GRATITUDE: 5 WAYS TO FIND IT


The Thanksgiving Holiday is coming up this month, for what are we thankful?

That feeling of being thankful, especially when faced with unexpected changes, challenges, disappointments or failures can be absent from our thinking, but we can find gratitude.  These unexpected changes, challenges, disappointments or failures are part of life and affect us, but how we deal with them is entirely our choice and within our control.  Our minds and mindsets are very powerful and will affect our lives in a good way or a bad way; the choice is ours.

So, how do we find gratitude?

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1-INSPIRING EXAMPLES- PEOPLE WHO OVERCOME CHALLENGES OR MENTOR US

If you want gratitude, it doesn’t take long to find amazing people who overcome challenges, sometimes greater challenges than we are facing, so by those inspirational examples, we find ways to be thankful.

Did you ever meet someone who was faced with tremendous challenges in some way, but focused on the positive, and then became amazing and inspirational? We set the limits of what we can become or do.  If our environment is negative, we need to find more positive people to be around, we can also read about positive, inspirational people, if unable to find them near us.  We are so lucky to have Internet access because this gives us a convenient way to find positive and motivating people.  Watch movies: there so many positive, inspirational stories that can help change your viewpoint to one of gratitude.  Some examples that come to mind are:

Soul Surfer

The Help

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Blindside

John O’Leary, On Fire

I believe there is greatness within every person, as well as tremendous potential.  It is a matter of our focus whether we achieve. Some will choose to let those challenges, disappointments or failures affect and control them and see everything negative and others will choose to use those challenges, disappointments or failures propelling to the next level and improving, understanding that we can be thankful for the challenges, disappointments or failures because we they make us stronger and cause us to improve when we decide to overcome them.  I’ve met some people in day to day life that once I learned their story of challenges, I couldn’t believe how they could be so positive and thankful. It is a choice.

Think about the people in our lives who have done something positive for us by:  listening, helping, inspiring, encouraging, teaching, motivating or entertaining us. We can be grateful for them!

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2- REALIZE YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL OR CAN BE BEAUTIFUL – IT’S A CHOICE, NOT SOMETHING YOU WERE GIVEN AT BIRTH

Sometimes it’s the people who had the most incredible struggles who are the most beautiful people.  Inner beauty dominates outer beauty – think about that:  we were created with certain physical attributes and features, but the inner beauty is something that we create.  Sure, there is plastic surgery that can change outer beauty, but did you ever see an outwardly beautiful person and then get to know them and realize their inner beauty isn’t developed? Inner beauty is personality, respect, honesty, confidence, happiness, actively helping others, being attentive, listening, compassion for others, kindness, awareness, peacefulness, and how one uses the unique talent, gift, ability each person has that makes them a one of a kind. This inner beauty affects how beautiful people appear to us; if it’s undeveloped, it lessens the beauty we see or makes them unattractive. Knowing that; everyone has the opportunity to be thankful for being beautiful because we can make that happen,but if it hasn’t already happened: focus on inner beauty:  Inner Beauty dominates Outer Beauty.

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3- GET OUTDOORS

We are fortunate to have nearby parks in the US wherever we live.   So, use them, detach from technology, go for a walk, a run, a hike and take time to notice the surroundings.  So often we are in a rush, so we pass by beautiful things we have right in front of us.  We can be thankful for the natural beauty we experience: the colors we see, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, oceans, the changes in seasons, beaches, forests, mountains, deserts, and the sky and: sunrises, sunsets, clouds, stars.

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4- GO TRAVEL

Travel can produce gratitude.  We may find incredible places, views, people and then become thankful for those moments. Or we may see conditions we never experienced before making us grateful for what we have at home.  The travel can be near or far; either way we will get this experience; just go someplace new where you haven’t been before for the most impact.

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5- VOLUNTEER

Sometimes the greatest gift we ever receive comes from helping others and seeing the impact made on others.  Volunteering opportunities are everywhere and there is usually a shortage of volunteers. Find some cause that appeals to you and get involved, you will be thankful and so will others.  Focusing on others also helps us avoid any self-pity reflection of circumstances which is counterproductive to feeling thankful.

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REMINDERS

Once you identify what you are grateful for, write it down as a reminder to keep with you and stay focused on the positive; because we all need reminders now and then when things don’t go well!

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