Many of you reading this know that living with gratitude is an important thing and you’re probably thinking Well, Mark, that’s not rocket science. But I also bet that we have all had that moment where you are thinking, why is gratitude so hard for me, am I broke? Am I greedy? Am I selfish? What’s wrong with me? Cause everybody’s talking about their gratitude practice and everyone is saying they’re so grateful and life’s happening for them, not to them. And it seems so easy for everyone else.
WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR ME?
I can relate to that. I’m not going to lie and say that I relate to that 100%, I think I’ve had a whole lot of pain in my life. And I also know that there is a direct correlation between the amount of pain and suffering that we’ve had in our lives with the amount of gratitude we have.
There is a verse in the Bible that much is forgiven, who has forgiven much, will love much. And so a little correlation there with gratitude, if you have been through a whole lot, then we’re going to be more grateful. Even when it is easy when you have gone through some suffering, just having a conversation with someone about this earlier today and she was talking about someone that’s truly successful and they were sharing their story and going back through the broke, busted, disgusted, horrible and hard life… and the story of that led them to a place where they had to pull themselves up and create a new life. When we do that and we get off to the next place, it’s actually easier than you think to forget where we came from. And it’s easier than we would have thought to get into a place of feeling entitled or prideful. And we know that pride comes before the fall — it is just a great reminder, nobody is a self-made anybody. I know some of you might not like that, but nobody did anything, you didn’t do anything by yourself. My personal belief is that I am doing everything with God by my side and even if you aren’t a person of faith, you didn’t get there on your own.
It’s impossible. You had some people in your life that were pulling for you, so circling back to this whole idea of gratitude, because I do believe that it is a foundational mindset practice in our lives. Gratitude is the cure for so many things in our lives.
It is the cure for complaining.
It is the cure for negativity.
It is the cure for lack.
I’m going to give you the gift of a little exercise that I took myself while I was journaling. I mentioned this in a previous blog and video that I did. Two of the things that I do the most in my journaling (my number one habit) is ask myself a lot of questions about me, my relationships, my business, my life, my hopes, my dreams and the other thing I do is practice a lot of gratitude in my journal. I practice my gratitude by documenting all the good stuff, the things that I’m grateful for, and the things I might take for granted if I am not careful.
I am going to timestamp this blog a little bit, but that’s alright. I was sitting in my living room journaling and I was talking to my wife and I was telling her there’s only four more months left in the year. And then she walked out of the room… and I was like, what happened in the first eight months of the year? So I pulled out my phone and looked at my camera, my pictures, and I just flipped through them all and I started to write down month by month the places I went, the experiences that I’ve had… it was mind blowing. But you should take the time, pull out your calendar or whatever it might be, have that conversation and just go through and remember. I’m pretty good at capturing life as it happens… and I love to be able to celebrate them.
And here’s what I discovered because of this exercise: It has been a great 8 months. If you would have asked me prior to doing the exercise, I would have said it was a good eight months… but there was so much that added up that my heart was more grateful and was overflowing with gratitude by the time I got done. Know that your list is probably going to be different than mine, your wins are going to be different than my wins and certain experiences will rank higher on your list than mine as well. But we all have things that we can take the time to be grateful for. That’s. What. This. Exercise. Does.
You have all these gifts in your life; good things, blessings and maybe you’re not seeing because you’re not taking the time or asking the questions. What I discovered was I’ve traveled for 56 days out of the first eight months of the year… which is nuts, crazy! Previously, I was lucky to get on a plane once a year and go somewhere. But in the last eight months, it has been to six different states, rode on 24 different flights, drove fifty plus hours, and spoke at four different events. And then on top of all that; I became an Amazon International Bestseller, drove a Lamborghini for the first time, went to the top of Pike’s Peak for the first time… like so many first time experiences to be grateful for. I’m not saying you should compare any of these to your own wins for the last eight months but rather just sharing what I am grateful for from the last eight months.
Like some of you may have not traveled because you might not have felt comfortable, yet. I totally get it, but I also believe that you had some “firsts” and some personal wins that happened for you in the last eight months. Ask yourself as you reflect, what have been the gifts this year? What have been the new connections from this year? What have been the new opportunities? What have been the wins? What have been the places traveled to? What are new things done for the first time? And this is just a starter list of questions. You can come up with your own, but seriously find the gifts right now!
Really ask yourself because gratitude is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself!
And so I hope that this time in reflection has given you that, even if it is just scraping the surface, that’s just the beginning. If you take some time to sit down to journal, to ask yourself some questions, to find the gifts, you will find you are not broken and gratitude is the way to live everyday! Gratitude is a choice, therefore you have the power to change. You can become a person who lives in gratitude.
Now it is time to go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what it is on the inside of you!!