Why a Gratitude List?
Dear Why Team member,
Thank you for investing your valuable time into these writings. I hope this week’s message finds you well and starting each new day with disciplines that are serving you, like what is likely the most important daily discipline you can do:
Adding to your Gratitude List.
Why start - if you haven’t already, and add daily to your Gratitude List?
Because you can’t serve from an empty cup.
Life can have many real challenges, and because there is also a natural anxiety about that which may emerge from the unknown, our minds can hyper focus on what is wrong or missing; hence it is an absolute must that we have and proactively add to our gratitude list every day.
Here is a ten-day challenge for you: every morning before you read an email or look at anything on social media, have in notes on your smart phone a Gratitude List. Open it, put the date and then start thinking of all the things in which you are grateful. Not just in the moment, but on reflection of the previous day. Think on what was good, praise-worthy, enjoyable, made you laugh. Truly seek to direct your mind onto that which is positive and enjoyable about your life. Then add to the list a few thoughts that are grounding for you, foundational beliefs on which you hang your hat, beliefs that give you peace.
Consider how many times, after a bad day, you woke up the next morning still thinking about a negative experience? It’s natural for our brain to continue working on finding the answer to an unresolved issue hence focusing on the negative from the minute we wake up. But can you imagine finding Edison’s gratitude list? I picture it reading something like this: grateful for finding out, AGAIN!!!, that’s not how an incandescent light bulb should function. How many mornings did he have to remember the positive findings of the previous day to have the perseverance to continue in his discoveries? How many inventors gave up because they couldn’t get beyond the frustration necessary to come up with The Answer?
Accept this gratitude list challenge for ten consecutive days and see if it doesn’t improve your life experience. If you do not already have this as a daily discipline, after ten days you might find you do not want to go back to the life you lived before you consciously focused, daily, on gratitude.
(At the end of this post I have shared a short example of my personal entries made on a recent morning)
There is so so much in which to be grateful, but for most of us, it takes an act of Will to maintain this attitude. It is said that to reach a higher altitude, we must adjust our attitude and nothing in my experience is more powerful a tool for adjusting attitude than gratitude. Earl Nightingale spoke at length about attitude and how “A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change."
Now, you might think that having an actual gratitude list isn’t that important, but experience has taught me that sitting down, typing and actually seeing the words, not to mention having all that gratitude stored away on my phone over many years now, there is a power indescribable for lifting one’s life. Especially at a time such as this, if we are to show up with the mindset that will best serve any situation; it won’t be a scarcity mindset, but rather an abundance mindset. We will not be generous of spirit if our spirit is lacking, grasping and desperate.
Here is another simple exercise:
When next in the kitchen, hold a cup under the faucet and slowly fill it with water, but don’t turn off the faucet until the cup is overflowing.
This is a metaphor for you!
You are the cup, and as long as you feel empty, or less than full, you will be living in want. Those who live in want often feel incomplete, like something is always missing - and the natural tendency becomes more self-focus rather than other-focus. Hence the comment that you can’t serve from an empty cup. You might notice those who seek to serve themselves under the pretense of serving others. “Look at me, see how much I serve.” Once again. We come back to the “why?”; are you coming from abundance or from scarcity; is the action truly for others or is it for you?
It is difficult to be a source of abundance when you do not recognize your own.
If you are able to read, hear and/or watch this week’s message, I hope you will notice these great gifts on which to be grateful. If you already add to your gratitude list daily, I hope this message has been reaffirming, if you do not have this as a daily practice, I highly encourage you to do so for all the reasons mentioned. When we take time to notice that our cup is not only full, but overflowing, we are then most empowered to help fill the cups of others.
If adding to your Gratitude List is not already a daily practice, I hope you will accept this ten-day challenge that will only take a few minutes each morning. You have nothing to lose and quite possibly everything to gain as you develop a new habit that will serve you and others immensely.
Make it a great week!
Sound of a fan, the feeling of a breeze, quiet, time with my family, Grayson Skiing and enjoying himself, my children smiling and laughing - them having great friends, a good nights sleep, Morning exercise waking me up, safely home from 7 hour drive, plenty of food in the frig, books to read, Morning coffee, observing my thoughts, peace in His Will Being Done, All is Well and All Will Be Well.
Nothing in time can bring timeless peace. Grateful for absolutely everything - all happing for me and absolutely nothing happening to me.
AMOR FATI !!!
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