Gratitude: Changing Our Thinking
“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today, on my way to a meeting, I stopped at the security desk to show my ID. There was a short line and I noticed that each person just handed their ID to the security guard on duty, and without a word of hello or thank you on either side, sauntered off into the sunset… focused on a meeting or two. “I know it’s 9:00am but why can’t we even acknowledge each other?” I wondered. When it was my turn, I offered a cheerful good morning and, smiling broadly, handed him my ID card. Without even a glance, the guard took my card and saying not a word, copied the necessary information and then, unceremoniously handed me back my card. My call to have a pleasant day was also ignored…
#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge. The #Trust30 Prompt: At any given point in time, you’re only one thought away from changing your thinking. What thought can you change today?
As I walked off to my meeting, I started to think about what struggles and frustrations had taken the joy out of his job/day. I wasn’t angry at him just sad that in a tough economy where many can’t find work, he chose to not see the blessing in having a job. If he didn’t like the job, a cheerful attitude or a new way of thinking about the job could bring wonderful opportunities his way. Like Brian Tracy once said, “Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Unless we change how we think about our current situation, by seeing the blessings in it, we won’t notice the new doors that are opening for us. As the prompt above suggests, we can change our thinking … it takes a little effort.
“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears” Anthony Robbins
Gratitude by Lucy Maud Montgomery (via famouspoetsandpoems.com)
I thank thee, friend, for the beautiful thought
That in words well chosen thou gavest to me,
Deep in the life of my soul it has wrought
With its own rare essence to ever imbue me,
To gleam like a star over devious ways,
To bloom like a flower on the dreariest days
Better such gift from thee to me
Than gold of the hills or pearls of the sea.
For the luster of jewels and gold may depart,
And they have in them no life of the giver,
But this gracious gift from thy heart to my heart
Shall witness to me of thy love forever;
Yea, it shall always abide with me
As a part of my immortality;
For a beautiful thought is a thing divine,
So I thank thee, oh, friend, for this gift of thine.
At my meeting, I decided to truly listen to everyone present and acknowledge their point of view. If you attend meetings a lot, you know that there is always a contrarian present, and the usual suspects who want to either push their own agenda alone or digress. Today, instead of irritation, I chose the path of appreciation. Each person had a need and deserved to be heard; we were all there for a common goal. Above and below, I have added a few poems and a story on having an attitude of gratitude and I hope they speak to you the way they did for me. What thought can you change today?
“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” Sarah Caldwell
i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings (via Americanpoems.com)
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening inimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
I Am Thankful by Anon (via inspirational short stories.com)
I am thankful for the wife who says it’s hot dogs tonight because she is home with me and not with someone else.
For the husband who is on the sofa who is being a couch potato because he is home with me and not out at the bars.
For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes, because he or she is at home, not on the streets.
For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed.
For the mess to clean-up after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.
For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat.
For my shadow that watches me work, because it means I am in the sunshine.
For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home.
For all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech.
For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am able to walk and that I have been blessed with transportation.
For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.
For the lady behind me in church that sings off key, because it means that I can hear.
For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear.
For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I have been capable of working hard.
For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive.
Finally, for too much email, because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.
No matter what our daily struggles are, we can find things to be grateful for, and find ways to change even one thought or perspective we have about life. I know this approach has helped me in more ways than I am willing to share here… For that, I am grateful to God and to all people who wish others well. What about you? What are your thoughts? What thought have you changed recently? Do you find that your attitude of gratitude impacts your day and how? What other things would you add to the list? Do share! Thank you. ;-)
This post was inspired by a prompt from RalphWaldoEmerson.me: At any given point in time, you’re only one thought away from changing your thinking. What thought can you change today?
Positive Motivation Tip: When we change our thinking and embrace an attitude of gratitude, we notice that things bother us less and opportunities for joy manifest.
- My Gratitude List (postadaychallenge2011.com)
- Gratitude is the new attitude (aqtwl.wordpress.com)
- Change Your Thinking: Change the World (hopeannfaith.wordpress.com)
- The Need To Do “Something” (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Trust30: “One Sentence” (ifacethesun.wordpress.com)
- Gratitude 34: Beautification (perpetualgratitude.wordpress.com)
- Gratitude Tuesday- Live in Gratitude (lifeadvisortina.wordpress.com)
- Another gratitude list (smilekiddo.wordpress.com)
- Gratitude: Ten Reasons For A Grateful Heart & Blog Awards… (eof737.wordpress.com)
- Thank You All: On Being Freshly Pressed… (eof737.wordpress.com)
- Reflections: Beauty in Ten Ordinary Things… (eof737.wordpress.com)
- Gratitude walk (greatpoetrymhf.wordpress.com)
- Inspiration: A Perfect Meal… (eof737.wordpress.com)
- Staying Calm and Centered (gaylekimball.wordpress.com)