Develop An Attitude of Gratitude


A focus on gratitude is particularly necessary at this time of year.  It is, after all, the season of joy and glad tidings.  But truly, it should be a year round, every single day kind of practice.

The Universal Laws of Attraction teach that when you are grateful for what you have you will naturally attract more things to be grateful for.  The universe works that way.

More on this topic:  The Inuksuk

I recently ran across a blog post that included a list of steps you can take to create your ‘attitude of gratitude’.  I just had to share it and ask you which of these you already practice, which you need to work on and those that you think really aren’t relevant.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post please.  I’d love to read your them….

here are six simple tips on how to make gratitude a natural part of your daily routine, so you can attract more joy and abundance into your life all year long:

Take a couple of minutes each morning to write down everything you appreciate in life

Starting your day this way primes you to be receptive and grateful for everything your day will bring. It also helps you cultivate an air of positivity that makes you naturally more attractive to other positive people – and inspires them to want to help you achieve your goals.

Make a conscious effort to appreciate at least three people every day

By letting people know how much you appreciate them, you increase their own sense of appreciation and self-worth, and encourage them to pay this positive energy forward to other people.

While most people enjoy receiving verbal appreciation, written notes are also nice because they can be saved and re-read.

Play the Appreciation Game

Set a specific time each day to consciously appreciate everything you encounter. An ideal time to do this is on your way to or from work. Appreciate the people you pass, the road you walk on, the cars that let you merge into a different lane, the street signs that make it easy for you to know where you’re going, the rain that’s nourishing the plants and trees, and so on.

Look for the good in all situations – even those you would normally view as negative. As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” For example, when my wife was in a car accident a few years ago, she could have chosen to berate herself or question her judgment. Instead, she focused on her gratitude for suffering only minor injuries and for the help she received from other drivers.

Carry a physical token of gratitude in your pocket, such as a heart-shaped stone, crystal, or some other small item

A physical reminder can bring you back to your practice of gratitude when your mind has drifted elsewhere. As you reach into your pocket throughout the day and feel the token, use it as a reminder to stop, breathe and take a moment to fully experience the emotion of gratitude. The more conscious effort you put into seeking it out, the easier it will be to find it – and the more powerful your experience will be.

Remember to appreciate the smallest blessings

The best way to activate your gratitude is by acknowledging the gifts most people take for granted. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes in your closet and a roof over your head, you are better off than seventy-five percent of the world’s population.

If you eat three meals a day, you are far better off than the 1 billion people on the planet who eat once a day at most.

Do you have a phone? How about a car that allows you to travel to work or to explore the country? Is your family healthy? Do you have a computer and Internet access to stay in touch with the world, get access to education, and perform work for which you are paid? Do you have clean water to drink?

Celebrate these simple blessings. These daily conveniences are gifts that most people in the world do not enjoy.

Appreciate yourself

Finally, don’t forget to appreciate your OWN positive qualities and accomplishments. In addition to celebrating your big successes, acknowledge your small daily successes too.”

I particularly like the last point.  It is very difficult to appreciate others when you’re not comfortable with you.  Like most things in life, it is a process to get there.

Something to think about:  “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”  (Mother Teresa)

Thanksgiving 2016 – The Inuksuk

Thanksgiving 2016 – The Inuksuk

Thankful.  Interesting word.

Family and the comfort of loved ones.  Continued good health.  Freedom and the opportunity to live in a country where our destinies and futures are always within our own power.  All important.  All worth being thankful for.

But most importantly to me, I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given to be significant in the lives of others.

We are all just tenants in this life.  We reside here for a while and then move on.  And after we move on, the only true test of success is the footprint we leave in the lives and on the hearts of others.  Significance is the only true currency of who we were.

The inuksuk has always been an important symbol for me.  An inuksuk is a stone landmark erected by the  InuitInupiatKalaallitYupik and many others that live in the far north.  You will find them dotting the landscape across the Arctic, erected by small groups of travellers navigating the frozen tundra.

Why are they important?  Why would someone take the time to build a stone structure in the freezing cold when, in all likelihood, they won’t pass that way again?  Some were built as rudimentary travel directions.  Some were built as a food cache.  But the vast majority are just interesting, cold stone structures, built and left to stand the test of time and the elements.  Perhaps the best answer I ever heard to the question ‘why an inuksuk’ was from a northern Canadian elder who said simply “so others know I was here”.

Isn’t that what we all strive for in life?  To leave an ‘inuksuk’ on the hearts of those we love, those whose paths we cross and, in fact, on the lives of those future generations we will never meet.

My amazing wife has spent her entire career building that type of legacy.  Over the years she has taught thousands of students and so many of them still remain in contact.  Some of them are married and starting families of their own and still they continue to stay in touch, just to say hello or ask for advice.

Not long ago we received a letter postmarked from a local penitentiary.  The poorly written paragraph said, and I paraphrase, “You might not remember me but my name is ____.  I’m the kid from the grade 8 class that everyone said would end up in jail.  They were right.  And as I sit here in my cell, I think of you.  You were the only person in my entire life that ever believed in me and the only person in my life that ever cared enough to say so.  Thank you.”  The signature identified the writer as a student my wife had taught almost 15 years previously.

That’s an Inuksuk. That is significance.

I have been blessed with a remarkable wife, two exceptional sons, two amazing daughters-in-law and a terrific sister and brother-in-law that all live their lives in a way that creates significance in the lives of others.

They inspire me to be significant.

For that I am truly blessed and truly thankful.