It's not a natural thing to be grateful all the time.
There, I’ve just released you from the expectation of having a grateful heart 100% of the time! Take a breath; feel better?
We all see those people who seem to have it all together and can be so thankful even in the midst of a year long pandemic, I see them too. And I’m thinking the same thing, “how do they do that? That just can’t be normal”.
But I want to give you hope. Even though none of us will ever be 100% in anything, we certainly can get better and better in all things. And that includes cultivating a grateful heart (even in the midst of a pandemic!)
You know that I love the human mind and find it so fascinating, how it works and why we make the choices we do so I started studying those people who seem to walk in thanksgiving all year long, not just Thanksgiving Day. It’s amazing to me that some of the people who have the most to complain about are many times the most joyful. HOW do they do that?
What I found were four similar mindsets that thankful-hearted people have and actions they take because of them; key elements we could all practice to see more joy, peace, forgiveness and compassion in our life that comes from having a grateful heart.
Then I created a Gratitude Journal to help you cultivate and develop the amazing trait of being Thankful in all things. I think you'll thank me for it too:)
The Mindset of a Grateful Heart
4 Keys to Having Thankfulness Every Day
1. Challenge is Expected, Let it Make You Thankful
Difficulties in life are not a surprise to grateful people, in fact, they expect it.
They know they are always in one of three places… right in the middle of dealing with a challenge, just finished dealing with a challenge or preparing to deal with the next one.
They understand that hardship and obstacles strengthen our mind just like physical work strengthens our body. It builds character and patience, and inspires compassion and confidence in them, so they say, “bring it on”!
Difficulties can also improve our spiritual walk so what I found in studying these thankful people is that they feel so blessed because of their struggle and because of the pain. It’s allowed them to know themselves more, to know God more, and to grow more.
In the words of a woman I know dealing with a cancer diagnosis, “It is terrible, and hard. But I focus on the good that it has brought in my life”.
2. Thankful People are Givers
Give and it will come back to you. If you’re looking for more blessings to be thankful for in your life, follow the example of the most generous people. They would give anything they had if they thought you needed it. And then they give more because they are so grateful they can.
What’s most interesting is they usually don’t know where they’ll get more, but they know there’s more and it’s on the way, so they keep giving.
You could argue that these people intentionally give because they know they’ll receive and then they’ll have more to be grateful for. But in my observation, it's the opposite. They are so grateful for what they have, they gladly give it to others. And because they give, they receive.
It’s a spiritual and a natural law. Plant potatoes, you get potatoes. Plant generosity you get blessing. It’s what thankful people do… give thanks with a grateful heart.
Thankful people are Givers.
3. It’s How you See Things that Changes How you See Things
I have a very good friend who I’ve observed for years. We have traveled together, worked together, prayed together. She’s just a joy.
And sometimes has the worst circumstances. Her father was abusive, she married several times before finding the right one. She has a special needs sister who she helps care for. She recently cared for her brother as he was dying from glioblastoma and still deals with gripping grief at times. Her and her husbands extended families are a wreck with drug abuse and criminal charges. She and her husband own business’s and have to fire employees all the time for misconduct. Needless to say, she could feel pretty isolated and sorry for herself.
One particular day we were talking about several of these situations and she said the most remarkable thing. She said, “you know Patsy, when I change my perspective, nothing really changes… but EVERYTHING changes!”
Grateful people are amazing in finding a silver lining in everything and we could take some serious lessons from them. They can see even the most difficult situation as a gift and find the goodness of any circumstance.
It’s how you see things, that changes how you see things!
4. Speak words of gratitude daily
It’s all that’s required to change a thought!
If your thoughts are marinating in a sauce of misery and gloom, you might want to try the ways of the grateful. I promise it’s easier than you think.
A business associate of mine has been running marathons for a few years. He’s almost 60 and usually comes in at the top of his age group. But you don’t just wake up one day and say I’m going to run a 5K this morning. You practice and train, day after day. Even when you don’t feel like it.
Cultivating gratitude happens the same way, on the good days and the bad days. However, the more practice you get in on the good days, the easier it becomes to find gratitude on the hard ones.
And that's where the Gratitude Journal comes in.
Every day you'll have the chance to practice looking for and finding the happy, the joyful, the helpful silver linings. I encourage you to download it now.
By starting your day listing something you're grateful for gives you a fresh, grateful perspective that helps to change how you see everything that comes to you that day. You don't have to write more than one, but there are 10 spaces so fill them in if you can. The more, the better day you're likely to have.
Also list people you're grateful for. You can do this in the beginning of the day and then add in the evening those people who impacted your day.
Next, review some of your most difficult challenges or obstacles you're going through right now and describe what you're learning from them. It's possible you may have to search your mind and heart a little to find things that are positive, but trust me, they are there.
At the end of your day, before going to bed, choose a moment from your day that made you happy and write about that. Focus and meditate on that happiness for awhile before tucking yourself in. Chances are, you'll get a very restful night of sleep:)
Don't wait until the Holiday's to get thankful. Get started practicing an attitude of gratitude today with our 30 Day's to Gratitude Challenge. Grab your Gratitude Journal by printing the image above.
Share on our Facebook and Instagram what you're Grateful for and your name will be entered into a drawing for your very own copy signed copy of your choice of PlayTallToday™ books, just in time for Christmas!
What are you grateful for today?