Simple Recipe for the REAL Challenge
If you read my bits on Gratitude last week (Part I and Part II), you know that Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday.
As it turned out, we had a wonderful celebration with 16 friends and family members in our home. We shared an amazing meal exquisitely prepared by my wife, Suzette, and her sister, Sage.
I find it super simple to keep gratitude and optimism right on the surface during Thanksgiving week. Now that it’s behind us? A bit more effort is required.
In fact, as work demands and world events flood front-of-mind, it can be downright hard.
This is the REAL Challenge. This is also the REAL Opportunity.
While I’m far from perfect at it, I’ve discovered that making gratitude a regular part of my day-to-day is the key to…everything. And not simply for what is easy and immediately pleasing, but for all of it.
Here’s a simple recipe that helps me a BUNCH, plus a couple of bonus insights…
1. First thing each morning I consciously consider what I’m grateful for TODAY.
This replaces any negative thoughts that have reared their ugly heads. You cannot focus on gratitude and be angry, resentful, or fearful at the same time.
2. I engage in exercise that elevates my heart rate.
This increases blood flow to my brain- an immediate ‘upper’.
3. I actively seek opportunities- financial, emotional, and supportive… to GIVE.
What goes around comes around. It’s as simple as that. One of my favorite charities for financial giving is Feeding America. If you’re outside the US, check out Action Against Hunger.
4. As my head hits the pillow each evening, I mentally run through the list of everything I’m grateful for.
In addition to ‘bookending’ my day, this is a near-miraculous sleep aid. If you struggle to fall asleep, I HIGHLY recommend it. I typically drift off before my list finds its end.
a. What you focus upon expands. This is true for you. It’s true for me.
b. REFRAME IT: When less-than-optimum stuff arises, it's not happening to you- it’s happening FOR you.
If you’d like to learn more about reframing challenges, check out The Obstacle Is The Way.
c. What goes around comes around. (Worth repeating…)
In many ways, 2022 has been (and continues to be) an “interesting” year.
How we each frame and approach whatever happens to us is a CHOICE.
Maintaining gratitude front-of-mind is a game-changer.
And at this moment, I am incredibly grateful for…you.
Until next time,