“If you concentrate on what you have, you will always end up having more. If you focus on what you don’t have you will never ever have enough”
I challenged myself to write down 3 things I was grateful for each day in a gratitude journal, and the results of this simple exercise have encouraged me to make it an ongoing habit.
I’ve heard many stories and testimonies of highly successful individuals who swear by journaling what they are grateful for and the effect this had on their lives, so I chose to give it a try. Even if I was having a bad day and everything seemed to be going wrong I would find a reason to be thankful and write it down. It could have been something small like receiving a kind gesture from a customer that day or something more general like my health, my place at university, access to food etc. And honestly, as I compare myself today to who I was, I’m amazed at the change in my reality and the change in my consciousness about seeing the positive.
For me, success is ultimately about living a fulfilled life, and this is completely impossible without a mind of gratitude. It’s easy for us to focus on our problems and what we lack. For instance we might put our attention on not having the social life we want, the amount of money we want, the house we want or the appearance we want. But recognise that when you are truly grateful for your life as it stands today, even considering the trials you may be experiencing, so many more things will flow into your life to be happy and grateful for. Count your blessings and you will be blessed even more.
Since I’ve put more effort into giving thanks for what I have and have experienced (good and bad), I have noticed certain things I had been hoping for in my life start to manifest. As well as this, practicing and integrating gratitude for me has been an incredible antidote to depressive thoughts, worry, fear, envy, anger and regret. It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude, but gratitude that brings us happiness.
Reflect on your past year – What lessons are you grateful for? What struggles are you grateful for? Who are you grateful for? What opportunities are you grateful for?
I challenge you to get a journal and take a pen to write down what you are grateful for each day (don’t just contemplate or verbalise it, it’s important to physically make note of it!). Develop an attitude of gratitude and you will see how powerful and rewarding it will be.
Useful links to help practice gratitude:
-‘Oprah’s Gratitude Journal | Oprah’s Life Class | Oprah Life Lessons Winfrey Network’
-‘Why Gratitude Journals Work’
-‘Want to be happy? Be Grateful | David Steindl-Rast’