Life has struggles, lots of struggles. And problems, lots of problems. Enough to keep us busy on a regular basis. For many of us, being “thrown for a loop” is considered the norm. The question is what do we do about it?
When we are faced with difficulties and no matter how much we try to assert our desired results, we realize that most situations are truly out of our control. Often the very act of trying to hold onto some semblance of normalcy or order only feeds the fire and makes things worse.
There is one thing that is always in our control. It is the one variable that is in our hands. In reality, it is the most important piece of any good story and almost always will be the key to determining the outcome. What is that powerful tool? It is you, and how you respond to any given situation.
Attitude is everything. When I was learning abroad and my parents were unfamiliar with the lifestyle I was living one of the frequent questions my father would ask is “Are you happy?” and when I would respond with an affirmative he would simply reply “That’s all that is really important. If you are happy then it’s all good” After that I could sense he was at ease with where I was.
In teaching, often I would ask the question “If you could only choose one – would you be financially poor and happy or be rich and sad?” unless I was dealing with real ignorance, the answer was obvious. Our state of mind is everything.
We are a nation of pill poppers. Anti depressants, Ritalin and a whole slew of not-so-kosher options that shall remain nameless. How much would you pay if I had a happy pill? One that was long lasting and could dramatically increase positive thinking. It would give you energy, and even benefit your physical health. Most importantly, it can give you the strength to deal with the “stuff” that keeps getting thrown at you in life. Best of all, what I am offering is not a pill, has no negative side effects, and will cost you next to nothing.
Oh, of course there’s a catch. This one requires a little effort. Not a lot, but you are going to have to put a little into it. So what is it? What is that wonder drug? Gratitude. That’s right, it’s that simple, a gratitude list. I could quote the books worth of documentation and research showing its benefits, but in truth the proof is in the pudding. I started a gratitude list and it has changed my life and how I perceive things. The only thing I lost from the gratitude list was 30 pounds. Gratitude gave me the strength and peace of mind to start walking and eating better. No fancy diet, just an attitude adjustment.
Want to give it a try? Here’s what you will need:
1. A notepad (either paper of digital)
2. A commitment to write a gratitude list for at 40 days. At least 3 things each day. They can be small like “I am grateful for the warm weather” or “Thank you for my fingers that are able to type this article” (It is especially beneficial to include a gratitude about someone or something that causes you to feel resentment. It helps to change the way you see them or it.)
3. Set a time each day to write it and be consistent about it.
4. Review the list from time to time. It might even bring a smile to your face.
Gratitude is an integral part of Breakthrough – The 40-day challenge. For more info on the program and its benefits please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (972) 58-725-0662