionally individuals. Zero-based budgeting is in contrast to traditional incremental budgeting. In incremental budgeting, one starts with the budget for the last year, or other period, and prepares a budget for the next period based on the budget for the last period - incorporating whatever increases, or very occasionally decreases, are deemed appropriate.

Zero-based budgeting begins with a base-line of no expenditures, rather than the base-line of last year's expenditures. Each and every proposed expense must be justified on its own merits rather that falling back on the argument that it was in the last year's budget, and that everybody expects and demands it.

Most people's gratitude is incremental gratitude. If they receive a raise, a bigger house, a third car, a new love interest, or a healthy new baby, they are grateful. If they lose their job, are forced to downsize, have a tiff with their spouse, or have an illness in the family, they are disappointed and angry. Why disappointed and angry? Because they have not been blessed with as much today as they were yesterday.

Suppose our gratitude could be zero-based gratitude. With zero-based gratitude, we would be grateful for everything we had each day - regardless of whether it was more or less than yesterday. With zero-based gratitude, I can be grateful for a warm comfortable one-bedroom apartment, even if I had a four bedroom house yesterday. I can be grateful for being able to walk, even if I could run yesterday. I can be grateful for all the people, the love, the food, the shelter, the services, the health, that I am blessed with today, regardless of what I had yesterday. With zero-based gratitude, I can be grateful each day for the gift of life itself.

Consider adopting the ongoing practice of zero-based gratitude.

Jonathon Huie


Mary Christine said...

That must have been written in the 90s when "zero based budgeting" was considered radical. After years of suffering pay cuts and lay offs due to it, it doesn't sound so good to me.

Zero based gratitude however, is a great practice. AA taught me that.

Syd said...

I do my best to be grateful for something no matter what. It is a struggle some days.