Gratitude grows gratefulness. It multiplies and spreads to other areas of the heart, the life, and even on to those that are encountered along the way. I need to invest regularly in gratitude.
Accountability fosters the greatest success for me. I have tried reporting my journey on my website, but always felt guilty if I missed a day (or several when life happens and I don’t get it done). I tried printing out a daily schedule to keep in my folder, but if I wasn’t with my folder then it did me no good.
Finally, I put together the Mini Focus Folder that fits in my purse. It has a place to make a schedule or keep up with the schedule (depending on how you use it) and it has a place for morning and evening gratitudes.
I knew that a heart full of hope makes the journey easier – even when the going it tough. I never imagined that investing time to be grateful first thing in the morning and grateful the last thing at night would make so much difference.
Even better, I have a record of gratitude. I can look back over the last several weeks and see how many things in my life bless my life. I include little things, like the song of frogs (because yes, they have a song). I include big things, like a new client. I include silly things, like brightly colored pants.
The more I turn to gratitude for my life, through my life, and in my life the more grateful I am about things around me.
Gratitude builds up gratefulness.
Discovering Authentic Gratitude
- I write out what makes me smile. If it made me smile the first time then it will probably give me a little smile when I read over it again.
- I write out what made my life easier, or simplified things for my life (or in my life). A simple plan, a simple recipe, or a simple process I’ve discovered. When I find ways to simplify then I find ways to make more time, resources, or opportunity. All are great things!
- I write out what I see others enjoy. If it makes others in my life happy then it makes me happy – or at least brings a warmth to my heart (which is the inward sign of a growing hope).
- I write out the things that I am enjoying or have enjoyed during my day. Coffee time with my dad on the back porch. Mealtime with the family. Quiet time with the spouse. If they have provided joy at any level then I add them to my list.
- I write out the accomplishments completed or planned. The clarity that comes from knowing or having done makes me feel better about what I am doing and where I am going.
I have yet to have a day without gratitude. Every morning, I write down three gratitudes I recognize first thing. Every evening, I write down three gratitudes that have made my day warmer, brighter, or better (and sometimes all in one).
The purposeful choice for authentic gratitude has helped me stay consistent in accountability and persistent in purpose. If you are struggling with your own walk, invest in authentic gratitude.
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