Gratitude! Oh, sweet, underrated gratitude.
William Blake Gratitude, in itself, is heaven
It was just Thanksgiving week and I get it – we have heard lots of thanks. We may be a little thanked-out. That’s understandable. I have a daily gratitude practice but the other night when I could not sleep (my endless to-do list mind running through my mind) I tried a little trick that I learned from James Altucher. I counted 100 Things that I am grateful for.
What came out surprised me! Aside from my family, good health and opportunity to do work I love (which I give thanks for daily), I came up with some very unexpected things. A cool new writing project I was contacted about. A Starbucks on my corner. A window in my kitchen. Spotify holiday playlists. December in New York City. 2 new client referrals from past clients. Delta points. Naan bread. Sephora mascara. The downtown second-hand bookstore I just found. Papyrus cards. Peroxide. Skype. Oranges in season. My trip to the UK next week. I felt pretty good and privileged after considering all of this (I listed 50 in my mind then kept going but stopped counting). I also had a big realization that my to-do list, the travel, my work-load and all the projects I am juggling are pretty wonderful “problems” to have. I needed the mindset shift. Blessed not stressed I laughed to myself! Wait… has that hashtag been taken?!?
Here are 3 quick tips for cultivating a happier, more abundant you:
1. Pay attention to how you perceive events. For 48 hours, try using only an appreciative and positive filter. Think, I am grateful for the job that means I need an early alarm tomorrow, grateful for the spouse who burnt the chicken, thankful for the health insurance that affords me a doctor’s visit (you can see how we would often think about these events very differently). I already feel richer with my recent mindset shift.
2. Create a daily-good-stuff-that-happens-to-me list on your phone and add to it as often as you can. Stuff like, less than a minute-long wait for the subway this morning“, “good hair day!” and “lovely unexpected text from Jenny.” Review it after a couple of weeks and realize how the simple pleasures can give you a boost when you pause to acknowledge them.
3. Be vocal with your gratitude – are you thankful for your friends? Tell them! Love your latte every morning? Tell your barista! Sharing your thanks only strengthens it. It’s contagious too!
Gratitude unlocks the happiness we all hold within us and deserve to experience daily. The more grateful we are the more good stuff we attract. It is saying thank you to the universe who, in turn, delivers more. This only attracts more and more wealth and joy to you.
Here is one of my favorite quotes – let it remind you just how far you have come in your life as it stands today:
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember what you have now was once among the things you only hoped for.”
I am grateful to all of you who read my newsletter! 🙂