Gratitude has become a lost virtue of America today. As the United States and the world has become more globalized and consumer driven, we have lost the ability to be thankful for the simple things in our lives, the parts of our lives that give us life, happiness, fulfillment, and motivation to improve on each day. Where is our world going? What has made people less thankful for what they have? I will tell you one thing, and that one thing is this: IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. We are all able to develop an attitude of gratitude, the ability to be thankful for everything we have in our lives. I want to help you become the best version of yourself that you can possibly be! To do that, we must all develop the practice of gratitude in our lives. Want to find out how you can live a happier, more fulfilled, motivated life that positively influences those around you? Here are the 5 essential practices you need to start implementing into your life today.
1. Identify the positives in your life
In your life today, what are you thankful for? Maybe it’s your family. Perhaps it is how far you have come in your career. It could be the amount you have traveled across the country or even across the world to be able to see what many others have never had the chance to experience. Make sure to identify the experiences, material things, and relationships that you have been fortunate enough to have had at this point in time in your life. Write these down, speak them aloud, internalize them, and have them become a part of you.
2. Identify the negatives
Now you may be thinking, why in the world would I want to identify the negatives to live a happier, more productive, thankful life? The thing is, we must all look at the whole picture of who we are. We must know the negatives to identify the positives in our life. Do you know what is great about the negatives? They are any opportunity to learn and grow! Failure and falling down only gets us that much closer to success. The key is to get back up and rise again. Never give up and keep persisting to your end goal. You can do this!
3. Communicate with others
We all need each other! Humans are made to interact in community with other humans. When we are together, we become whole. I challenge you to express to your friends and family what you are thankful for. Let someone know how grateful you are of the world you get to live in. Now when you do this, how are they responding to your thankfulness? How are you responding to expressing your thankfulness out loud so those around you can hear? Practice this daily! Show the world what makes you the exceptionally unique individual that you are.
4. Live to your passion
What gets you up and going for the day? What sets you apart from everyone you know? When you live to what you truly enjoy doing every day, you start to see the good things pop up in your life. It’s the habit of searching for the good in everything that you do that gives you an attitude of gratitude. In the words of the great Winston Churchill, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Living to our passions gets us in the habit of surrounding ourselves with the good in our lives, giving us the opportunity to be thankful for what we have. What are you passionate about?
5. Be present
What are you going to focus on today that is going to get you to a better tomorrow? We are only in control of the here and now. We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it. We can see the future, but we can start taking action today, to start setting up the future we want for tomorrow. Practicing being present in the moment gives you the realization that you really do have a pretty awesome life. What good things are happening in your life? When identifying these things, make sure to keep it simple. Did you wake up today? Have you been able to feed yourself throughout the day? Were you able to spend time with the people you care about? You and I have a lot to be grateful for! All we have to do is notice it in our present state.
Life is as good as we make it. You have the ability right now to be grateful for the simple things in life. Give yourself the chance to look for the good in yourself and the good in others. Give yourself the happiness of knowing that you have accomplished so much more than you could have ever imagined up to this point. We are all in desperate need of an attitude of gratitude. I understand that life is tough at times, there are times that we just can not deal with our current situation. It is also okay to have those feelings of being defeated, but I will tell you this: never in your life, for one second, give up on yourself! Always look for the good in yourself and others! Always be thankful for everything you have been given. We all have so much to be thankful for!
Carl currently resides in Wichita, KS where he coaches and consults businesses, community groups, and individuals with Exemplify.