It’s the new year and as I solemnly vowed to not do a ‘new year resolutions list’, I have instead taken it upon myself to actively seek out what it takes to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
When I set out on a personal journey last year, I found that at the core of my being, was a deep lack fulfillment that I’m sure a lot of us have.
It’s the feeling that your life either hasn’t progressed or that it is progressing much too slowly for your liking.
So I made it my goal to seek for fulfillment and found that one way is by training your mind to be thankful.
I read a Joyce Meyer article online and it was her very interesting take on the Israelites and how they wandered through the desert.
Now lest my assuming we all know the bible by heart is wrong, let me give a brief background to those of you who may have skived Sunday School.
It’s basically the story about how Moses (the chosen one who did weird things like talk to burning bushes and hold a magic stick) freed the Israelites from the evil Egyptians and after parting the red sea, getting God to send down manna (bread that fell as rain) and giving them water from a rock, had to cope with people complaining about, well, you know, the whole ‘wandering in the desert’ thing.
See in her article, Joyce explains that it may have been their attitude that kept them from getting to the promised land. That the Israelites were so focused on how terrible it was living in the desert that they forgot all about the many years they’d spent praying to be released from slavery while in Egypt.
In fact they even longed to go back saying it might have been better if Moses hadn’t come to free them.
In more ways than one, this is the story of our lives.
A lot of us have blessings we prayed for but that are now, the root cause of our troubles. We prayed for jobs and when we got them, we got mad because the boss or your co-workers (or both) suck! We prayed for a spouse or a girlfriend/boyfriend then spent much of our time in the relationship criticizing and fussing.
I found that it’ll always be easier to fuss and complain than to be grateful.
Being grateful actually takes practice. You have to consciously try and actively decide to be grateful but thankfully, (see what I did?) I have listed 5 easy steps courtesy of writer Skip Richard, that should set us all on our way to living a grateful life.
1 A Gratitude Journal.
Write out the things that you are thankful for each day, even if they may seem simple and small. Write them down and look back at them whenever you feel, for lack of a better word, ‘not-so-grateful’.
2 Share What You’re Thankful For.
I don’t know if any of you can relate to this but any time I’m with my friends, I often find myself talking about the things that are going wrong in my life. It probably makes sense because it is after all, very human and very easy to complain. According to Dalai Lama however, we must try not to. We must reinforce a grateful attitude by taking each opportunity to share a lot of the good that’s happening to you.
3 Focus on a Spirit of Thankfulness.
See that journal you’ll be keeping thanks to step number 1? Well take it out once a day and meditate on it. For even just a couple of minutes, revel in the good that’s in your life. It’ll do you well to imagine your life surrounded by blessings.
4 Express your gratitude.
If for instance the thing causing your feeling of gratitude is say, a person, then tell them! Tell them in an email, through a card, however you do it, make sure they know. Always imagine how YOU would feel if someone told you that they’re grateful for you.
5 Surround yourself with grateful people.
Misery likes company and since we’ve already established that an attitude of gratitude is something you actively work on, seek out the people with that kind of an attitude and weed out the people without it.
Have a grateful 2017!!