Chapter 16: Develop gratitude
A grateful mind is a great mind, which eventually attracts to itself great things.
Gratitude is our attitude at work. An attitude of gratefulness for the blessings we have in our lives. If you are not feeling grateful, I recommend taking inventory of the things you currently have in your life. I can think of a few right now. I am grateful for being alive, having legs and arms, the ability to hear and talk, eyes to see, clothes on my back, warm bed at night, and hot showers in the morning. Ability to work, buy food, the country I live in, family, friends, and the future opportunities I have. I hope you get the point I am trying to make; you are always richer than you think you are. The problem we face is we forget these things because they have not been taken away from us, and we become familiar with the norm.
I want you to complete the following gratitude exercise. I want you to stop, think, and write down all the things you are grateful for in your life right now. Think of absolutely everything in your life, big or small, that you are grateful for. If you are having a hard time coming up with things, just think about the prospect of losing something in your life right now: what would that be? Let your mind explore, think, and write. What am I grateful for in my life right now? Write at least 20 things.
How do you feel after writing down the things you are grateful for? Upbeat, positive, mindful, happy? The act of paying attention to the things you are grateful for should improve your attitude. Attitude and gratitude are one and the same and share the same last six letters: ‘titude’. Cultivate this attitude of gratitude, and make it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation of parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both big and small things alike. You can’t have gratitude without attitude.
Create a habit of gratitude
We all go through the motions of life on autopilot, never really taking time out of our busy lives to stop and think about how grateful we are to be alive and be thankful for the life we have. Bringing more gratefulness into your life starts with forming a new habit. For the next 28 days, I want you to keep a gratitude journal; it should take about 10 seconds a day to complete. You can either use your journal, a computer, your phone, or a notepad. At the start or end of the day, write down three things you are grateful for today, such as ‘Today, I am grateful for hot showers, a warm bed, and a fridge full of food’.
The next day, you could write ‘I am grateful for my wife, my kid, and my job’, and so the process continues. In the first week, it is easy to come up with 21 things you are grateful for because they are blindingly obvious. Weeks two, three, and four become a little more challenging and will require you to think about the small things you take for granted. At the end of the 28 days, you can continue the exercise if you like, but what I want you to do is compile the notes a one-page document titled ‘84 things I am grateful for’. Print this out, and put it somewhere you will see every day to remind you of the things you have in your life you are grateful for.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
—Marcus Tullius Cicero
- Gratitude is our attitude at work.
- You are always richer than you think you are.
- Losing something reminds us we should be grateful for the things we have.
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. You can’t have gratitude without attitude.
- Keep a gratitude journal.