Sunday, November 29, 2009

After Thankfulness

-Devlyn Steele

I know God won't give me anything I can't handle, I just wish he wouldn't trust me so much.

-Mother Teresa

The Thanksgiving holiday came and went. Some took the time to reflect, acknowledge and share what they were thankful for. Others just dug right into the food, and some didn't even think about being thankful, but instead were more focused on what was going wrong in their lives.

Regardless, Thanksgiving has concluded and we're back to our routines, and for many the notion of being thankful has also come and gone. The past year has been a tough year for a lot of us. The economic turmoil has created fear, strain and stress. Many are also facing career and financial obstacles. These obstacles may have lead to relationship strain, high anxiety and or depression. With the struggles we face every day, it's often a difficult concept to remember to be thankful.

It's precisely when times are tough that we need to be most grateful. It's easy to point out what is wrong, complain or to be bitter. Concentrating on the negative takes no imagination, and doesn't clear the path to see other possibilities. In fact, dwelling on our problems builds a wall that impedes our ability to see past our obstacles. When we cannot see the possibility of things improving we lose motivation and quality of life. Without motivation we fail to get into action to create real change in our lives. Then as we stay stuck in the negative unable to get into action, we lose our enjoyment of the day.

Learning to change your perspective to being more grateful creates a new experience in life. It allows you to enjoy where you are and fosters an atmosphere of hope. Hope allows you to see a future with possibilities of improvement. Thinking that things can get better creates motivation. Motivation gets you into action today towards building a brighter future. Getting into action gives you confidence that you can improve your life. Having the opportunity to improve your life is something that you can be grateful for. Developing a deep sense of gratitude will make you stronger and propel you into a cycle of action to improve every aspect of your life.

If you feel that you have nothing to be grateful for, then start by just being grateful for experiencing this day. Being grateful for this day means you have an opportunity to get into action, which in turn mean you have the possibility of improving any aspect of your life. Once you start being grateful you will jump start improvement in your life. You will discover that you actually have so much more to be grateful for. You will find yourself grateful for the food you eat, shelter you have, clothes you wear and the people you know. We all have things to be grateful for, we just live our lives overlooking them. The fact that you have this day is an amazing gift that you can use to create a better tomorrow while finding joy in today.

Make living in gratitude not a once a year tradition, but a way of life. It requires very little effort and time. If you take just a couple of minutes each morning and evening to recite a grateful list out loud to yourself, you will find your attitude changing. The world will start to look different and your relationships, mood, energy, work, and overall life will improve. Isn't that worth a couple of minutes of your time a day?

It is your decision. As I always say, your attitude is your decision. Nothing forces you to be negative. Nothing forces you to complain. Nothing prevents you from reciting a grateful list. No one or does anything makes you behave and look at the world the way you do. You are a product of the choices you make in how you interact with the world. The events of the world both good and bad happen every day to all of us. These events in life do not define us, we define ourselves by how we react, or respond to the events. Define your life as a life of opportunity and appreciating the gift of life by being grateful for the day. With this day you can find joy and get into action to create positive change. Be grateful for that! Live a life with an attitude of gratitude all year long. Be grateful for this

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