Friday Thoughts on Being Grateful – Part 2
I finally managed to figure out how to put video’s on here! So, here’s the video I talked about last week and which I’ve watched every day for the past week:
It was a good practice to start every day off with a dose of inspiration. Not that it made my week all great, but it did help me start my day off remembering what is important in life. It can be so easy to lose sight of that, don’t you find?
Whenever I see a video like this, it reminds me that there is more to life than the way I often live it – there is more joy, there is more hope, there is an option to not get wrapped up in the daily stuff.
This week, we ended up buying a new fridge. There was a part of me that was really bummed about this. It seems like every time we have some savings, something like this happens. Does that ever happen to you? It was tempting to be really frustrated about this. But I try to remember the good things –
– At least we are able to buy the new fridge
– We got a good deal on it
– We won’t have to worry about milk going bad in two days anymore!
Sometimes it takes something outside of me to help me step back and look again with gratitude at what I have.
Watching Nick Vujicic reminds me both to accept what is and to live with gratitude for the good I experience every day, and also to work on structuring my life in such a way that brings me the most satisfaction, fulfillment and joy. There is both an inside and outside component to it.
He speaks on overcoming obstacles, and this is obviously something he’s done in his life – facing his challenges head-on and making the best of it. I thought about the other possibilities of how his life could have turned out. It could have gone really wrong – he could have been really bitter and angry. I read that he tried to drown himself in the tub when he was 10. So yes, it could have gone really, really wrong. It also could have been average, he could have figured out a way to live his life and find a way to occupy his time in a somewhat satisfactory manner – nothing wrong with that. Yet, he went that extra mile and constantly pushes boundaries. He went surfing, for example, which has got to be a challenge without limbs! And also, he has chosen to do something to pour into others’ lives by traveling and speaking all over the world. It is easy to watch a video like that and take for granted that this is what the person does, but I can’t help but wonder what it took for him to get there. I am sure so much of his joy that he has now is because of his attitude in facing his challenges and in doing something that he is really passionate about. That is that outside component I was talking about, taking action to actually live a life you can be excited about.
One of the ways in which I practice gratitude is by writing a gratitude journal. When I first heard about this, I thought it was rather silly. I can enjoy life without writing it down, can’t I? Isn’t a journal for writing down the things I wouldn’t tell anyone else, like things I struggle with? But then I came across the idea that where you place your focus, is what you create in your life. So if I make a conscious decision to focus on the things I’m grateful for, even when I’m having a bad day, I’m setting myself up not only to experience my feelings in that moment, but also to start to look for those experiences again in the future.
So, almost every night, I write down five things I’m grateful for. Also, I write down any gifts I’ve been given (including non-material, like compliments) and I write down what I’ve accomplished. The last is because it can be easy to feel inadequate, and reminding myself of what I’ve accomplished is like giving myself a pat on the back for things I did accomplish. I then feel a little more motivated to go at it again the next day as well.
I still have many steps to take in my life before I can say I’m in a place where I’m living life as I would like to live it, and in the meantime, I will practice using my focus in ways that get me there.
What inspires you to be grateful? What inspires you to reach for more in your life?
Wishing you a great Friday and weekend!