By John Stuckenschneider
ALL personal growth begins with an “attitude of gratitude and thanks”. In fact, I would dare say that it's impossible to begin the growth process any other way.
Now I realize that you may be reading this and dismissing this with a thought of, “John, that’s easy for you to say. You don’t know my circumstances or anything about the challenges I’m facing right now.” Though I understand and sympathize with the way you may feel, please just take a moment and hear me out.
You're right, I don’t know your circumstances. What I DO know is that in my own life, there've been times where I was facing things that I really couldn’t imagine getting any worse. And, though those times were never pleasant to go through, I have found looking back that they were some of the most valuable and character building times of my life and I wouldn’t trade them now for anything.
Those times when I faced the greatest adversity in my life were the ones where I was forced to “step up”, MANY times beyond what I thought I was capable of, and break through to a new level of growth and maturity. I am who I am today as a direct result of those times that could be categorized as the worst in my life and I am so thankful for having gone through them.
Unfortunately, we don’t learn the lessons that we’re meant to learn in life when everything is “smooth sailing”. It’s crucial for our own development for us to “draw” those lessons out of each challenge we face and become thankful for the learning experience. Why? Because life has a way of sending those lessons back around to us, if we don’t come away with them the first time around. None of us wants to be “cracked across the knuckles with the ruler” twice!
When we find a way to be grateful and thankful, even during the worst of times and circumstances, we allow ourselves to “look up” from our situation and view a new horizon.
With the situations going on in the world today, and the adversity and challenges facing others, none of us have to look very far outside of ourselves to find reason after reason why we should be grateful and thankful and how truly blessed we are, no matter what you’re personally going through. There are ALWAYS others who are facing more difficult challenges and circumstances than you are.
There are many benefits and positive outcomes that arise from developing a daily “attitude of gratitude”.
ABUNDANCE. When you genuinely feel gratitude for the life that you have, you send a message to God and the Universe that you have “more than enough’, that you feel an abundance in your life. This is the way to experience more. My favorite book mentions this when it says, “To he who has much, will much be given. But, to he who has little, that which he has will be taken away.” What this speaks of is that when you have an attitude of gratitude and feeling of abundance, more of that comes to you. When you’re constantly focused on the lack in your life, that is all you will see and also what you will continue to experience.
EMOTIONAL HEALTH. Another benefit of being grateful has to do with focus. Since we cannot focus on feeling more than one emotion at a time, when you engulf yourself with a feeling of gratitude and thankfulness, you turn loose of feelings of regret, guilt, grudges against others, anger and other emotions that do not serve us or anyone else. You simply cannot be in the midst of being grateful and hold a grudge against someone else. It is said that “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping someone else gets sick”. How true that is. Feeling gratitude gives us the power over those other, many times destructive, emotions.
PHYSICAL HEALTH. There are also health benefits that go hand in hand with being grateful. Your “mind” doesn’t reside only in that place between your ears. “Mind” permeates every cell of your being. So, what we think, focus on and feel affects every cell in our body. This is why harmful types of stress create so many various health issues. Dis-ease is the body’s response to the state and condition of our “mind” and what we focus on repeatedly. Just as our focus has the ability to hurt our physical bodies, it also has the ability to help and to heal. This has been proven in studies for decades, in situations where the physicians had “no clue” as to what was helping their patients improve, other than the fact that they began to “think, focus and feel” differently.
HEAL OTHERS. Another amazing benefit of developing a consistent attitude of gratitude is that when we are focused on being truly grateful for what we have in our lives, we are able to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto contribution and impacting the lives of others. I find that the more grateful that I am, the more I am committed to helping others to experience that feeling of gratitude for themselves. How about you?
My action strategy for you is short and simple, but I hope will prove to be a profound step that you’ll take for yourself on a daily basis. It involves using the power of questions. Questions enable us to direct and control our focus, as well as anyone else’s when we pose questions to others. Our brains work like computers and absolutely MUST find answers to the questions we are asked. We could go into this at length, but for now I would like for you to begin each day by asking yourself the following:
- What am I thankful for today? WHO am I thankful for today to have in my life? (Now, I realize that if you’re in the midst of a storm, this may be a difficult one to answer. If that’s the case, move to the next question.)
- If I really look at this differently, what could be good about this situation? What can I be grateful for learning through this and how this will help me in the future?
- How can I help others today? How can I help others with this knowledge I now possess going forward?
I assure you that if you will make this a morning practice upon rising, this simple ritual will have you approaching your day in a way that will set the stage for great things for you and those with whom you come into contact. Give it a try and see what I mean.
ABOUT THE WRITER
John Stuckenschneider is a successful motivational speaker, best selling author, seminar leader, trainer and certified Life Success© coach. Think Into Success©, LLC, was founded by John dedicated to providing the very best in personal development resources, seminars, and programs.
Mentored and certified by Bob Proctor, of the movie "The Secret", as one of Bob's Life Success© Consultants, John has been personally mentored by Les Brown, Brian Tracy, Brendon Burchard, Rich Schefren, James Malinchak, Mike Koenigs and others.
John's workshops, including sales, leadership and motivation programs, are available in a variety of formats for individual or group use and are also available as live events. Personalized coaching is also available through John’s proven “Breakthroughs To Results” Programs which are provided in either a one-on-one or group mentoring setting. www.Facebook.com/ThinkIntoSuccess
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