THANKSGIVING… 6 Hows to Get a REAL Attitude of Gratitude
Most people would agree that we have a lot to be thankful for. After all, many of us live a lifestyle full of conveniences…
- We live in comfortable homes, wear nice clothes, and have reliable transportation.
- We have no shortage of clean water or healthy food.
- We have access to quality healthcare and education, and basically live a good life with a lot of freedom, safety and security.
While it’s easy to take these wonderful blessings for granted—and begin to focus on what we don’t have—millions of people around the world live without the basic necessities of life.
I’ll never forget the time my Daughter went on a week-long outreach with a team of people to help the sick and homeless. It was obvious that the experience touched her deeply. She called me and said:
“If I ever complain again, please knock me down for being so selfish!”
After she saw how some people were living, she was appalled at how she had complained about small things in her own life.
Just think about it…
We can complain about trivial things like cleaning the house. However, those without a place to live would love to have a house to clean.
Or have you ever complained about the regular costs of maintaining your vehicle? I’m sure we’ve all had our day ruined by an unexpected repair. However, a person without transportation dreams about having a car to drive.
It is so easy to forget how blessed we are! That’s why maintaining an attitude of gratitude is something we need to do on purpose.
This “Little Thing” can make a big difference…
I want you to try something. As you go about your day, make a point to be grateful for the things you may otherwise not even notice.
For instance, I really like coffee. Sometimes I take a moment in the morning to thank God for this “little thing” that brings me joy and comfort.
Or how about the blessing of having hot water? It’s something we can easily take for granted, but it makes our lives so much better!
As you begin to thank God for the seemingly small things in your life, it will help you to focus on the positive and everything you do have. As result, you will also be much happier!
6 “LITTLE THINGS” That get HUGE RESULTS We can Do to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude…
If there was a drug with no negative side effects that helped you eat healthier, exercise more, experience less depression, and sleep better, how long would it last in the pharmacy? We would flock to doctors for prescriptions. The pharmaceutical company would have a hit.
Research shows that Negativity acts like a drug to our brains. It is ADDICTIVE. We become negative as a self-protective mechanism naturally. The good news is however, Gratitude can be addictive too. In fact it can become as important to your health as nutrition. Let’s look at some of the benefits. People described as thankful tend to:
- Eat healthier
- Develop stronger immune systems
- Experience more energy
- Demonstrate optimism and mental acuity
- Cope with stress better
- Describe life with high satisfaction
- Exercise regularly
- Solve difficult mental challenges easier
- Have deeper friendships
- Sleep better
- Have increased self-worth and self-esteem
- Show increased productivity
- Enjoy work and perform better on the job
There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person. -Joyce Meyer
The Two Types of Operating Systems in our Brains:
There are two basic operating systems in the Brain… 1. The Negative Operating System (NOS) & the Positive Operating System (POS). These two systems generate the two types of states… we could even say there are two basic types of people… Those who are Thankful consistently – Gratefulness, and those who are Not – Entitlement. Successful people practice gratitude. After all, I don’t see how you can be called successful if you aren’t happy and thankful for all life has to offer.
Here are five ways to purposefully cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” and make sure you “Boot Up” the Positive Operating System:
1. Write it down.
Keep a gratitude journal. Try it for 30 days. Be specific about what you are thankful for. Watch how your thoughts develop over time. You may start out simply, but when you add stories and color, it becomes more powerful.
When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others. -Dalai Lama
2. Talk about it.
Sharing what you are thankful for isn’t just for Thanksgiving. Make it a habit to talk about what you are grateful for all year long. It will reinforce your feelings.
If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. -W. Clement Stone
Whether you regularly meditate or not, take a break a few times a day. Focus on a spirit of thankfulness. Who are you thankful for? Bring the person to mind. Imagine your life surrounded with blessings.
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say thank you?
― William Arthur Ward
4. Express it.
Find that teacher who made a difference in your life, and tell him. Write a personal note and tell a long lost friend what she meant to you.
Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy. Jacques Maritain
5. Seek it.
If you want to be thankful, get around people with that characteristic. Some people just bubble over with enthusiasm and gratitude for life. I once met an elderly lady who was exuberant about life. She was in a nursing home and could have complained for hours. Instead, she welcomed me into her room and started telling me about the birds outside her window. She was thankful for their company, for their song in the morning, and for their vibrant colors. As I listened to her, I realized that I wanted that special spark.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Chuck Swindoll
6. Invite God.
Invite God into everything you do…
Now, consider how to take all of the above to the next level of purpose and mission. One of the best things we can do throughout the day is praise God while we work.
No matter what you’re trying to build—your home, your marriage, your business, financial security, or even an exercise plan—you can worship God as you work.
At my conferences, I make sure to be in the service as soon as the praise and worship begins because I love to be in God’s presence. In fact, before I speak to an audience, I make sure I have entered into praise and worship.
I want to fix my thoughts on God, thank Him for what He’s done in my life and for the words He’s giving me to speak, and I want to give Him praise for everything else He’s going to do.
We need to praise God because we love Him. It actually draws us closer to Him, which helps us hear the Word clearly, receive it, and hold on to it through faith.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – The Apostle Paul (Colossians 3:17)
This will help you to see even more clearly…
Giving thanks throughout the day is simply a way to show God how grateful we are for who He is.
Regularly giving thanks to God not only helps us fully realize how He’s working in our lives, it gives us a new perspective—our mind is renewed, our attitude is improved, and we are filled with joy (see Psalm 16:11).
I am truly amazed at how two people can have the exact same circumstances, however one person can be negative, dissatisfied and hopeless while the other is optimistic and full of joy!
Praise makes all of the difference. Living life with a heart of gratitude for who God is and what He has done for us lifts our burdens and causes us to see everything in a different light.
Each moment that we’re given is a precious gift from God. We can choose to have a thankful attitude and live each moment full of joy…simply because God is good.
More on How and Why….
With all of the above reasons to create an Attitude of Gratitude, you may ask: “Why do we tend to focus on the negative aspects of a situation or experience?” The answer is – Because the human brain is wired for a single purpose – survival. The mind is not designed to make you happy, it’s designed to help you survive. It is always looking for what could hurt you, and it magnifies the bad. And we are wired to operate out of a place of scarcity and fear. But here’s the thing – you have the choice of what to focus on. Remember, what’s wrong is always available, but so is what’s right.
Life will never go as planned. There will always be undesirable surprises. But rather than telling yourself that you have either lost something, have less of something, or will never have what it is you want, make the command decision to focus on adopting an abundance mindset and focusing on what you can be grateful for.
This doesn’t mean you are repressing your emotions or living in a state of denial. It simply means you are making the overarching decision to live in a beautiful state every single day, no matter what happens. Because if the only time you are happy is when things are going your way, you’re not going to be happy very often. And the more you start to make these subtle shifts, the more you can cultivate a sense of abundance, the more you will begin to experience joy, and, eventually, create a new emotional home.
The truth about developing a consistent Attitude of Gratitude is that it really does come from “Thanksgiving”… or Thanks that you Give. Give thanks, not just on the last Thursday of November… Give thanks every day. What’s great in your life is all around you. You must re-wire your heart and mind to focus on them.
Give us a shout out. One of the great benefits of coaching is that you will be guided to become a Grateful person. This means that true fulfillment will become the major emotional state of your life… Sounds Good… Let me tell you… It feels good too.
Thank you for reading… Keith Waggoner