At the beginning of the month I got a copy of Thank and Grow Rich by Pam Grout. Pam is one of my favorite authors and I was looking forward to her book. I love her light hearted writing style.
Because here’s the thing. When we don’t stop daily to inventory all the gazillion things going right in our lives, the crazy voices in our heads try to make us their bitch.
~Pam Grout, Thank and Grow Rich
I define gratitude as the act of feeling or expressing appreciation for something good in your life. The beautiful thing about it is that you can express gratitude to someone else or simply to God/The Universe for whatever good is in your life.
Starting a couple of weeks ago I began a simple practice to really anchor this practice into my life. Each morning after a short meditation session that I do where I do nothing except focus my mind on my breath for about 15 minutes I then spend the next 10 focused on what I am thankful for. I typically try to start out with something really basic that I tend to overlook. Examples include my ability to walk, trees, water. I then focus on all the great things happening in my life right now perhaps a fun interaction with one of my kids or a client. I also focus on the people who inspire me and whose work I love and respect. Then I give thanks for all those things that are coming into my life that I don’t even see yet but I focus on the feeling of having them in my life right now.
Here is what I have noticed. Fear and gratitude can’t coexist. I am happier. I am more lighthearted. I see more opportunities. I am also getting more opportunities. I notice that my days feel easier. This is hard to quantify but things don’t get my of my game like they used to.
An example of this. Yesterday I was going to give a live talk to a local Toastmasters group. I had never been to this group. I focused on being grateful on my way to the talk for the opportunity to share my message. I noticed that I was less stressed before the talk than I usually am. I was then better able to connect with the audience and this showed when I had several people tell me how valuable they found the talk afterwards.
Each day I have more of these experiences. I have also come to realize that the more you practice gratitude the more you have to be grateful about. What do you have to be grateful about in your life or business right now? Take a minute to acknowledge those things and you may begin to notice that you too have more to be thankful for than you knew.