Gratitude is heaven itself.
It’s easy to get caught up in our lives and forget what we have. It’s easy to go into the mental black hole of “I don’t have enough.” I think if we took time to remember what we have and show thanks for it, we would be more in tune with the way things really are, as opposed to how we think they are.
We are surrounded by celebrities and millionaires and billionaires and it’s easy to compare ourselves with them. When you grade yourself on those terms, you can’t win. As J Cole once said,
Always gon’ be a whip that’s better than the one you got
Always gon’ be some clothes that’s fresher than the ones you rock
Always gon’ be a bitch that’s badder out there on the tours
But you ain’t never gon’ be happy till you love yours
I’ve started a daily habit of giving thanks. I have a total of three things I do everyday starting with 10 minutes of meditation first thing in the morning. Then I sit down and write my daily pages. At the end of the day, before I go to bed, I go over my day and make a list of all the things I’m grateful for that day. It almost always includes my friends and family. It could include things I’ve accomplished that day. It could include opportunities or special encounters that happened during that day.
What this does for me is gets my mind in the habit of recognizing how good my life actually is. It’s not as bad as my mind would have me believe. It helps me to build a story around my life that helps me, not to just keep going, but to press forward empowered and optimistic.
I want to challenge you to set out time every day to take stock of the good in your life. As Mom would say, “Count your blessings.” A helpful hint: to make sure you keep up with it every day, have a way of monitoring your progress. For example, I have a calendar on the wall right next to my computer desk and every day that I complete my habits, I give myself a big red triangle (each side of the triangle represents a different habit, so if I were to skip one, I would have an incomplete triangle, which would really mess with me.)
I started off with just doing the one habit of writing every day and have moved on to add other things. I suggest you do the same so as to not overwhelm yourself.
(For more information on habit change, read The Simple Science of Habit Change)
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Thanks for reading!