A friend of mine recently sent me an article on the value of gratitude in the realm of success and fulfilment.
The premise of the author is that one’s ability to express gratitude is a refined and honed skill, similar to a physical work out or any other learned behaviour.
Improving your ability to see, feel and express gratitude will have a positive effect on your outlook on life, your relationships, your empathy for others and invariably your happiness.
Like setting or changing any kind of habit, this needs to be a repeated and disciplined effort over a period of time. A few days ago, I established a group with a few friends and invited them to participate in an experiment with me for the next 30 days, recording our daily gratitudes.
Doing this as a group not only helps us remain on-task, but also creates a supportive and encouraging environment to actually turn this from an occasional sentiment into a regular habit.
Each day, my friends send me their list of ‘Gratitudes’ via an anonymous form which I record into a spreadsheet. In a month’s time, I will blog about our responses (without names) as I wish to explore what things people turn to in moments of sincere, human reflection.
As this can be done in the minutes before going to sleep, I hope for it to be brutally honest and contemplative as the hype and noise of the day has subsided, leaving only true emotional introspection and the weight of one’s mind.
I’d like to share my list from yesterday to give you a taste:
I spent today working on my laptop in the sun with a nice cup of coffee and in the company of a great friend. I’m grateful for being able to do this at my own choosing, convenience and without fear or restriction.
I made two new friends today, one of which who sat beside me at a cafe, and another through my friend Falon. One of my new friends even offered me the chance to work with him! We drank a delicious cocktail each and ate delectable appetisers. I’m grateful for serendipity, tasty food and interesting people.
I further deepened my relationship with a new friend I met recently. Learning things about someone and realising a bond makes me so happy. I’m grateful for serendipity and for my friend who introduced us and felt we would get along.
I posted a blog post today to a positive response. One of my friends even wants to pre-order my book which was a confidence boost. I’m grateful for supportive followers who believe in me and my work.
I had a Skype call with my friend in the UK and played her a song on my guitar. I’m grateful for amazing technology that allows me to keep my friends close despite the distance.
I had a chat with a friend of mine to get some advice about a new job role. He was so helpful and generous with his time and knowledge. I’m grateful that I am surrounded by kind and generous people who can and want to help me.
What have you got to lose?
It’s a simple but powerful way of gaining perspective in your life. To calm yourself down and to find the warmth, happiness and positivity in what might have felt like a difficult period. Your list doesn’t have to be as detailed as mine, or perhaps you want to write even more.
Whether it’s just a few words or War and Peace, the important thing is that you take the time for yourself to reflect on what is great in your life. Let go of the negatives – the critics in your life will happily take care of those for you!
I’d love for you to join our group if you feel ready. Just send me a message on Facebook and I’ll add you to the group. http://www.facebook.com/paulyting