Gratitude is an amazing personality trait, mood, and emotion. It really comes to life in our lives if we understand it and harness the power of it. Having the right mindset allows our minds to be capable of whatever we set it to.
Our minds are engines that live and love to be revved up. It’s performance is directly related to the fuel we give it. If we build this engine, provide it high octane fuel, and tune it, we are able to drive it to perform at it’s peak performance.
A mentor of mine provided me a book called ‘Soul Keeping’ by John Ortberg. This book used a stream as an example and compared it to our soul. That stream, if tended to properly was depicted as a place that is healthy, flowing, vibrant, and full of life. Imagine this stream on a wonderful sunny day, blue skies, with a pair of swans trumpeting, ducks bathing in it, a deer along the shoreline enjoying a drink, just filled with beauty!
This same kind of beauty can exist in us. If we mind fully and intentionally tend to our mindset by being selective on what we allow in and what we feed it, it is possible.
Fostering an attitude of gratitude has made it possible for me. If I had to describe an attitude of gratitude, I would describe it as deliberately choosing to find things in our lives to be grateful for.
About the same time I read ‘Soul Keeping’ I began to put journaling into practice. For about 7 years or so now I have been writing down my gratitudes. Since I have done so, it has changed me drastically. Gratitude journaling has improved my relationships, my physical health, and my psychological health.
For my gratitude journal I answer and write out these things:
In the morning:
- What am I grateful for today?
- What would make today great?
- I am… (Affirmations).
In the evening, before bed:
- What are three amazing things that happened today?
- What would make today better?
The questions are fairly straight forward but the answers can be whatever you wish. I try to get creative with the answers. It can be something large like being grateful for having a family or it can be something small and specific like the farmer who picked the berries in my shake this morning. For the second question some examples are – Today will be great if I hit a PR at the gym, talk to the girl I keep bumping into, whatever is on your mind, make it fun! The affirmations can be anything positive you want to affirm yourself in. I am strong. I am loved. Anything! It may be challenging at first to think of things but I assure you if done frequently it will become easier.
The questions before bed allow me to recap the amazing parts in the day. Some days they are more mundane than amazing but that is beyond the point. Seeking what would make today better roots us in growth and seeking better.
The process of all of this helps us to foster seeking good, pursuing good, and affirming and confirming good things in our lives. I truly believe a lot of people’s lives would be changed if they choose to seek such things.
I’m not always able to write out my gratitudes but if I can, I do. Some of my most enjoyable moments are when I am able to go through my gratitude with friends or loved ones in a conversation.
Choosing to journal my gratitudes and make it a habit in my life has really helped my mindset grow and thrive. I find it very easy to find things in my life and around me to be grateful for. Now, I find it a little challenging to find things to grumble and complain about because it’s not what I do regularly.
The fuel that I am choosing to fuel my mind with everyday is gratitude. Let’s see how it continues to perform!