Finding 100 Things to be Grateful For

A few months ago, I challenged myself to find 100 things in my life to be grateful for. When I share this story with others, people oftentimes look lost and express their doubt that they can do the same. If you want to take on this challenge and you find yourself struggling with getting to #100, here are some thoughts to nudge you along.

First, I recognize that some of these are not going to apply to you. You may be recovering from an illness or an accident or had a childhood of hardship. If that is the case, shift your focus to being grateful for whatever good you can find. Whatever hardship you are experiencing in your life, recognize that it could be much worse.

The key here is to be specific. When you write about your family, friends or yourself, write exactly what traits you value and appreciate. We know that your best friend is fun. Instead, say that you are grateful that your best friend is adventurous enough to go dance-walking with you.

Lastly, when I do Gratitude Journal, I start every entry with one of the following: “I am SO grateful for…” or “I love…” or “I deeply appreciate…”. Let yourself get emotional and really feel the love and appreciation. Be effusive and gushy. Emotion deepens the power of gratitude. It makes it real, and not just words on paper.

So… what kinds of things might you be grateful for?

Your Health and Body

  • The gift of sight, speech, hearing, smell, taste (and what do you LOVE seeing, hearing, tasting, sensing?)
  • Having strong bones, smooth skin, healthy teeth, strong digestion, healthy heart, etc.
  • The ability to walk, reproduce, move freely, think clearly, or carry your own child
  • What features do you love? Your hair, your smile, your laugh, your hands, your eyes, your cute butt, etc.🙂

Your Friends

  • Their sense of humor (can they always get you in a good mood, raise your spirits?)
  • How reliable they are (when did they really come through for you?)
  • How fun they are (what makes them so fun? Common interests? Quirky personalities? Adventurous spirits?
  • The way they give great advice (when did they help you through a tough time?)
  • How they inspire you or motivate you (when did they made a big difference in your life?)
  • Thoughtful things they do (remembering your birthday, treating you to coffee, baking your favorite cookies)
  • Remembering to invite you or include you for outings and parties
  • Favors they have done for you, gifts they have given you, kind words or meaningful compliments they’ve given you.
  • The way they just listen when you need to talk
  • Friends who stood by you during difficult times and hardships

Your Family

  • Did you have enough food growing up?
  • Were you raised in a reasonably safe neighborhood?
  • Were your basic needs provided for?
  • What traits did you love about your mother, father and siblings?
  • Did your parents take you on vacations? What special memories do you have from those trips?
  • Did they make meals you loved? Take good care of you when you were sick?
  • Did they give you special gifts for holidays or birthdays? Maybe something that meant a lot to you at the time? Did you like how they celebrated your birthdays or graduations?
  • Did they pass on heirlooms to you? Or give special possessions to you?
  • Did they financially support you when they didn’t really have to?
  • Did they sacrifice for you? Work two jobs to put food on the table?
  • Did they Instill values, beliefs or practices that positively affected your life?
  • Were they good role models? Were they caring? Honest? Dependable? Did they show you unconditional love?
  • Any favorite memories from childhood? What moments still warm your heart today?

Your Own Characteristics

  • Consider traits like your sense of humor, intelligence, intuition, dedication, discipline, commitment, persuasiveness, etc.
  • Are you a helpful person? Do you do volunteer work? Are you a good cheerleader for others?
  • Do you have common sense, good judgement, integrity, strong morals/ethics, or unshakable integrity?
  • What knowledge or skills are you grateful for having? Are you handy? Creative? Have a great sense of style? Always know the right thing to say? Good at handling conflict? Learn things easily? Have a natural talent for sports? An amazing cook or a great writer?
  • What values are you most proud of? Who or what ingrained those values in you?
  • What parts of your work life are you most proud of? Are you always on time? Excellent with following up? A strategic thinker? Good at planning things? Give stellar customer service? Great at solving problems? Addressing conflict?
  • What kinds of things have you accomplished? A fear of public speaking? Run a 5k? Create a blog?
  • What attributes of yourself are you most proud of? Are you thoughtful? Reliable? Have integrity? Romantic? Creative? Friendly? Extroverted? Witty? A great story teller? Fun at parties?
  • What hobbies have contributed to your quality of life? Did you have teachers, trainers or coaches who you learned from or who encouraged you?

School

  • Did you have teachers who inspired you?
  • Classes that you especially enjoyed?
  • Any fond memories of old classmates?
  • How did school inspire you or prepare you for life ahead?
  • Did you receive financial aid for school? Did your parents pay for your education? Did anyone help you through school? Tutors? Study groups? Counselors?

Life in General

  • Do you like the sunshine? The rain? Cold weather? I am grateful every day for the warm, bright sunshine!
  • Are you grateful for having downtime to just relax, watch tv, or hang out with friends?
  • Are you grateful for where you live and what you live close to?
  • Do you like your home? What parts of your home do you love?
  • Are you grateful for having a roof over your head? Do you live in a generally safe neighborhood?
  • Do you have reliable transportation? Have a car with air conditioning or a heater that works?
  • What conveniences are you grateful for? Microwave ovens? Garage door openers? How close you live to Trader Joe’s or your favorite bar/restaurant?

This should give you some ideas of how to begin looking at your world differently…. Don’t forget that even some of the painful moments in your life may have been gifts that weren’t realized until later in life. Getting laid off from a job may have been a blessing because it helped you land an even better job closer to home. I have found that virtually everything in my life was a blessing in some way – and therefore, something to be grateful for.

 

About Epiphany

epiphanies on life and spiritual living as I chase wisdom - one insight at a time.

Posted on October 21, 2013, in Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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