Gratitude changes everything.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

Today is April 20th 2020 and this week marks one month of the stay at home order here in Illinois and much of the nation.  Fear, angst, anxiety, stress, you name it I’ve felt it just like many of you I felt hopelessness, despair and depression over losing a job that I loved with my whole heart . . .and then . . . I stopped . . . and I thought for a moment about what was really going on.

I was choosing fear over faith and once I had that moment, that moment of discovery that I was in control.  That this again was another choice and I could choose to not feel fear,  I could choose to let go of anxiety.  I could choose to not feel hopeless.  I realized what a true blessing this time is.  How grateful I should be and when I changed the way I looked at things things changed. Gratitude changes everything.

This is what I now saw

This ah ha moment that I experienced reminds me of what Steve Jobs said“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Gratitude is the antidote.

Gratitude is the antidote for fear, anxiety, depression.  It is what turns what we have into enough. Having goals, drive and ambition can be a very positive aspect of life, it’s when striving for what we want and focusing on what we don’t have becomes so consuming that we are unable to enjoy the present moment, that this becomes a problem. If we consistently focus on thoughts of negativity and lack, our minds look for more evidence and it starts a cycle. When you change the way you look at things things change.  Change this way of looking at the world and see it through a different lens The lens of gratitude; the act of giving thanks and acknowledging that which we already have

Adding gratitude as a daily habit is so powerful, you can basically turn any negative emotional state into a positive one at will. It’s impossible to feel fear or anger while feeling gratitude at the same time.” Do you want proof?  Do this smile – now try to think a negative thought while you’re smiling.  You can’t do it right.  You either can’t come up with a negative thought or you came up with one but couldn’t continue to smile.

Gratitude Mindset

Several weeks ago we talked about the mindset of a leader and how to change our mindset.  This is one very specific example of a mindset of great leaders. Change our mindset from what we don’t have to what we do have.  When you change the way you look at things; things change.

Dalai Lama, who tells us: “Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’ ”

Gratitude Challenge

When you make gratitude a part of your everyday life you fuel happiness, feel self-fulfilled and certainty. It teaches us to love and care for ourselves and It’s one of the steps to the law of attraction to manifest success and attract abundance. Here are some habits you can create around gratitude.

  • Create a gratitude list Write down 10 things you are grateful for just before bed or first thing in the morning.
  • Call or text someone just to let them know you are grateful for their friendship
  • Hand write someone a thank you note
  • Create a gratitude journal

Don’t wait start now – my challenge for you this week is to make 1 gratitude call – it sounds like this “HI Chris.  This is Laura.  I just wanted to call and let you know that you are on my mind and I am thankful for our friendship.  There’s no need to call me back.”

Go to The Everyday Leader page on Facebook and share how it went.

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