I’ve read the books of every self-help, inspiring person I could get my hands on. I’ve done the same in the podcast world too.
The topic of gratitude comes up almost every time. While I lied to myself and pretended I practiced gratitude, the truth was I didn’t – I just told myself I did.
Then one day, enough was enough. I realized I was taking my career for granted. I took the following three steps to practice daily gratitude:
1. I went into Microsoft Word and created a blank document called “Gratitude Tracker” and saved it on my desktop.
2. I set a calendar reminder for 9 am every day called “Gratitude Exercise.”
3. Without fail, every day, I entered in three things I was grateful for.
I used to think I was grateful.
This 3-step process taught me I was not. The feeling before and after is totally different. When you keep a gratitude tracker for a minimum of 30 days straight, you’ll notice a shift. I found myself becoming less greedy and my craving for material objects decreased.
I saw the simplicity in the world through crystal clear vision and the benefits that came with it.
I found gratitude in the smallest things.
Do you want to know what ended up in my gratitude tracker? Small things like fresh water to drink, lunches with clients and feeling valued in my team at work. Before having a gratitude tracker, I would never have found happiness in such small things.
Other things that showed up were:
– Finding a beautiful girlfriend
– My career
– Being able to overcome my fear of flying
– My mentors
– Drinking tea
– Having a blogging audience
– Overseas travel
– Nice text messages from family and friends
It forces you to look for the good.
I found out my career was down the toilet. On that particular day, I didn’t feel like seeing the good in the world. My habit of writing in a gratitude tracker forced me to.
“No matter what, I had convinced myself that not coming up with three things I was grateful for daily equaled failure”
I look everywhere in my life to find something that I could be happy about. Having to look so hard to find good made me realize that it’s actually pretty easy. Good is everywhere when we practice focusing on it.
This day was made much less challenging because of my gratitude tracker. My gratitude tracker became my emergency sanctuary that I could bask in like the sun when the thunderstorms of everyday life hit my little world – also known as my mindset.
Don’t overdo it.
Only list down three things in your gratitude tracker every day. Any more than that and you’ll get busy and then lie to yourself about not having time. Lack of time is a myth. Complication is what is truthfully stopping you from taking up these life-changing habits. Also, don’t write war and peace.
“This whole process should take about 45 seconds”
Overthinking and going into detail will force you to be lazy over time. Keep it “simple stupid” (an Aussie catchphrase).
What happens if you miss a day?
Don’t be angry with yourself – you deserve better. Just get back on the horsey and write double the list of things you are grateful for the next day. Feel free to mention things that you wrote down previously as being grateful for. The only goal when doing this is to write them in a different way.
Hearing the same thing over and over, said slightly differently, helps to reinforce it into the mindset you live your life with.
Gratitude only works when you practice it just like any “Success Habit.”
The self-help gurus may be exaggerating a lot of what success is but one thing they’re not wrong about is practicing gratitude. I’ve done my best to describe the feelings and changes to my mindset although ultimately you need to try it for yourself.
Fantasising about success will never get you close to it. Telling yourself to be more positive doesn’t really work either. Make gratitude be the vehicle you use to be positive and become successful in whatever pursuit you put your mind to.
Be bold. Be courageous. Practice gratitude.