An attitude of gratitude. A hallmark statement that many attribute to people who see life in such positive and uplifting ways. Not to mention successful, too. Whenever you glance at certain news websites, like CNN, Fox News, MSN, or CNBC, you’ll sometimes come across the title of an article or slideshow saying something like “The Top 10 Ways Successful People Think” or some such selling point so that it grabs your attention to see how these kinds of people think and whether or not you do, too. If you don’t, then you can begin implementing those ways of thinking into your daily life, possibly thinking that something great will be just around the corner, if you could just be this certain way.

Only thing is that we don’t. Habits are hard to break, and these kinds of articles are nice to read, but lack the “umph” needed to really make us see that changing our outlook is something that, while requiring a lot of work, can make a world of difference. I believe the problem lies in expectation of a reward if you are able to adopt certain traits or ways of thinking that a supposed majority of “successful” people possess. And it’s interesting how we take for granted that these are THE traits that will get us there. Who are these people that studies are based off of? What kinds of jobs do they have? Are they really happy at them or how they are integrated into their lives, or did they just say they did to report an expected result that people would expect to hear to the study? If you are the CEO of a company, you must be happy with the kind of position you have, right? And as the CEO, many people will want to try to emulate you so that, one day, they, too, can be a CEO and be just as happy.

Sometimes, I think what we are really looking for has really been under our noses the entire time. We just didn’t want to admit that it was there. What if you can change that way of thinking just a little, making a change to the base and then affecting other decisions, viewpoints, etc. that arise out of that thinking? What if you can finally “see” what was really in front of you the entire time? That is at the heart of what I would like to touch upon today.

Going back to the first line, an attitude of gratitude, what if you take this kind of viewpoint and adopt it so heavily into your life that it takes to heart and becomes a point of view that you do not have to think about to enact? It just happens in life, in your line of thinking. This isn’t so much a point like if you were to try reading everyday because someone else told it would be good for your vocabulary. You adopt this belief because YOU believe that there is good in it, and you become determined to exhibit more to see how it will affect you. That is coming from within, and it gives a kind of credibility to the action you want to undertake. You believe it, so you will try harder to do it. Coming from within, the idea becomes more powerful, believable, whereas, if you take it from an online article or hearsay, you can disregard it or not pay attention.

Finding motivation to undertake a change or to do more of something is a big first step, but what does gratitude do to you? How does it change your perspective, and what makes it worth mentioning by a number of people who claim its benefits? Gratitude has a power, so to speak, of changing the way you see and react to the goings on around you. It is a way to change the basis of how you process what you see and hear so that you come to different conclusions than you otherwise would have. Gratitude is a way to become more peaceful and more thankful for the everyday occurrences we would usually just take for granted. It’s almost as if you become calmer because you think each moment, each person you come across, each thing that you do, is a kind of gift, a moment that you can cherish for whatever reason, or even no reason at all, just because it happened.

Adopting an attitude of gratitude, while sounding very cerebral, is actually easy to accomplish over a period of time. It’s something that will not be established overnight, but with forming some habits, it will gradually change the way you think. The first thing you can do is begin writing down in a journal what you are thankful for every single day. It can be three things, five things, ten things, the list doesn’t even have to have an end, if you can fill it that much. The point is that by writing you are beginning to express this type of thought for your mind, and it will become easier the more times you do it. Another method to utilize is the use of a mantra. People can repeat a phrase such as “I am thankful for what I have,” as a means to develop a grateful state of mind. Repeat such a phrase over and over and try to focus on every word in the sentence to bring your mind to attention. Methods like these are what many find difficult because it is constant “work.” You need to remind yourself that you need to do your writing, but you also say to yourself that there is not enough time, I will do it tomorrow, I don’t have anything to write anyway, etc. No doubt it is a difficult undertaking, but it is one that pay dividends when the hump is cleared.

If this is something that may appeal to you, I urge you to give it a week or even two weeks before thinking if there is any benefit. Don’t sabotage yourself. Allow the process to happen naturally and see where it will take you.

Thank you for reading this particular entry. For some reason, I found this a difficult topic to put words to, and thus it took a lot longer to complete than I would have liked. I hope this was of interest to you though.

By Matt Buynak Jr. (2/6/2015)


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