For most of us, regardless of what time our day starts, after we turn off the alarm our minds begin to process all of the necessary tasks for that particular day. It’s very similar to that of a car engine warming up.
You visualize what the priorities are, what you are behind on, the meetings planned for the day, the emails you still need to reply to, the phone calls you need to return, not to mention the projects you have put off at home. All of this hits you before the shower water even gets hot!
You want to change that routine of stress?There is a recourse to this habit; one that doesn’t take a book, a course, or even a 10-step program. It’s as simple as one word – GRATITUDE. Imagine changing your routine and starting each day with a commitment to only 5 minutes of thinking about the things you are grateful for.
“Gratitude is the single most important ingredient
to living a successful and fulfilled life.”
– Jack Canfield
To be genuinely grateful, one must have a high quality of thankfulness. All I have to say to you is look around — there is so much to be thankful for. Unfortunately we stay stuck either in the high gears of life, or downshifting to catch up. Why not stay in first gear and just coast for a few minutes, and come to the realization that YOU are in an incredibly rewarding role as a leader? YOU get to make a difference in the lives of people you lead every day. You have been provided a privilege, one that you should never take for granted.
Commit to five minutes in your morning routine to simply identify five things that you are grateful for at that particular time. It will be easy for a few weeks, but I challenge you not to repeat yourself. Granted, being thankful for things like an incredible partner, healthy and loving children, and a supportive network of family and friends will always be on this list. But the real thought will come once you get outside that box. That’s why I used the word “commit” when I suggested changing your morning routine.
“Gratitude changes everything . . .”
I personally have a list where I write these things down; I call it my “gratitude catalog”. It’s amazing what looking at a word document filled with line after line of months’ worth of gratitude entries can do to shift one’s perspective. If you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, if you know you’re about to enter a day filled with pressure and high expectations, being able to remind yourself that the blessings of life surround you immediately changes your mindset. It’s just in our DNA – see positive, think positive, act positive.
30 things you can choose to be grateful for now:
* excluding partner, children, family and friends . . .
Waking up (the obvious first!)
Past, present and future (your life)
Ability to make choices
Each day is a new chance to begin again
The ability to go anywhere at anytime
Having a passion
The generosity of others
The small pleasures of life all around us
The setbacks that make a person stronger
Sometimes it’s tough to find the find the bright side of things because of the enormous amount of challenges we face each day. However, remember that no matter how bad your situation may seem, there are more things to be grateful for in life than there are problems. Realize how amazing your life is — and start with YOU!