Why aren’t we more grateful?
I’m sure if you asked your neighbor or best friend if he/she was a grateful person they would certainly say yes. We like to think we practice gratitude often but if you get real with yourself you might find out otherwise. How many times have you been at the water cooler and your co-worker comes up complaining about the boss or complaining about the guy who cut them off that morning on the way to the office. Think about YOUR conversations. How many times do you tend to complain? It might not be about big things but the little things count too. What about the media? Seems a story cannot really make headlines unless it carries an element of conflict.
Why have we become so fascinated with problems? Is life really that bad that we’d rather tell people what is wrong versus what is right? I sure hope not.
I believe that we have just become too wrapped up in our responsibilities, our routines, and our daily chores that we have subconsciously smothered our natural ability to practice gratitude. Instead of being upset that the guy cut you off on the way to work and perhaps made you 5-minutes late… what about being thankful that you are fortunate enough to have a job, to be able to afford a car to get to work 5- minutes late instead of taking the bus and sitting out in the rain or cold waiting to get picked up.
Gratitude is not complicated but it does take a little work. When you find yourself getting frustrated, getting stressed or maybe even sharing your negative feelings with someone… stop yourself and think backwards. Think about the problem and find something about it to be grateful for. After a while, you will start to change your thought patterns. I know a guy who woke up one day, got dressed in his suit and tie, walked out to his car to leave only to find 3 of 4 tires slashed. Obviously he was upset. Not only was he going to be extremely late for work but the cost of 3 new tires was money he just didn’t have right now. He had a choice. To get mad, let his frustration get the best of him and ruin his day – maybe even his week or to find something about the situation to be grateful for. He chose the later. He remembered that two of his tires were getting pretty bare anyways and since he was leaving to go to an appointment across town he would have taken the interstate. Who knows, maybe going 70+ miles and hour on two balding tires would have caused a blow out thus causing a wreck with injury to him or to others. Maybe the tires being slashed was a blessing in disguise.
That is just one example. As the old cliché goes “there is always a silver lining to every cloud.”
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