[quote align=”center” color=”#4bac58″]The essence of all great art, all beautiful art, is gratitude. -Friedrich Nietzsche[/quote]
Keeping a gratitude journal can help you feel powerful. The act of writing down things you are grateful for can have a powerful effect on your life and relationships. Think of these things that come form maintaining a daily focus on gratitude.
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Helps the negativity vanish for a brief moment.
Brings you back to the here and now.
Makes you feel lucky rather than sorry for yourself
In times of stress and fear, it reminds you that you have support
Reminds you that things could be a lot worse.
Inspired by Gratitude Works : A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity by Robert Emmons
In his book, A Simple Act of Gratitude, author John Kralik opens his book with a thank-you note to his son. He goes on to write 365 notes in total and that’s what his book is about. Anyway, Kralik goes talks about how the thank-you note set off a series of interactions that began to heal his rocky relationship with his son. No matter how broken, hopeless things are, you always have the power to make amends and turn things around. In fact, instead of sitting around thinking things are ruined and too far down the wrong path to change – if you just put one foot ahead of the other, surprising things will happen, as Kralik discovered in his journey. Things that you may never have considered or thought possible.
We often think of power as aggressive and money-based – perhaps even corporate, political or hard-nosed.
But there is a subtle kind of power too.
One that is much more effective. One that heals, convinces and supports. The aggressive kind of power is one that rifts people apart, establishes competition and one-upmanship. This subtle power, on the other hand, joins, encourages and builds things together. For a long time, I used to think that the aggressive kind of power is more powerful because its so vocal, visual and seems to have dramatic effects. Slowly, I’m starting to realize that this other subtle power is far more effective, far more intense, and far more impactful. And it lasts a long, long time. Even today, through social media, people are starting to realize that being aggressive and vocal doesn’t always get you the audience you crave. Instead, its the subtle helping kind of power (the one which gives without asking), that ends up more powerful.
[youtube height=”480″ width=”940″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bMm_CEiWOo[/youtube]
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Each and everyone of us has power. Even the most disadvantaged of us. Helplessness is a state of mind – not a physical or mental condition. I once had a paraplegic patient who was more empowered than any other soul. She may have been trapped in her immobile body, but if you came anywhere within hearing distance, you’d be left in awe. Even when asking for help, she was quick, witty, unapologetic, vocal and incredibly intelligent without being pushy.
Suffice to say that with my four working appendages, she was more powerful than I was, in that moment.
I am grateful for the ability to think, to recognize the need for change and distinguish between things I like and don’t like. I am grateful for the flawed, but perfectly functional physical body that helps me move, work, run and stretch. I am grateful for the often straying but perfectly functioning mind that helps me stay strong, decisive and sure-footed even in the most unusual and frightening situations. I am grateful for an education which helps me make my point in a sophisticated manner. I am grateful to my old folks for an upbringing that gave me the unshakable confidence in myself so I could take colossal leaps of faith and giant risks – and for the perseverance to stick to my decisions despite unsurmountable odds. I am grateful for having moved half a world away from one set of roots to another. I am grateful for the wider perspective I have on life now. I am grateful for the reassurance that no matter where I go or what I do, I have power to initiate lasting change.
I am grateful for the realization that power comes in many different forms. I am grateful that I am no longer limited in my recognition of power. Most of all, I am grateful that despite the occasional harshness of life, I have the power to change things in the world around me.
On The Change Blog, Paul Clemens talks about the three benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. Reflecting on gratitude through a journal provides insights into our busy lives that we may not even begin to notice as we go about our day. Reflecting on gratitude cultivates the discipline necessary for any type of successful endeavour – long before we succeed, we need the ability to sit down everyday and reflect on our actions and reactions so that we can do things better tomorrow. Reflecting in gratitude also leaves a legacy – whether it is for yourself fifteen years from now, or for your kids fifty years from now, your gratitude journal can tell a deeply personal story about your life’s journey.
So sit down today and pick out a simple notebook to fill up with daily gratitude reflections.
Here are some excellent tips for successful journaling
- Make a commitment to write in your journal for 5-10 mins everyday. Honor it.
- If you’re too lazy to use pen and paper, an easy way is to use the voice dictation in your smartphone
- Write in specific details. Have less points but make them real, deep, specific. Journalling is more than a list of stuff.
- Write about the unexpected blessings that improved your day or the horrible thing you were expecting that didn’t happen.
- Call these unexpected blessings gifts. Relish and savour them.
- Who has helped you today, who are you grateful to, and why?
- Think about things you take for granted. Talk about why you appreciate them.
- Repeat your blessings everyday if they are meaningful, as long as you keep adding details and layers to them
- Think about people that you overlook – people who have helped people you love.
Inspired from Robert Emmons’ book Gratitude Works: A 21-Day Program For Creating Emotional Prosperity