Gratitude – you’ve heard me say it before, this is the single best practice (outside of meditation, of course) that you can do on a daily basis to improve your life.
Think right now about something you want but don’t have. Perhaps it’s money. A relationship. Some material thing. A certain job. Status. Recognition. Approval. A sexy body. Kids. Time with your loved ones. Health. A new toy. Whatever is missing, think on it for moment.
Now take note of how you’re feeling. Not so good, right? You may feel anxiety, emptiness, longing, stress, fear, sadness, frustration, disappointment…
Do you know what these emotions do to you? They make you shrink. They are all based on “not having” or more accurately, “fear of not having or unhappiness at not having”. If you don’t have it now, you may feel afraid of never having it. Or, you may feel unhappy until you have it (thinking that life will be awesome once you have it).
Fear makes you hide. It makes you turn away from opportunities. It prevents you from being innovative or trying alternative approaches. It keeps you stuck.
Unhappiness does the same thing. You don’t have a lot of energy when you’re sad – even if you’re sad about not having. No energy means no action.
You might think that “not having” will motivate you to action, but it rarely does. Or, it will cause you to give up and quit before you reach your goal.
So – my point is, when you focus on what’s missing, your repertoire of behaviors shrinks too, and very little gets accomplished.
Now, think about something already in your life that you’re grateful for. Your home. Partner. Pets. Kids. Health. Job. Abilities. Wisdom. Talents. Friends. Car. Experiences. Music. Rain. Birds. Whatever (there’s no shortage, once you get rolling with this).
How do you feel when you appreciate what you already have?
Good! Yes, it feels good to appreciate what you have. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you become aware of all you have rather than focusing on all your have-nots. Appreciation changes your whole perspective, your whole world. Suddenly you’re more open to opportunities. And, willing to act on them.
If you make time for a little gratitude every day you’ll be amazed by the results and how you begin to improve your life.
What awesomeness can you INVITE into your life, by being grateful every day for what you already have? What do you not have, that you can mentally appreciate even before it comes into your life?