It’s one of those words that we hear bandied around a bit these days. “Be grateful,” “show gratitude” – and we do….kind of….while secretly gritting our teeth in resentment.
After-all, what’s there to be grateful about when you are struggling to pay bills, your spouse has had a mid-life flip out and run off with a blonde 20 year old bimbo, your wrinkles are multiplying like rabbits and your cats have become your closest confidants as you rattle around in your empty nest……..you get the idea.
Yep……gratitude. Bah humbug.
If you know me however, you KNOW that I am not going to let it rest there girl. If you are in that bleak place where the thought of mustering up even the tiniest bit of gratitude makes you want to puke, then the best thing that you can do is – ironically – to cultivate an attitude of being grateful.
I know, I know…you don’t FEEL like being grateful when quite frankly, life sucks. However, without a change that starts inside you honey, NOTHING is going to change around you.
I train people in the middle of South Auckland -one of New Zealand’s poorest socio – economic areas – and I have met so many wonderful and happy folks who face daily challenges in their finances, families and health – yet who have such wonderful demeanors of gratitude for all of the blessings that they DO have.
These people bring life to those around them, as opposed to sucking the life from those around them. I’m sure you can think of examples of people in both of these camps and the difference is NEVER in what they do or do not own, but is ALWAYS in their attitude. Those who have a grateful heart bring light to others. Those who are consumed with their own stresses and pain cannot see beyond themselves to bring anything to anyone else.
I know which camp I want to fall into, and I KNOW that deep down, even if you are battling crap in your life, (which, let’s face it – most of us are) you also want to be someone who brings life and light to others.
Am I right?
So how do you begin to cultivate gratitude in your life?? It’s like kicking off any other habit – you simply begin, then you do it again, and again and again – REGARDLESS of how you are feeling.
In my case, I began journalling a few months ago. I wanted to really become intentional about cultivating gratitude, as well as determining where I wanted to head in my life and business. I have found this method invaluable for shifting my mindset and even launched out and purchased a beautiful new Daily Greatness Journal once I filled up my old exercise book. (You can find these journals here .)
Having to discipline myself to sit and journal was not easy as I’m the type who would much rather get up and get moving rather than sit and do internal “work,” however the longer I have made myself do the action, the longer I have noticed my own attitude to life has changed. Instead of worrying about my finances, I am now grateful for what I do have as well as positive for the increase that I know will come as I keep doing the work. Instead of worrying about my adult children’s futures – I am instead grateful for the people that they are and confident that they have what is needed to make the right choices for their lives.
Gratitude can change your heart, your outlook and how you relate to others – but it is something that you need to CHOOSE to cultivate in your life, so to kick you off, I’m going to ask you now – can you write down 10 things that you are grateful for?
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
― A.A. Milne,