An Attitude of Gratitude (It's Not Just For Thanksgiving)
When I was a child, the concept of gratitude was simply about going through the motions of saying ‘thank you’ (and ‘please’) and writing thank you letters for gifts.
It was more about showing good manners than cultivating an inner feeling of gratitude. It’s only now that I understand its true power.
Gratitude is much more than saying the words ‘thank you’. It’s a feeling deep inside.
If you practice gratitude a little, your life will change a bit. If you practice gratitude a lot, your life will change dramatically. (click to tweet)
My awakening to this life-changing concept came in the form of a book called ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. With over 21 million copies sold, translated into 47 languages, you may have heard of it or read it yourself by now.
Love it or hate it (there seem to be two camps), I’m firmly on the ‘love it’ side. I first heard about the book in 2007 when it was about to be launched in the UK. I read a cutting review calling the book ‘very American’ and accusing it of being ‘full of nonsense about the power of positivity’.
I thought…. Hey, that’s my kind of book!
I’ve read it several times and can open it to any page and find something to immediately apply to my day.
It’s very much about attracting good things into your life by having a positive outlook. I’ve bought countless copies for friends and family. (It’s no wonder it remains a bestseller.) It’s short and sweet and a great introduction for people who don’t normally read this kind of thing.
I didn’t hesitate to buy Rhonda’s follow-up book, ‘The Magic’. It’s written as a 28-day plan and involves reading a short chapter and doing a written exercise each morning.
For the first few days, I reluctantly set my alarm for 10 minutes earlier – then something magical truly did begin to happen. I started waking up before my alarm clock went off!
By Day 10 I was waking early, feeling refreshed, super charged and raring to read the next chapter.
Over the course of the next few weeks, my son and I became a powerful force of positivity.
Positivity is very infectious and soon the whole family caught it, as well as some close friends. We all went on to have an incredible month with good things coming our way and a deep sense of gratitude over it all.
We’ve since created a fantastic Family Vision Board filled with images cut from magazines of things we wish for our futures. Our Vision Board enables us all to see clearly what we’re aiming for.
If you think, ‘I don’t like my job’, ‘My partner doesn’t listen’, ‘My kids don’t appreciate me’, ‘I haven’t got enough money’, ‘I’m looking fat’ – you’re attracting into your life more of what you don’t want.
But if you think about what you’re grateful for – ‘I’m happy I have a job’, ‘I feel really healthy today’, ‘I found a parking place right out front’, ‘I’ve had a great evening’, ‘That went very smoothly’ – and you sincerely feel the gratitude, you will attract more good things into your life.
Gratitude is magnetic – the more gratitude you feel, the more good stuff you attract into your life. (tweet this)
It teaches you to look for the good in every situation, making you realise how special even the smallest things are.
An easy way to bring more gratitude into your life is with a Project Me ‘Design My Day’ Action Sheet. There’s a place to write a short message to yourself about what you’re feeling grateful for each day.
Keeping a Gratitude Journal is another powerful tool for making you realise just how much there always is to feel thankful for.
Open a small notebook or use the Secret Gratitude Journal. On the left side of the page write a few lines of gratitude for whatever in your life you’re feeling grateful for right now.
Then on the right-hand page, write gratitude in advance for something you want. Write it in the present tense as if you already have it. Pause and imagine how it will feel to read those words in the future and realise it’s come true.
I’ve been doing this regularly now for a few years and can now read through the right-hand entries in my old gratitude journal and see how this really works! Even seemingly far-fetched desires have come true.
I’m riding on a high of gratitude now. I hope you’ll join me.
In the comments below, give a public declaration of something you’re feeling grateful right now – big or small.
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