Why gratitude is your best ally

Where has the time gone?

It seems to be a recurring question of mine. I cruise along then at some point (usually about half way through the year) I go into a mild panic: I reflect on the goals I set myself (or thought of setting) and decide what to do next (either go for a proverbial kick in the butt or just carry on cruising).

Reflecting has never been a problem for me. It normally escalates rapidly into daydreaming if I’m not careful. It’s the action part that is a challenge for me.

Isn’t it true that you appreciate knowledge much more when it’s put into action? Suddenly you appreciate the depth, breadth of it. You discover facets of it that you didn’t grasp when it was just data in your head.

But on with the subject at hand:

I came across a method called 13X4 (Designed by Benjamin Franklin in 1726) on Udemy, an online courses platform. The idea is to choose 13 goals or themes and focus on one each week. At the end of the year, you would have revisited each goal or theme 4 times.

Having just one goal per week makes it manageable and increases your chances of making marked improvements.

My first theme is gratitude. I actually started last week and I’m so happy I did!

The results of practicing gratitude

This was a great theme to start with because it’s taken my mindset to a level of enthusiasm I thought I had lost! I feel more optimistic. I have a spring in my step.

Ok, I’m not naturally miserable but I do have my moments too. This practice makes those moments brief. 

When those grim moments come, I know I still have control. I can reframe them. I can use those moments as opportunities to grow. 

I now appreciate so much more what multi-passionate entrepreneur Marie Forleo says here.

How does it work?

Gratitude helps you focus on the things going well for you.

I’ve been writing at least 5 things I’m grateful for each day.  This doesn’t erase the things that are not working the way I want but it makes me realise I have a lot more reasons to be happy than I think.

Injecting into your brain happy thoughts that are not fabricated but are genuine makes you feel happy.

When you are happy, you think more clearly, therefore, make better decisions. You have more energy, therefore, are more productive, more driven. Results can only get better too. It’s a virtuous circle.

Where focus goes, energy flows.

It’s a simple, almost obvious truth: when thinking about something you don’t want or like, your mood invariably goes down. Sometimes you “attract” those same things or rather you notice them more, focusing on them and similarly negative situations

If you focus instead on positive things, especially those you see NOW, your mood can only be lifted and you can “attract” or notice more of these things. Being happy or miserable is often the result of where our focus has been.

So I encourage you to try it for yourself. Write every day this week 5 things you are grateful for. Gratitude is your best ally to take your life anywhere.

Notice yourself soar.

Share your experience in the comments!

Reflect, Redefine, Rise!


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