The Performance Pro

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Make Every Day Thanks 'giving' day.

I recently wrote a column about having an attitude of gratitude. A reader replied that she did sometimes feel really grateful and was able to understand that everything we experience or have is a gift which is given to us. Her challenge was that she couldn't maintain that level of gratitude on a daily basis. Things would happen that would erode her attitude of gratitude and she questioned how one could sustain this type of thinking. Being human, I think most of us experience our highs and lows. No wonder it is hard to keep our grateful outlook on things. We have negative things being thrown at us everywhere we look. Here are a few thoughts on maintaining an attitude of gratitude:

 Fill your personal reservoir with good. 

Cynicism abounds. Negativity is everywhere. One only has to watch a nightly dose of television to see how the altitude of our attitudes have plummeted. Mr. A.W. Tzer once stated "A thankful heart cannot be cynical."  If this is true, we have our work cut out for us if we want to maintain our attitude of gratitude. It takes 7 to 21 positives to wipe out one negative. Therefore, we need to fill our personal reservoirs with habits of goodness and optimism to offset the negative influences that are deposited into our lives. Perhaps this means to give ourselves priority and take charge of our own lives. Everything we see or hear is absorbed into our minds. What we choose to expose our minds to can sabotage our spirit. Knowing this, we discover that by making the right choices; we can position ourselves for having an attitude of gratitude.

 Life is full of choices:
  • How will you choose to spend your time tonight?
  • What will you choose to watch on  television?  
  • What could you be doing to better feed your spirit?
  • What will you be putting into your personal reservoir? 

Live life from an attitude of  abundance. 

Count your blessings. Not just the big general ones we usually think of. How about the infinite number of  specific blessings we experience each day— from our toothbrushes to our pillows? One person made a list of 101 things she was thankful for at work. It included everything from heat in the winter to self-sticking stamps. (This would make a great meeting opener or team exercise.) Just to help to keep in perspective when it comes to our abundance -- Jody, the daughter of a friend of ours, is stationed in the mountains of Afghanistan. She says among her list of challenges is just going to the bathroom at night. She needs to put on her coat and boots to go outside and then try to avoid land mines.  

 Take time to see life's wonders for the miracles they are.

 Every morning I get up and ride my exercise glider. I have a wonderful view out my patio doors and these past autumn days I have noticed drops of dew on the floor of the deck. As I glide back and forth, while looking through the glass, I noticed  the rays of the sunlight seem to transform each dew drop into a dazzling color-- some brilliant  red, some brilliant  blue, some brilliant green,etc.  I watched  my deck as it twinkled with this unbelievably colorful iridescent spectacle. It was a beautiful sight.  I'm sure this has happened a hundred times before and I just didn't notice it. It didn't last very long and could have been easily missed. I took a mental picture and put it in my reservoir of good things. When we can find the beauty in every day miracles that surround us, it will help us to sustain our attitude of gratitude.

In the word "Thanksgiving" is the word "give."  The common interpretation is that this means, simply, to give thanks.  Perhaps, the word itself contains the secret to having thankful heart. Hm-m-m-- consider this: Being thankful may be the state that we create when we give to others. It is in our giving that we receive.

10 Steps to Maintaining a Thankful Heart
  1. Fill your reservoir with good things--good thoughts, good humor, good music, good experiences.
  2. Reframe. Instead of looking at the bad side of things, see the glory in them.
  3. Look at our life on earth as a series of lessons.
  4. Focus your eyes on even the smallest of wondrous events.
  5. Let everything you do reflect on your attitude of abundance.
  6. Open your arms to others.
  7. Find the beauty in everything.
  8. Magnify the good in others.
  9. Focus on your many blessings.
  10. Give and be thankful.

"A thankful heart is a happy heart."






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