Nurturing an Attitude of Gratitude
We are the Fortunate Ones.
Although we live in a country where the majority of people are what I would call privileged, an attitude of gratitude is not always forthcoming. Logically you would think that having so much would help us be thankful, but instead many are frustrated, stressed and discouraged. Sadly too many of us feel entitled.
I was recently invited to provide a little inspiration and positivity into a team of front line union staff. Although many wanted to spend a half a day with me, nurturing a more productive perspective, others were only willing to participate if they were paid overtime to attend. One even left the workshop an hour early to make a point about not being paid time and a half.
Perhaps it is time we started recognizing the extraordinary abundance we have in our lives and stop fixating on the negatives. With so many who would have clamored for the opportunity to re-energize, it is sad that others felt the need to remain disgruntled and discouraged.
Certainly there are lots of scenarios that can leave us disillusioned, but I believe we spend too much time dwelling on those. From taxes to politics, I can probably drum up a lot of reasons to protest. However, if I am going to spin my wheels, I prefer to spin them on more health infusing activities – like wine, friends and music…and spending just a bit of time focusing on what is going well in my life.
Many people have a negative internal voice that constantly eats away at them. This negative internal dialogue often dwells on the bad things in life and is quick with a put-down or some other nasty comment. Consequently, it’s difficult for people to move ahead if they don’t first conquer their negative internal voice.
This kind of inner monologue can cause a negative self-fulfilling prophecy; if you let it rule your mind, it will also rule your world.
How you think about something is entirely up to you. You can put a positive or negative frame around whatever experience you have in life. Since you always have a choice to either laugh or cry based on the experience, do whichever you prefer. I prefer laughing, so I find myself doing that more often.
The meaning of any experience, event, or interaction can vary widely between two people because it’s their choice as to what they make of it. If someone offers you an insult, remember that it’s only that person’s opinion. By adopting this useful belief, you can move through the world more
prepared to deal with anything life throws at you. Contrast this with the way some people take insults personally and waste their valuable time and energy being bothered by them. You are a meaning maker, and if you perceive some comment to be derogatory, stop yourself and give it a more positive spin.
So how do we begin to change our dialogue?
Start nurturing an attitude of gratitude. I believe that we can all come up with at least 15 things to be grateful for if we apply just a small amount of effort. And gratitude becomes even more powerful when we verbalize our blessings out loud. In fact, it changes everything.
A wonderful speaker colleague of mine Dr. Peter Legge says this about nurturing an attitude of gratitude:
- If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than millions who will not survive the week
- If you have never experienced the dangers of war, loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, then you are more fortunate than 500 million people the world over.
- IF you can attend a religious meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world
- If you have enough food to eat, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, then you are richer than 75% of the world
- If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy
- If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed – because the majority can, but most choose not to.
- If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even pat them on the shoulder, you are blessed because your loved!
Never forget that we are the fortunate ones. Count your blessings each day and express your gratitude to others. Do this because you can. Remember, nobody else has the power to determine your own perception of events— only you!
Make a game of finding something positive in every situation. Ninety-five percent of your emotions are determined by how you interpret events to yourself. —Brian Tracy
Today, I am grateful for my new baby granddaughter (Kinsley) who was born 5 weeks early and went home today – she is a fighter!
I am also super excited to be focused on launching book 3 this month in the Colbie Colleen series – one year in the making! Mostly because it also means that my Editor has kicked Cancer’s butt!!
Where will you start your gratitude list?