“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears”
Gas is back to more than four dollars a gallon, the stock market has taken a huge hit as did my retirement fund, the weather has created problems for millions and local employment networking exchanges are overflowing including many folks who have seen their businesses permanently shut down. It truly is the worst of times for many and far from the best of times for even more. Fortunately most of the people I know are pretty resilient and will weather these difficult times. They are the folks who understand that friends, family, and the world around them still hold promise. They may not have nearly as much as they did but most have enough to sustain themselves and their families. My hope is that they can find a simpler lifestyle that may even allow them to enjoy their days a little more than they have recently.
Robert Holden suggests we can find hope in identifying those things in our lives for which we are grateful or at least should be. It seems to me it is times like this that makes the exercise even more valuable. Here is what he recommends.
For the next seven days, sit down each evening and write down ten things you are grateful for each day. Better still, do this with your partner or a friend. Before we practice gratitude, we are in the dark and there appears to be very little to be grateful for. Once we begin, a new light dawns, sometimes a brilliant light, a light as bright as heaven itself.
To whom are you grateful to in your life? Do these people know the full extent of your gratitude? Do you realize how grateful they will be when you tell them? Gratitude is more than an attitude; gratitude is a philosophy. The philosophy of gratitude begins as a hope, grows into a belief, and, finally, becomes an absolute knowing. It is a knowing that within any given situation – peaceful or painful, beautiful or ugly – there is always a gift waiting, wanting for you to see.
If it appears you have nothing to be grateful for, it is because you are not allowing yourself to receive. Just because you do not receive does not mean there is nothing to receive. On the contrary, there is always something to receive, and so there is always a reason to be grateful. Pray, "Dear God, teach me I am worthy to receive, teach me how to receive, teach me gratitude". Gratitude is good medicine. One single serving of gratitude is often enough to open the heart, energize the body, warm the bones, make your hair curl, put a spring in your step, start you humming, and make you smile like a baby!
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
He said: I think I am going to make a great father someday, because I really have a way with kids. Take the other day for example.
I was in Taekwondo class standing next to a nine or ten-year-old kid. I was watching him out of the corner of my eye while we did punches in the air.
I saw him punching with his wrist bent. Instead of a straight line from his knuckles to his elbow, he was pointing his knuckles down at the end of every punch. This is a problem when you do finally hit a solid target, because you will break your wrist.
With the aim of helping him out and correcting his mistake, I grabbed him after class and led him over to one of the heavy bags.
"I noticed a mistake in your form," I told him, "and I want to show you how to correct it." "Here, take a fighting stance. Now, punch the bag as hard as you can!"
He threw a vicious over-handed punch and let out a scream as his wrist buckled and he collapsed to the floor cradling his forearm.
"Now," I continued, "let me show you what you did wrong!"
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
A father was shopping in a department store with his small daughter, when the little girl pulls on his coat sleeve and announces, "Daddy, I have to go!"
"In a few minutes, sweetie." says the dad.
"But, I’ve got to go NOW," the little girl insists in a loud voice.
A saleslady standing nearby can’t help but hear the conversation and says, "I’ll take her, sir. It’s no problem."
So, as the father watches, the two hurry off hand in hand. When they return the father asks his daughter, "Did you thank the nice lady for being so kind?"
"Why should I thank her?" asks the little girl in a loud voice. "She had to go, too!"
There is a guaranteed way to get what you want: want less.
At the end of a job interview, a young Engineer fresh out of MIT was asked, "And what starting salary were you looking for?"
The Engineer replied, "In the neighborhood of $150,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 6-weeks vacation, 21 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years – say, a Corvette?"
The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"
And the interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it.
One half the world doesn’t understand the other half and it doesn’t matter which half you’re in.
A baby was just born. He had all his pieces and looked quite normal, except that he was laughing like crazy. I mean laughing real hard. All the doctors and nurses were examining the little thing, in front of the worried parents, but he kept on laughing, his tiny fists all closed and tears rolling from his eyes. One at a time, a pediatrician unfolded the tiny fingers to check if the hand was all right, and… guess what he found? The birth control pill!
It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.
I just got back from a sailing holiday where I remembered this true tale you might be interested in. A friend was looking for a second hand boat (a Laser) to buy, when he hit on a great idea… At his sailing club (the Queen Mary in London) there was a large trailer park and a smaller yard where the management put trailers and boats if the owner didn’t pay their membership for 12 months. The Queen Mary club is very big and at the time there were three or four Lasers in this yard that judging from their condition hadn’t been sailed for at least a year.
My friend took down the numbers of these boats and asked the club secretary for the owners address so that he could make them an offer. The first chap he rang said he wasn’t interested in selling as he was going to sail it himself "one of these days".
He then rang the second owner who lived about 100 miles away. A woman answered the phone and confirmed that they did still own the Laser. My friend explained that he had seen it in the defaulters yard and that as it clearly hadn’t been sailed for a year – did she think her husband would be interested in selling?
"Oh no" she said "there must be some mistake – come rain or shine my husband spends one weekend a month in London sailing…"
I bet he had some explaining to do when he got home!
All of us get knocked down, but it’s resiliency that really matters. All of us do well when things are going well, but the thing that distinguishes athletes is the ability to do well in times of great stress, urgency and pressure.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.