Monday, May 14, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude

One of my favorite books ever was a book by M.J. Ryan, entitled "Attitudes of Gratitude."  It changed my entire perspective at a very difficult time in my life.  It was truly life-altering, and the concept is simple.  Be thankful, and, when that is difficult, make a concerted effort to seek out the things in your life you are grateful for.  I used to look for 5 reasons, each day, to be truly thankful.  Sometimes, I was so miserable I was grasping, and all I could come up with was "air conditioning" or "clean sheets."  Soon, however, I was looking, and the list was long...10, 15, only by the time I had to thank God for my blessings.   

My son recently had a birthday.  He was inundated with gifts and good wishes...and it was wonderful, as his Mommy, to see how many people truly love this little boy. 

My rule is that he can't spend his gift cards or money until he writes his thank you notes.  We draft them together, then I write them on scrap paper and he copies them onto note cards.  This is an exercise.  It is time consuming.  It is a lot of work for Mommy...but it is a powerful thing to see them get done, and to talk to that little boy about what it is to be grateful.

Knowing how important thank yous are, I made a resolution last New Years that I was going to tell the inspiring, thoughtful people in my life how lucky I feel to have them there.  I have not been as diligent as I planned.  I have the best of intentions, then I get overwhelmed by emotion, or spend too much attempting to craft the "perfect" note. 

That ends today.  I am going to express my gratitude to the people that I care about - the people that are so supportive and kind and generous, and I am going to do it often and well.  And, if I can't do it well, I am going to do it effusively.  Because that is how I feel.

It is easy to get depressed or lethargic during  your job search.  It is also easy, however, to feel better through the simple expression of gratitude.  Look for ways to be grateful today - and express that feeling.  Not only will you feel wonderful, but you will make someone else feel wonderful too.  After all, isn't that why we're here?

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