What are you grateful for? This is a question we need to ask ourselves on a daily basis if not more. We need to ask it especially during turbulent times regardless of where your strife comes from. I, like you, have had many times in my life that were incredibly tough. Anyone reading this can list a multitude of reasons to believe life has it out for us. Sometimes it seems that struggle is the only way. In my 46 years, I’ve found it very rare that people are cruising through their lives with the greatest of ease. From illness, to death, to divorce, to job loss, to parent child problems, sibling issues, and more, we all have something to complain about.
But does complaining really get you anywhere? Aren’t you sick of those people who are always whining and moaning? Kvetching is the Yiddish word and nobody likes someone who does it on a regular basis. Yet, often our mind’s tend down a path of negativity and complaint. How can we change that? How can we really start to bring a more positive vibe anywhere we go? One full proof way I’ve found is to stay grateful for all the small stuff. Shift your mindset and have gratitude for the things most people take for granted.
I recently heard a story, on the radio, about a woman who was not going home for Thanksgiving. It’s the first time in her adult life she hasn’t been home, she’s 45 years old. It’s because she knows that there will be arguments about our recent election. She and her parents are on opposing sides of the political spectrum. Apparently, there are a lot of families who will be having trouble this year. In my own family, I know there are differences, but this would never hold us back from coming together for a family holiday gathering. Love is definitely more powerful and important than politics.
Don’t get me wrong, there will be some knock down, drag out fights about our political leaders, but all will end as it always does, with an ‘I love you,’ and ‘see you next time.’ It’s perfectly okay to have differences, this is what makes our country so wonderful. We get to express ourselves. So don’t be one of those people who cowers from argument or confrontation. The negotiating table is where we come together and while the Thanksgiving table might not be the right place, the outdoor patio could be.
I also recommend leading your case with gratitude. This is where I think many people go wrong. They lead with their emotions and not with their heart. Here are a few tips for you to bring that joy and that love to your family’s dinner table, your work place, and yes, even the locker room.
7 ways to lead with gratitude:
When you wake up, thank your lucky stars you did. A. Not everyone does; and B. You already beat the odds when you became a human, so start acting like it.
Take a deep breath early in the morning. Sleep can be a funny thing, our body is in a state of deep rest for 6-8 hours and upon waking it needs a little pick me up. There is nothing like a deep breath to remind yourself that you are alive and living this fantastic thing called life.
TMI, but here it goes. Everyone that I know visits the bathroom upon waking. Now isn’t that brilliant design? Taking care of business first thing, regardless of what that means, gives us the opportunity to start our day right. Yes, your business can simply be brushing your teeth, so no need to be offended.
Meditate on being grateful for all the opportunities that will come your way today. Even if you have the entire day planned, allow a little time to open up to the possibility of the unknown. You might meet a new friend, have a new experience, learn something new about yourself. All cases can be positive if you let them.
Spice up your daily routine. So many times people get caught up in the mundane routine. All you have to do is change your perspective, just a little, and you’ll have a whole new outlook. Notice the trees on your drive a little differently. Change the station to classical or something that will expand your horizons. Smile at someone you don’t know. There are so many ideas, be creative.
Count your blessings. We’ve been told this one for such a long time, but it continues to be true today. We already went over waking and breathing. How about walking? Talking? Listening? Smiling? Running? Loving? Making Love? You name it, there’s an opportunity and something to be grateful for. All you have to do is decide.
Change your mind. This might be the toughest for those of us stuck in a rigid way of thinking. When we believe something so deep that we cannot be shown another way, that’s time to look inside. I don’t believe any one way is the right way. I believe there are many paths to happiness. Frankly, I believe we all have the happy gene (if there is such a thing), we just need to uncover it.
This holiday season, put your differences aside and lead with your heart. Then report back to me and let me know how you did. I’m always here to help along the way. @teddymcdonald
Originally published on the author’s website.