“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
The goal is to make gratitude a incessant habit, that helps you to navigate both the sweet and sour side of life. More than likely, we won’t be living our life like Jill Scott everyday, but if we can redirect our energy and allow humility to meet gratitude, some of those storm clouds will subside.
Choosing gratitude tends to be infectious, therefore it begins to seep into different aspects of our life. Even those dark pits of your life that you feel are not worth anything. Gratitude works to help shift your perspective on situations that you once thought were dead. It helps you to refocus and appreciate where you are right now. Unfortunately, when working towards our goals in life, we may find ourself in a bit of a rut. We begin to focus our energy on the negatives of our situation. “I don’t have; I don’t know; They don’t care” are some of the excuses we find, that allow us to create a large margin between our purpose and our willingness to pursue it. This inevitably begins to overshadow all of the great things we once saw in the goals we set forth to accomplish. What used to be be an opportunity, now seems to be an obstacle.
Truth is, it’s pretty easy to practice gratitude when life already prepared the lemonade for you. Bills are paid on time, family is healthy, social life is on point…literally no room for negativity. But what about those times where challenges and obstacles seem to knock you flat on your back?
I have a recent example of how I incorporated gratitude, to combat unwarranted problems in my life. Just last week, I got up at 4:30 am like normal, and was prepping myself to have an amazing day. I planned to make myself breakfast, get a little writing done, workout, and maybe even put a little makeup on. Somehow, none of that got done. So I hop in my car, and what do you know? Not only did the car stutter when I cranked it, the most evil light of all came on. The “Check Engine” light! So now, I travel an hour an 15 minutes to my job, only to be greeted with an issue that impedes on multiple processes. I digested all of this by 7:30 am. I could have just thrown in the towel and sat there in desperation. I decided to choose gratitude. I flipped it and thought of my issues in this way. “Lord, I’m grateful to have this vehicle. Grateful to have this job that will allow me to afford the repair work for my car. Grateful to be equipped with the knowledge and experience in order to resolve this issue at work.” Long story short, my repair work was covered under warranty and that issue at work only took a few minutes to resolve. GRATITUDE FOR THE WIN!
Given the blessing to wake up every morning, we all have a set of spiritual glasses we can choose to wear for the day. We can choose to look through the lens of despair and defeat; or we can decide to slide on the prescription lens that helps to bring new meaning to things we feel have fell dull in our life. Having an attitude of gratitude is like being a trick candle. Defeat tries to extinguish your light, but the empowering ability of gratitude refuels you, and reminds you to shine your light.
Today, give it your best shot. Try to be intentional about living life with gratitude. Get a journal and write down 4 things that either made you smile or simply helped you progress towards a goal. If 4 is too high, then even try capturing 1 thing. I definitely understand that embracing this concept of gratitude is not something that happens at the snap of your fingers. So, don’t give up if you have a day full of negativity. Shake it off and try again tomorrow. After all, we all get an opportunity at a new day’s journey!