Most of us get caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle of our lives and forget to slow down enough to pay attention to what really matters. Unfortunately, for many it takes a major crisis to shake us up and get us to live life more consciously, with greater appreciation for what we DO have. I am guilty of the same, and although I’m still in the thick of tough times, a good whack in the head every now and then seems to help me remember. Or rather, a good whack to the chin, which was my most recent wake-up call.
Nonetheless, there is no magic formula, religious ceremony, philosophy, prayer or meditation that is going to transform us into gracious beings overnight.
Like exercising any other body part, we have to strengthen our “gratitude muscles” through disciplined, routine hard work over time. By doing so, we train ourselves to recognize the moments that instill us with appreciation and inspiration, even if just for a few fleeting minutes. The idea is to capture those feelings and re-live them throughout the day---essentially, programming ourselves to re-consider the mundane, yet pleasurable incidents we often take for granted.
I commit to list SEVEN things each day and I challenge you to do the same. It’d be great to share your “lists” on my Facebook page. And once you’ve recorded them on paper or digitally, make sure to share your list with someone close to you so they, too can start “working out!"
Day One of TGW:
1. Everybody left the house well-fed, in a good mood and on-time this morning despite last night’s late-ending festivities.
2. My youngest, three-year-old child learned how to blow, not just wipe, her nose.
3. A great ping-pong match with my ten-year-old daughter.
4. Fresh and delicious organic carrot juice.
5. Cold air-conditioning in my truck
6. The conference with my daughter’s teacher went exceptionally well.
7. I concocted and slurped a delicious chocolate-peanut butter shake for lunch.
IMPORTANT: You’ll know your “gratitude muscles” are getting stronger when you begin to re-define your day’s success not by what was accomplished, but by an acknowledgment of and thankfulness for those random, special moments.
Take note: this practice calls for a focus on the DETAILS, instead of mechanically identifying the big, obvious things for which most people are grateful. (E.g., spouse, kids, good job, house, etc.)
I'll be posting each day's new list here.
Good luck! I look forward to learning more about you and your daily appreciations and inspirations!