When I was growing up I was taught that “please” and “thank you” are two of the most important expressions in the English language. In fact my father used to say you could get half-way around any country if you learned those words in the native language. I always wondered what would happen if you wanted to continue through the other half.
According to a Forbes Magazine article by contributing author Amy Morin, there are 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude. They include better sleep, self-esteem and improved mental strength.
Still many of us underestimate the transformation potential of gratitude. Specifically the impact of gratitude on our attitude.
Many people may find it challenging to “choose” a good attitude on demand (I can relate!). However choosing gratitude may be much more accessible. There is always something we can be grateful for if we look for it. And if you are truly present to gratitude it tends to have a positive effect on your attitude.
Utilizing the word PLEASE, let’s look at specific areas in which we can be grateful.
P-L-E-A-S-E be grateful.
P: People. Much of the best in our lives comes directly or indirectly from people. Who are you grateful for? Who has helped you become who you are? Who supported you when times got tough?
L: Lessons. What have you learned? This could include formal education and the “school of hard knocks.” Think about the books you have read and the training you have been through.
E: Experiences. What experiences have you had in your life that you are most grateful for? Climbing a mountain? A beautiful sunset? The birth of your child? What are the memories you cherish?
A: Associations. Think about the groups, networks, alma maters, social networks, and other associations you are part of or have been a part of through the years.
S: Strengths and Struggles. What do you do well that others find difficult? What skills have you developed? Where are you naturally talented? On the flip side, can you be grateful for the struggle you are facing right now? This can be very difficult when we are in the thick of it. But when you look back at past struggles you have overcome, you may realize this is where your strength came from. Consider the possibility of being grateful right now for the struggle you are currently experiencing.
E: Essentials. Food, water, shelter, money, health, the country you were born into. Is it possible you have taken any of these for granted?
- Journal daily what you are grateful for. It could be a top 10 list, a “free flow” of writing for a designated period of time or some combination. Pay attention to the impact this has in your life.
- Express your gratitude in words and deeds. At a recent speaking engagement a woman expressed her gratitude regarding an interaction with me from over a year ago. She made my day. Most people will have no idea you are grateful for them unless you let them know. Call someone and tell them how much you appreciate them. Send a gift. Write a thank you note.
- Give. I have often found that when we give what we are grateful for it deepens our own sense of gratitude. For specifics on what to give, say PLEASE. You are a people, how can you give of yourself in a way that benefits others? Are there lessons you can help others learn? Experiences you can share? Associations you can introduce others to? How can you give of your strengths to those who may benefit? Are your past struggles a way to help others through similar challenges? Can you give the essentials– water, food, clothing, shelter, or financial resources to people in need here or abroad?
Most importantly, thank God.
Every good and perfect gift is from above… James 1:17
Will you choose to be grateful? Please and thank you.
What’s your 40 Day FOCUS?