Many of use go through life believing that we’re “self-made.” We don’t think enough about the others who have listened to us, given freely of their time, money and help. We don’t have an “attitude of gratitude.”
That point was driven home this morning when I heard a woman (let’s call her Jennifer) speak about her life. Her father abused her, her mother and siblings. She went through a life of homelessness, abuse and trauma until in her late teens. She spoke candidly about how she became grateful for things in her life despite her anger at her father and others who mistreated her.
Jennifer now helps others who have experienced similar lives develop a positive mindset.
Attitude of Gratitude Journal
Jennifer found help in her daily life by keeping an “attitude of gratitude” journal.
- Keep a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal can give you perspective about the great things in your life. Take some time every day to write down five things you are grateful for today.
- Remember and be grateful for challenges and “negative experiences because they’ve taught you valuable lessons in patience, understanding, humility and strength.
- Focus on the gifts. Be thankful for the gifts we receive from others such as a smile or kind word, as well as the gifts we off to others.
- Be grateful for your health. The human body is an amazing machine. Be thankful for all that yours can do.Keep a visual reminder to be grateful, such as a picture frame with your favorite gratitude quote, and surround yourself with grateful people.
- Commit to practicing gratitude. Make a concerted effort to practice gratitude every single day. Let other know you appreciate them.
- Maintain a positive, grateful attitude. Replace a negative internal monologue with positive thoughts.
- If you must, fake it till you make it. If you’re having trouble being grateful, fake it until you are. Smile, say thank you and write a thank you note to someone who’s helped you recently. Soon, all of this gratitude will overtake any negativity.
Jennifer, despite her challenging life, now works for a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit. She delights helping others get jobs, find housing and, best of all, keep an “attitude of gratitude.”