First of all, let me say that this is truly my favorite time of the year. It has been so wonderful watching the leaves change and experiencing cooler weather. My mind immediately starts to think about Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie, and all my favorite holiday dishes. Most of all, my mind goes to gratitude and how it has saved my life on so many occasions. I hope this piece will open your heart to embrace gratitude as a way of life.
- You are not a prisoner to your circumstances. If you are not careful, you can become so consumed with your circumstances that they become a prison. I am not being insensitive to the fact that we all go through things in our lives. However, you do not have to be defined by what you go through. Essentially, you may not be able to control the problems that arise in your life. However, you are in control of your perspective. If you can maintain your perspective, you can master any circumstance that arises in your life and arrive at a place of peace. Understand that your perspective always determines what is possible for you. Your perspective shapes your outcomes.
- You maintain perspective by choosing to be grateful. As you know, 2023 has been an incredible year for me. I cannot even begin to tell you all the exciting things that are happening in my life. However, I have not forgotten where I come from. I still remember the years of struggle, hardships, and difficulties. I still remember the years when I felt like my life was in a holding pattern and going nowhere. How did I make it through some of the darkest seasons of my life? I made it through by choosing to be grateful. Often people see me smiling and optimistic about life and assume that my journey has been easy. On the contrary, my journey has been challenging and filled with obstacles. I simply made the decision to be grateful regardless of the circumstances. I decided that no challenge, crisis, or contradiction would rob me of joy or steal my peace. We all have the opportunity to be negative and complain about the circumstances of our lives. However, complaining does not benefit our lives in any way. In fact, complaining ultimately leads to us drowning in discouragement. When you choose to be grateful, you choose to live anchored in the midst of adversity.
- Develop an attitude of gratitude. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I live with an attitude of gratitude. I know what it is like to struggle. Also, I know what it is like to thrive. As a result, I have learned that whatever state I find myself in I know how to be content. From decades of experience, I know that contentment is the catalyst for developing an attitude of gratitude. Your attitude shapes how you think and how you show up in the moments of your life. While you may not be grateful for everything that is happening in your life, you can still be grateful in the midst of everything that is happening in your life. When you develop an attitude of gratitude you become unshakable. In other words, you are not moved by what is happening in your world because you know what holds your world together. An attitude of gratitude grounds you in the blessing that life is. When you are grateful you do not take anything for granted.
- Cultivate a daily habit of gratitude. If you have followed my work for any length of time, then you know that I have been keeping a gratitude journal for more than twenty years. Every single day I take time to reflect and write down what I am grateful for. When I first started doing this years ago, it was very challenging to come up with a list of things that I was thankful for. However, I can now write pages of things that I am grateful for. In other words, it has become a daily practice and a way of life for me. Gratitude has carried me through some dark seasons and challenging times in my life. We all encounter challenges and setbacks. It does not change the fact that we always have something to be grateful for. If you maintain a grateful heart you will surmount every obstacle and seize new opportunities in your life. As I cultivated gratitude, I attracted breakthroughs into my world. If you cultivate a habit of gratitude, it will shift your paradigm, adjust your attitude and change your perspective about life.