We’ve all heard the saying, time and time again, “attitude is everything”. What does that mean exactly? What are the components of a good attitude? The desire to work hard, a positive outlook and an eagerness to help others comes to mind. How do we maintain a good attitude on a consistent basis? In my humble opinion, gratitude is the basis for a good attitude. If you do not appreciate what you have in life, it is very difficult to remain positive, give your heart to others and put forth your best effort.
Beginning this month, I am on a mission, a gratitude project of sorts. Each day I will record a thought of gratitude, a reason I am grateful to be alive. It can be significant like a loving family or it can be small or something easily missed, like the beauty of a gorgeous Maui sunset. I will make a conscious effort to stop and smell the roses, each and every day.
This is not an innovative or new idea. There have been many online and in person movements to bring people together to increase the gratitude in their lives in a quest for happiness, satisfaction and peace. I’ve read numerous blog posts, articles and books that discuss how feeling appreciation for what we have can be farther reaching than learning how to obtain what we don’t have.
I am not lacking in feeling appreciation for the beauty around me or for the blessings I have in life. I do sometimes waver though on feeling gratitude for the person that I am. The moments I struggle with the most are those where I simply cannot forgive myself. The dark moments when I realize I have made the same mistake yet again, made a wrong decision, got distracted to my detriment or didn’t improve on an important area of my life. These are the most difficult moments for me to feel appreciation and gratitude. Instead of being able to move on, it is very easy to dwell on the negative and remain in an unproductive state when I do not appreciate what I see when I look inward.
I am choosing to journal on paper. My daily gratitude may be written in my own words, reflected by quoting the words of another wiser than myself or in imagery or texture. I’d like my journal to be a scrapbook and a reference I’ll save, cherish and revisit. This post by Be More with Less, Life on Purpose is an example of how an image with just a few words can also be a powerful expression of appreciation.
Do you keep a gratitude journal? Would you like to join me in my gratitude project? I propose we journal for July and assess what impact keeping a journal has made in our life at the end of the month.
The gratitude journal pictured above is authored by Catherine Price, a free-lance writer who has written for a number of well known publications and founded the magazine Salt. It is available from Luxe, a paper goods and gift store in Oregon. This pretty journal includes blank pages for gratitude writing, insightful prompts and quotes to inspire. Image via Luxe’s online shop.
Although it wasn’t the first time I’ve read about writing gratitudes, a post by a bloggy friend, Rachel of Totally Ovar It, and her intent to journal motivated me to proceed. I’ve also been inspired by many books I’ve read the past few years and more recently, the blog for The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Various correspondence and discussion with my friend Shani Wong have also served as a reminder how it is important to search for and recognize points of gratitude each day.