Did anything great happen to you in the last 24
hours? I mean something monumental. . .
something you're so thankful for that you felt like
breaking out in song? Go ahead, review your
Maybe you're thinking about whether you received any
checks in the mail; or perhaps you're just delighted
because today's mail didn't include any bills!
As you consider this question, you might reach the
conclusion that nothing truly spectacular occurred.
But, hold on for a moment.
Did you have a place to stay last night, shielded
from the elements? Imagine what it might be
like if you and your family didn't have a roof over
Is there a bathroom, plumbing or hot water where you
live? Does that make your life a little more
comfortable? From the time you awoke, did you
have the use of your eyesight to see the sun and the
beautiful blue sky? Were you able to get out
of bed, walk around and go outside? Some
people won't have
that luxury today.
How about your hearing? Can you hear the
sounds of the birds chirping or the wind rustling
through the trees? At breakfast, could you
smell the fresh coffee brewing or the toast after it
popped up in the toaster?
What would a day be like if you couldn't hear or
smell. . . or if you couldn't taste your food?
Yes, there ARE people who don't have the full use of
these senses. And what about those things that
aren't necessary to survive, but that
enhance your day-to-day existence -- items like a
car, a radio, a television or a computer? Are
you truly thankful for these and other gifts you
Each Precious Gift
I'm sure that you get my point. Each day, we
have dozens of reasons to give thanks. Yet we
generally take these things for granted and fail to
see them as precious items to be cherished. Of
course, when any one of them is taken from us, even
temporarily, we take notice. But, day in and
day out, we rarely consider our blessings.
Why am I making such a big fuss about this?
It's simple. When you focus on gratitude and
other positive emotions, you feel better and are
more relaxed, more creative and more
productive. You also have a positive influence
on those around you, at work and at home.
Here, then, are a few things you can do to cultivate
an "attitude of gratitude" in your life:
1. Think about your blessings daily. The key
is to develop a habit of focusing on things you are
grateful for. Put a note on your bathroom
mirror or carry a card in your wallet or purse with
the message, "Count Your Blessings."
Set aside time each day to reflect on how fortunate
you are. This isn't a time-consuming chore,
and you'll be amazed at the results!
2. Verbalize your gratitude. During
conversations at work and at home, express your
appreciation for all of the wonderful things and
people in your life. If you live in a country
that allows you freedom of expression and the right
to pursue your dreams, tell others how much you
Express your gratitude to supportive coworkers and
family members. Call your parents and let them
know how much you value the sacrifices they made for
you while you were growing up.
3. Shift the focus away from difficulties.
When problems arise and you've done all you can to
remedy them, train your mind to bring your attention
back to your blessings. This helps you to keep
things in perspective -- e.g., recognizing that your
health and basic necessities in life are more
important than the fact that the office copier will
be out of order for a few hours. Besides, when you
are relaxed and experiencing positive emotions, you
stand a far better chance of coming up with
solutions to your difficulties.
4. Lift others in need. One of the best ways
to use your gifts (health, energy, attitude, etc.)
is to share them with others who are having a rough
time. Can you lend a helping hand to a
co-worker, friend, relative or other person in your
Merely spending time with someone in need, or giving
a few words of encouragement can make a tremendous
difference to that person, while helping you to
develop a deeper sense of gratitude about how
well-off you are.
It costs you nothing to be grateful and
appreciative, yet it has a considerable impact on
the quality of your life. So, don't waste
another minute. Every day, reflect on the
priceless gifts you've been enjoying. Openly
share your gratitude with others.
And, the next time somebody asks if anything great
happened to you today, you'll have plenty to say!
* * * * *
Keller is the President of Attitude is Everything,
Inc. For more than 17 years, Jeff has
delivered presentations on attitude and motivation
to businesses, groups and trade associations
throughout the United States and abroad. Jeff is
also the author of the highly acclaimed book,
Everything. For more information, go to http://www.attitudeiseverything.com.