Sooooo I'm turning 30 on September 1st. WOAH! How do I feel about that? Chiiiild don't ask me that question if you don't have the time to hear the answer! lol! Now I done got this BRIGHT idea! I've been reflecting on the past 30 years of my life and I sure have been through a lot; and in going through so much, I've learned a lot. So for the next 30 days, I will be sharing with you 30 things I've learned in 30 years. So here we go with #1.
I'm sure many of you have heard the phrase "Attitude of Gratitude" before, and maybe you had someone tell you something along the lines of "you ought to be more grateful". And when folks speak about gratitude it is often assumed that it is an easy thing to do "be grateful". For some, gratitude comes fairly easy. Some people have had a relatively easy life, and they can have a more optimistic perspective on life and be grateful for the things they've been blessed with. For some people, it's the very opposite. They've not had the easiest life, have gone without, and have been through tumultuous life events; and because of that, they are very grateful for even the smallest of things. But you know, not everyone is the same. There are some folks who because of their many blessings forget to be grateful because they have become accustomed to having and receiving; and some, who have been jaded by a rough life and have a more pessimistic disposition that instead of being grateful for things, they are programmed to anticipate something going wrong. Either way, we believe that people are either grateful people or ungrateful people.
What I've come to learn is that you can actually choose gratitude. Remember the post I made a while ago talking about making decisions? I had said, "Make a decision and live towards it". Actually, let me change that "can" into a "should". You SHOULD choose gratitude. For some, you're thinking "well that's easy" and that's amazing.... but this post isn't for you. For those of you who are thinking "How?" Well this post is most definitely for you. Let's talk about how and why.
Well, the first thing to do is DECIDE! "I'm going to be more grateful. I'm going to be INTENTIONALLY grateful. I am going to CHOOSE gratitude.
The next thing to do is, FIRST THING IN THE MORNING remind yourself of that decision. Baby, I don't know if you need to set it as the note on your alarm clock, set a reminder on your phone, put sticky notes on your ceiling above the bed, or in your bathroom mirror; but, you know you better than I know you, do what you go to do.
Third thing: Once you see your reminder, think ahead in the day and already assign gratitude to the things you have planned. Look for what you can already be grateful for even before it happens. Here, I'll start the list for you " I am grateful that the Lord put me on the wakeup list today."
Lastly: When bad things happen, or things aren't quite turning out how you'd hoped, stop for a moment and remind yourself of your commitment to gratitude, and then ask yourself "what can I be grateful for even in the midst of this situation." The Bible says to be grateful in ALL circumstances. Babyyyyy! EASIER SAID THEN DONE, I know! But, in time as you practice intentional gratitude it will gradually become easier, and you'll start to see your natural disposition begin to shift.
Oh, wait! I said "lastly" but there's one more (and I'm sure you may have some others to add to the list, comment down below). Lastly for real! At the end of the day, take a moment to reflect and make a list of things that you are grateful for from that day. Even small things like "I'm grateful I had hot water today because I remember when I didn't". It doesn't have to be a physical list (but if you want to, a gratitude journal is an amazing investment), but you can also just run down the list in your mind. Just make the list!
Now the WHY?
Believe it or not, gratitude actually attracts goodness. Honestly, I don't know much about the laws of attraction, but I do know that in the times that I've been consistent with practicing intentional gratitude, BETTER things have come along my way. Not only that, but it actually makes the mundane feel better. When you start acknowledging the good in the everyday, the everyday starts to feel better and life becomes more enjoyable. Even your bad days start to feel like better days. Gratitude is even good for your mental health. " Gratitude lessens stress, anxiety, and depression." There is literally no downside to choosing gratitude. But hey! Don't just take my word for it, give it a try. If you've made it this far into this blog I want to challenge you to practice intentional gratitude for the next 7 days. As you choose gratitude, pay attention to how you feel, what is going on around you as a response, any shift, all the things, just pay attention. Then, come back and tell me about it.
I have a story on how this has helped me on my recent trip to Dubai.... go on to my youtube channel to watch and listen.... click here. (Oh and subscribe!)
I love ya'll... OH! and yeah..... I'M BAAAAAACCCKKKK! DID YAH MISS ME?!
1 down... 29 more to go. Lord help me stay consistent. Ya'll too! PLEASE! HELP ME STAY CONSISTENT!
Lighting up the woods, one Syllable at a time