Most of us are in the habit of saying thank you when someone does something for us, but we don’t always stop and express thanks for other things, such as a lovely sunset, or the laugh of a baby. I do. Or at least, now I do.
I recently read the book Thank and Grow Rich by Pam Grout, in which she discusses the importance of gratitude. We tend to look at all sorts of things in life that we want, but we rarely stop and give thanks for what we have. As Pam asks, why should we bother accumulating more things if we are not already thankful for what we have?
The book (which I can’t recommend highly enough) asks us to try living in conscious gratitude for everything that surrounds us. There is an exercise that requires us to list three things each day (always different) for a month that we are grateful for. I started this exercise with the usual list of things:
- my family
- my health
- my job (even if I didn’t really like it, it paid the bills)
As days went on, I expected it to become more difficult, but in actuality, it became easier. I started seeing all kinds of new things to be grateful for. Everywhere I looked, there was something miraculous. A sunset or sunrise that I may not have noticed a week before was suddenly an eye-opening experience, reminding me that there is tremendous beauty in the world if we would only take a moment to acknowledge it.
As I became more and more grateful for everything around me, the brighter my outlook on life became. When I had a run of three or four days where things were not so good, I actually started listing 5 items per day that I was grateful for. It wasn’t long before everything worked itself out.
By the end of my month of conscious gratitude, my whole mindset had changed. I had become more positive, felt more at peace and was more convinced than ever that everything in my life was guiding me to something great. Even when I lost my job a short time later, I was hardly phased. I knew it would be fine and it was, because that allowed me to devote myself more to my writing and working on my website, both of which have provided me with a great deal of joy.
It is incredibly easy to fall prey to negativity, which will suck the life out of you and I don’t want to see that happen to anyone. We are made to be happy. A simple thing like expressing gratitude for all the good in your life can make a tremendous difference in your work and home lives. Try it. You’ll be glad you did.
Thank you for reading. 🙂