Monday, May 16, 2011

Keys to Happiness: The Attitude of Gratitude

Forget your troubles come on get happy! For this six week series, we'll discover some of the keys to happiness!

Happiness grows out of a grateful heart. Think of happiness as a beautiful plant. If you want that plant to grow and thrive, would you place it in rich soil or a pot full of sand? Better yet, would you plant it in a bed of rocks. Would you water it with water or Coke?

If you chose to plant your seeds in a bed of rocks and water it faithfully with Coke, would you be surprised when your plant didn't grow?

Often times we plant the seed for happiness in a bed of negativity and we water it with our complaints, disappointments and frustrations. We wonder why we aren't happier or why things aren't working out as we would like them to when the truth of the matter is that our happiness never had a chance.

In order for that seed to thrive, we need to plant it in the rich soil of gratitude. It starts by being thankful for what we have right now. When I look around, I don't have everything I want ... yet ... but I do have a wonderful friends and family, a job I like, a home I love, a car I enjoy driving and, let's not forget, I'm the proud owner of Marty, America's Favorite Pooch.

I could make an equally long list of all the things I'd like to have, be and do but what would be the point? Focusing on the lack and limitation in my life will just bring more lack and limitation in the long run and more frustration and unhappiness in the short run.

Happiness is a choice and I choose to focus on what is going right more than I focus on what's going wrong.

Get into the habit of being grateful. Buy a small notebook and challenge yourself everyday to come up with at least 20 things you are grateful for. It should include big things like family and friends but it should also include a lot of things you might normally overlook: a beautiful sunrise, the ability to see a beautiful sunrise, a tasty grilled chicken salad you had for lunch, light traffic on your way to work, music, ... There are tons of things to be grateful for.

Take a few minutes each day to work on developing an attitude of gratitude. You won't be sorry!

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