Gratitude Changes Everything

Gratitude changes everything... 

Focusing on what we're thankful for literally creates a shift in the structure of our grey matter, it teaches us to reorder our priorities, it lifts our mood, helps change our perspective.  In a 2003 Study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, McCullough and Emmons found that, even infrequent, gratitude journaling had a handful of positive effects on participants overall quality of life, they exercised 40 minutes more a week, they had an almost 10% increase in general perception of quality of life, and had a 5% increase in optimism.   Other studies have shown that having a practice in which participants focus in one way or another on things they are grateful for leads to stronger immune systems, more and better sleep and exercise; the same people are more alert and awake, more generous, forgiving, outgoing and compassionate.

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I've found that the more time I spend acknowledging my blessings, the more blessings I find... The more blessings I have to count, the more I love counting them... Its a vicious spiral - of the best kind.  Its not some bullshit Pollyanna rose colored glasses with my head in the sand kind of thing... Its a decision of perspective.  Its a choice in point of view... Its just about creating and cultivating the life I desire.  Thats our job, and gratitude - with a dash of accountability - is the best way I know to do exactly that.  

The Real Key is in Getting Specific... 

So Here is the Plan

Over the next month, I challenge you to get clear on what it is you are grateful for, and why... 

Here's How.

 

Every Morning pick ONE thing you have to be grateful for.

Why One thing?  Gratitude can be overwhelming.  Big, open-ended ideas lack focus.  Without focus, there is no direction.  Energy needs direction.  Picking just one thing, helps to clarify and clear out the background noise.  

Make a list of 5 REASONS you have to be grateful for this 1 Thing

Its one thing to be vaguely grateful.  Its another to know why.  That takes some thought, and care.  Thats real gratitude.  Its important to know why something matters to you.  That kind of specificity helps you cultivate the core feelings, and the core energies behind the myriad of things - all of which, ultimately boil down to a few, crucial, beautiful, and attainable feelings.

Finally... Make a Plan to Show Support

Its one thing to be thankful... Its another to proactive and work to engender more and more of just what makes us grateful.  So, after figuring out why you are thankful for something, think of three ways you can show that thing, that person, that concept just how grateful you are... Whats would it take to grow a little more?  What can you do to prove that feeling of gratitude?  Write it down, and make a plan for that day.  

Take a little time to focus on the things in your life you have to celebrate... 
See if you can keep that smile off your face for long.

Lets do this Together... Feel Free to Share some of your thoughts, or daily journal entries in the comments below, or on Facebook with Sensei Derek... As a community, we can create a REAL shift in the world around us... Simply by creating a Shift in ourselves... 

I couldn't be more excited to start this process with you guys.  

I couldn't be more Thankful...