Do you know that how you start your day determines how it turns out?
Start your day on the wrong side of the bed—stressed, in a sour mood—and you get bad day.
Begin your day sluggish, not even making an effort to make your bed, and you have an unproductive day.
This is the reason at the Rise Up! The 5AM Club, we start every morning session with a gratitude pause—because we want to begin our day grateful and happy.
Why practice gratitude?
So much has been said about gratitude, but all the studies and materials out there agree on one thing: gratitude brings happiness, gratitude brings blessings.
Well, everything that we focus on is magnified in our life—we get more of it. We focus on the problems, and we get more problems. We focus on the blessings, and we get more blessings. This is what gratitude does. It shifts our focus to blessings. Instead of looking at the things we don’t have, the lack, we look at what we have instead, no matter how small and insignificant they initially appear.
When we do, we start to see just how much we truly have, and this feeling of abundance is a powerful thing. We see the good in us, the good in other people, and the good in our life, and in the process, we not only receive happiness but we also develop a good relationship with ourselves, with others, and with the life that we have.
Even more important, perhaps, is knowing that we were able to achieve in the past, and therefore we can do it again. Or that we were taken care of in the past, and therefore we will be taken care of again in the future—by our God, by the universe, or by the higher being we believe in. And this knowledge brings with it power, which attracts even more blessings into our lives. Knowing that life happens for us, that it is on our side—nothing can get better than that certainty.
So how do we train ourselves to be grateful?
Like everything else, it takes practice, habits, repetition, in order for a mind shift to happen.
It begins with mindfulness, the simple noticing of what we already have. You can start by listing down 5 or 10 things that you are grateful for about your life or about yourself, maybe in the morning when you wake up or in the evening before you go to sleep.
The secret to a successful list is to not censor. Everything can go on the list—no limits. It can be the smallest thing, like the perfectly scrambled egg you had for breakfast or the small compliment you receive from a friend. This will train your mind to focus on the good, and in the process you feel good and empowered to do more, to share more—it multiplies and grows from there.
I also know of some people who do a Gratitude Walk, simply recalling things they are grateful for as they do their regular walk or run. Imagine running with, instead of music, a list of beautiful things that happened to you running in your mind. What could be a more energizing and a more feel-good playlist than that?
The good thing about it is that the practice of gratitude is not such a big thing and won’t require a lot of effort or a lot of time in your schedule—you can easily interject it into whatever it is you normally do. And with small repeated efforts, you wouldn’t even notice the mindset shift in time.
So, what are you grateful for today?