You already know gratitude is important. But how often do you practice it?
Personally, I’ve taken gratitude for granted. I know I “should” cultivate it in my life but most the time it takes a backseat to my work, to-do list and projects. In other words I feel too busy to cultivate gratitude.
When I have a million things to do in the morning it feels like such a waste to spend time (even if it’s just 10 minutes) on gratitude stuff.
But lately I’ve decided it must be a priority. Why? Because I’ve felt unhappiness, discontent and frustration creep into my life and I don’t like it.
Somewhere along the way I decided that “getting things done” was more important than “being happy.” And I don’t want to continue down that path any longer.
I joke with my wife sometimes and tell her one of my love languages is “getting things done.” 🙂
Obviously that’s not true. Sure, I can feel a sense of satisfaction when I get a lot done in a day. But that feeling is temporary and shallow. And it’s not long before I’m adding more things to my list.
However, the feeling of true gratitude is different. When I’m really grateful it feels like everything is right with the world. Peace floods my heart and mind and I’m able to think more clearly about my work and about life in general.
Therefore, I’ve made a point to make “cultivating gratitude” a daily habit. “How” I do it and how you do it may look different. And that’s ok. The mechanics of it are not the most important part. The main thing to remember is to do whatever you need to do to get yourself into a state of true gratitude.
For example, there was a time where writing down three “wins” for my day was enough to make me feel gratitude. But after a few weeks of that it turned into a braindead activity, something I just checked off before I went to bed. It lost it’s power and I quit doing it.
These days I spend about 10 minutes listening to some “soaking music” (music designed to soak in the presence of God) while calming my mind down so I can engage my heart in gratitude. I love this because at the end I actually “feel” grateful and I notice a shift take place in me.
Talk to me in 3 months and my practice may look different. The point is to keep it fresh and real so that you can actually get into that state of gratitude.