The more you are grateful, the more experiences you have to be grateful for. And that’s why gratitude should not just be expressed once a year at the family reunion around a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. An attitude of gratitude in every instance is a common characteristic of most successful people.
Here then is Success Habit #2:
One way to ensure a better future is to practice and nurture the habit of gratitude. “Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” Adopt this success habit of gratitude in all your thoughts, words, and deeds everyday and not just on thanksgiving day.
Feeling grateful makes you hopeful and keeps you moving forward. Research has proven that gratitude shouldn’t just be limited to the annual Thanksgiving reunion. An attitude of gratitude is linked to better health, less stress, and longevity. Studies have shown that grateful people exercise more, are confident in making decisions, and have a wide social network among other success clues.
I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our national holiday of Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by President Lincoln in 1863, to be celebrated every November. Although controversy surrounds the story of Native Americans being invited by the Pilgrims to join in an autumn feast celebrating a bountiful harvest in 1821, the fact is that Native Americans historically had celebrated and given thanks for their harvests long before the Pilgrims came across the Atlantic. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians also had days of celebration honoring their gods. Likewise with the Christians, Jews, and Moslems, to honor their God. You would be hard-pressed to find a civilization that didn’t participate in some sort of “thanksgiving” for various reasons.
Those who argue about the origin of Thanksgiving truly are missing the big picture. The past is already a done-deal, but the future has yet to unfold. It just seems to make much more sense to look ahead rather than over your shoulder. We are more likely to stumble looking behind us. Besides, you cannot rewrite history, but you can write the future. I am not saying we should forget about the past, because like they say, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Rather, I am saying that writing the future is within our power.
Five Ways of Nudging the Gratitude Habit:
1. Meditate: Just before sleep think of three things you are most thankful for before you shut your eyes. Your subconcious mind will then work on multiplying this trend of thought and give you more things to be grateful for when you awake. Wayne Dyer, often called the Father of Motivation, said it is important to be grateful rather than being discontent, especially in the last five minutes before bedtime. According to Dr. Dyer, the subconscious mind is impersonal and cannot distinguish between what it is that you are feeling and what it is that you don’t want happening. So when you ruminate on all the things going wrong in your life rather than what’s working for you, your subconscious mind will manifest more of the same. When you enter into deep sleep, the ears of your subconscious mind are open, and the instructions are sealed. Upon awakening your universal mind aligns with your subconscious mind and manifests more of what you were worrying about.
2. Gratitude Journal / Gratitude Challenge: Start journaling your blessings and commit to a gratitude challenge for 21 days. If you can’t find three things to be grateful for daily, you can easily find one reason to be thankful. When you start writing, the ideas flow. Simply start with “I am….” I am well, I am blessed, I am able to ….
3. Daily Acts of Gratitude: An act of gratitude a day will bring bountiful blessings your way. Send a “thank you” letter or at least call someone and tell them exactly how much they mean to you. Choose a different person every day or at least every week from your family or circle of friends or acquaintances to make their day one to remember for a long time. Writing an “I am grateful for…” letter only takes a few minutes and gives you immeasurable returns and the act deeply affects the receiver long after you may even have forgotten about it. You don’t even need to post the letter, just call them and read it out loud.
4. Treat yourself: Vacations, events tickets, restaurant dining linger longer in your memory than simply buying stuff. They often say that it’s not what you give people that matters… in the end it’s how you made them feel. Generally, you will find that most people would rather not go on a vacation or to an event or to a restaurant alone, most often they would prefer to share the experience with another or a group and it’s a win-win for everyone as it becomes more pleasurable and the feelings of gratitude multiply giving back more.
5. Smile and Be Kind: Mother Teresa believed that “Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Besides, the common catchphrase ‘Fake it till you make it’ has some validity. Smiling and acting like the success you aspire to be will make it a reality. Novelist Henry James believed that “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” An ancient Greek playwright Sophocles believed that “One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.” Wouldn’t it be great if ‘random acts of kindness’ were so commonplace that they wouldn’t make the headlines? Kindness should be as ubiquitous as oxygen. We would all breathe a lot better. I dream of that day. “God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow into them.”-Author Unknown
Blessings for future generations are created when our lives are marked by gratitude, kindness, and integrity. We may not always understand how or why, but we must believe that everything will turn out right at the right time. We must not be stopped by people, disappointments, or adversities. Believe that the right people and the right breaks are coming in your future. Believe that you will fulfill what is destined for you! Believe that nothing is too difficult to pursue if small steps are taken confidently and persistently in the pursuit of your destiny. Believe that the best is yet to be! Theodore Roosevelt believed that you should “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Joel Osteen believes “if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.”
Persevere in an attitude of gratitude and you’ll be amazed by your own transformation! Cheers!