This season of Thanksgiving reminded me of the messages from two different sources that highlight the connection between gratitude and happiness.
The first source is my dear friend, Cathy Sexton. Cathy experienced several consecutive years of family health issues and losses. During this difficult time, I was in the audience when she told us that what sustained her was her gratitude for all the good in her life. It was one of the most moving and inspirational moments I’ve experienced in any program I’ve attended.
The second source is a Ted Talk given by David Steindl-Rast . In his talk he suggested that while we naturally feel grateful when good things happen, it’s those who are grateful for everything they’re experiencing that are the happiest. In essence he’s saying that gratitude begets happiness, not the reverse.
That’s been my experience as well. When I stop judging situations, or people, as being good or bad, right or wrong, I’m much happier. Instead of judging, I merely accept what is happening as something with which I have to deal.
This non-judgmental approach takes the emotion out of what I’m experiencing which enables me to think more clearly and objectively about what I’m facing and the alternatives available to me in dealing with the situation.
As a result I’m able to make a conscious, unemotional decision about which path to pursue. I also gain confidence in the chosen path’s ability to get me where I want to go.
Here’s a simple way to develop a gratitude mindset which will lead to a much happier life:
- Each morning, shortly after you rise, recall all the good that exists in your life. There is much more to be grateful for than many of us realize.
- During the day, as challenges rise, pause and remind yourself that it’s neither good nor bad, just something with which to deal.
- Each evening, shortly before going to bed, recall all that happened that day and remind yourself of the positive aspects of each.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly you develop a mindset of gratitude and happiness.
For our kids
Do the morning and evening exercises with your kids. They too will develop a gratitude and happiness mindset…and you’ll all be adding wonderful parent, child bonds to the list of things for which you’re grateful.
If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs.
If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program.