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. You can always use it later to create the most touching and best gift ever.
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? Here are some ideas to draw from.
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.
- 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.
- 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, kindness, compassion, 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 or overcome? A fear of public speaking? Run a 5k? Have you published something? Performed or competed?
- 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?
- 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?
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 ultimately turned me into an entrepreneur who works from home (my dream life!).
I have found that virtually everything in my life was a blessing in some way – and therefore, something to be grateful for.
I stopped wishing people “good luck” a while ago. Not because they didn’t deserve it, but because I had an epiphany.
Luck is something that happens by chance – something that is out of your control. Whether good or bad, luck is what happens to you, not by you.
I don’t believe things happen randomly. And I would never wish random chance upon another.
I no longer talk about “luck”. I now talk about “fortune”.
I believe fortune is something we build with our own hands, with the power of our own creative and brilliant minds. Our level of fortune is something we control by our beliefs, our intentions, and our actions.
After doing gratitude journal, I often pause for a moment of reflection. I don’t think about how lucky I am. I reflect upon the fortune I am attracting and creating in my life. I rejoice in my power to build a life of fortune.
Every day, I am reminded of my own power as I do gratitude journal. I am clearly in control – look at all these pages of amazing things I am bringing into my life! Nothing is happening here by chance. My beliefs, actions and intentions are creating fortune in every area of my life, every day – bit by bit.
I’m constantly attracting opportunities, inspiration, kindness, generosity, creative ideas, the right people and the right circumstances. I set my intentions, dismantle the blocks and gratefully receive all that comes.
I don’t need luck when I am in control. Wishing “good luck” seems to subvert ones power by suggesting that they don’t directly influence their own future. Instead, I’d rather convey my intention that good fortune will support them.
So I won’t wish you good luck. But when I say, “Good fortune to you”, know that I’m setting a direct and clear intention for you. And let that be an invitation for you to join me in setting the intention for the result you are seeking.
All fortunes start with an intention. Whatever result you want, empower yourself by taking command instead of relinquishing the reins to the winds of chance. The power to create is within your hands.
Photo Credit: Hooping as a Tool for Manifestation.
How many of you have focused your thoughts, intentions and words on something – and it didn’t come through for you? Many of us talk about “watching our words and thoughts”. We believe that what we think and say will come true.
For several years I devoted my deepest attention to focusing on positive thoughts and intentions. But little was changing in my life.
Here’s why. You do not become what you think. You become what you BELIEVE.
You can think anything you want; but if you don’t believe it, you will fall short. Don’t believe me? Spend the next year intensely thinking about becoming a unicorn and let us know how that goes.
For most of us, our thoughts and beliefs don’t match up. Unfortunately, beliefs trump thoughts.
The big complication? Most of us are not aware of what our beliefs are. In fact, we are delusional about what we think our beliefs are.
If you want a hint on what you believe, look at your life. Your life is your set of beliefs in action. If you are struggling with money, you likely believe that you don’t deserve or can’t have wealth – both of which are what Loretta Smith lovingly calls “false beliefs”.
There is hope. An applied kinesiologist (like Mike Okouchi) or an energy practitioner (like Loretta Smith) can immediately tell you if your beliefs are in alignment, or help you identify your false beliefs. They use alternative methods to clear out limiting beliefs so you can move past the things blocking you from a better life. It’s worth mentioning that if you want change, you gotta be open-minded!
The reason I share this with you is because I suffered the same agony as many positive thinkers. Despite my focus on positive thoughts and intentions, life wasn’t working quite right. It wasn’t until I began working with Dr. Mike and Loretta that my life suddenly became much easier and seemingly effortless. And when I feel “off”, I give Loretta a call and 60 minutes later, life is good again.
Your thoughts are important. They can become beliefs. But the greatest power to change your life is rooted in the beliefs that you aren’t aware of having. Those hidden beliefs are likely holding you back the most.
Loretta Smith – www.lorettasmith.com
Mike Okouchi – www.velocitywellness.com