5 steps you can take to practice gratitude

Below is a picture of me and my mom when I was the wee lad. I keep it next to my bathroom sink and I try and give gratitude every day for her unconditional love.

We go through so many forms in this life. Sometimes we feel as if we’ve got it all figured out and then in the blink of an eye we’re grabbing at straws, begging for answers and trying to get back home.

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I’ve never quite figured out the point at which these waves turn. Maybe it is just me, but they do turn and for whatever reason, when it does we have to enjoy the ride.

I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been 100% happy or ever wallowed in too much self-pity. Well, that’s not exactly true. There are times when I have no clue as to the next “upswing” phase, but as experience waves, it’s wand over us, we realize that things will settle down and the proverbial mist will clear.

So what is it? What is this elusive happiness that seems to evade us at times? What does the world look like when shrouded in happiness? Is it a myth? Should we expect more?

I hope so. I’d hope that we eventually get to a stage whereby we can live in a perpetual state of flow, positivity, and light.

The “formula” is shaping up for me and I’m influenced by enlightened minds who tell the same story. Be grateful, love yourself, love one another.

You can think mumbo jumbo, hippy bullshit, whatever… but I think it’s true.

BE GRATEFUL:

We live in a world of duality. We live in a world where people are happy to lay down a tirade of abuse against their barista for not preparing their $5 latte correctly when that same $5 would feed a family for a week. That’s not hippy bullshit, that’s fact. I’ve lived and traveled in countries where $5 would be a gift from god. In the 1st world, we don’t think twice about spending $5.

Here are 5 things you can try:

  1. Be grateful when you wake up in the morning. Seriously, give it a try. The second you open your eyes…say thank you. Be grateful for that conscious breath, be grateful for your child wanting a bottle of milk (resist the urge to throttle),  be grateful for the light entering the room (unless it’s 2 am)
  2. Sit in Silence. There are a million ways to the top of the mountain. I don’t know the path. I do know that we don’t move forward without acknowledging the good that surrounds us. Sit for a minute, for five, for an hour if you choose. Just sit and listen and say thank you.
  3. Say thank you for the smallest things. If your coffee tastes good or the traffic light changes just in time for you or your wife/husband has a sparkle in their eye … pay attention and you’ll be amazed at how much we can say thank you for.
  4. Set an email alert for every few hours that reminds you to be grateful. Hell Yeah, it’ll bug the shit out of you…but something will register and we can do this. Go one step further and set a 15-minute reminder for the reminder. At 3 o’Clock…I will find something to be grateful for. Keep doing it.
  5. At the end the day…say thank you. Take a deep breath…let the shit go and say thank you!
  6. Create your own brand. Keep in mind your industry and the level of professionalism required. If you are in a creative industry you may have greater leeway in this area.