Do you consider yourself a “grateful” or positive person?

Are you in the HABIT of being grateful for things that happen in your life or do you tend to be a pessimist?

I want to encourage you that you always have a choice to react in either a positive or a negative way. Even in difficult circumstances, if you develop the practice of thanksgiving and gratitude, your outlook and attitude with improve.

What is your first reaction when things aren’t going the way you want? Next time this happens, stop and think twice about how you are going to respond.

As we say, think about your thinking. Here are some questions that come to mind that you should ask yourself first:

  • How am I going to react to this?  
  • How am I going to process this?  
  • How am I going to think about this?  
  • How am I going to respond?  

That’s what it all comes down to:  MAKING A CHOICE to be thankful and grateful in spite of your circumstances.

Do you choose to view a situation positively with gratitude or dwell on the negative?

Gratitude was a choice that I made at a very young age.

School was extremely difficult for me, and I had teachers telling me that I was stupid! (Hopefully this isn’t happening in the schools now like it was back in the ’60s.)

Luckily, I had an extremely loving and caring family so all my self-worth was not based on the education system. I also had a faith and belief in God that sustained me. (I wrote a book a few years ago that tells my whole story and the practice of gratitude.)

I decided at a very young age to think about everything in my life that I was grateful for.

Every night before I went to sleep, I sat in my little bunk bed and thought about what I was grateful for. Here are a few of those things I thought about:

I’m grateful for my grandmother and how much she loved me.

I’m really grateful for how much my parents care about me.

I’m really grateful that today I got to play football.

This may sound trivial because it’s just a little kid thinking about little things. But, it’s that kind of thinking that has made me the positive, encouraging person I am today. In fact, that’s the number-one thing people say about me: that I am one of the most positive, encouraging people they’ve ever met.

The reason for this is simple:

GRATITUDE.

I’ve made it a daily practice in my life to list out all the things I am grateful to God for. Gratitude has allowed me to be able to serve people without any expectation of them ever being able to do anything for me. Instead, I am simply grateful for the opportunity to serve and how good it makes me feel in my heart and soul.

Often people wonder why they are so discontented, unhappy and stressed. They have anxiety. One of the main reasons for this is spending too much time thinking about what we don’t have instead of what we do have.

Gratitude is like an inoculation against being discouraged, upset, afraid or depressed.

We all have low times, but gratitude can help us make our way through them.

When I am feeling down or depressed, I stop and think about what I am thankful and grateful for. When I focus on those positive things, I start to appreciate them more, and they become more valuable to me. I think about God, my wife and kids, grandkids, friends, clients, experiences, places, etc., and realize how very blessed I am!

You too can live a different life with a different purpose and a different intention. Start leading a life of gratitude. Take into account – on a daily basis – everything you are grateful for.

Please share with us how gratitude or choices have made a difference for you and what you’re grateful for today.

For more on Gratitude check out The Biggest Disability is a Bad Attitude.

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