“Constantly thank God. When suffering, thank God for needing his comfort and love” -Fr. Gordon
“Thus, appreciation is the antidote to fear” -What Happy People Know, Dr. Dan Baker
(photo by Crystl via Flickr)
Do you get the winter blues? Have you been knocked back on you feet due to a job loss, home foreclosure or a relationship break-up. There is a Zen saying that goes, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional“. Yet in the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl it is stated that, “to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering”. Frankl goes on to say that while he was imprisoned in a concentration camp during WWII he observed that , “to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances is the last of human freedoms”.
In tough circumstances I have found gratitude to be the greatest asset to help me make it through. Instead of thinking of what I don’t have, I think of what I do have. In my book, You Can Sleep In Your Car But You Can’t Drive Your House To Work, I tell of how while living in my car at a truck stop I learned to thank God for the roof over my head, even though it was a sunroof. I became thankful for having running water, even though I had to run across a parking lot into the truck stop to get it (here’s a blog post about that). The beauty in this was that the more things I found that the more I was grateful, the more I became grateful for. It worked in reverse too. The more I became bitter, the more things I became bitter about. I had to reach in and take the attitude I wanted from my mind.
Joanne Miller recently wrote an excellent blog post on creating her gratitude journal. The goal is to come up with 1,000 things you are grateful for. Inspired by this I decided to challenge you to start your own list of 1,000. That is only 3 a day for a year (with a few days off). Also, I will mail a free copy of my book to the first 5 people who contact me and let me know you have a list of 1,000. I also encourage you to hand write your list. There is something that really connects with the brain when you write it out with paper and pen.
Question: Do you find things to be grateful for naturally or do you have to look for them? (please comment below)