Life is one choice after another. Why not choose gratitude?
The rewards are wonderful.
Before class this past Wednesday (day before Thanksgiving) I took out a piece of paper and wrote “Thankful for…” across the top. In a short time, I had a long list. Not surprisingly, the list focused on non-material things. What came to mind immediately were the people and experiences that have had an impact on me and those around me.
A sense of gratitude benefits from what is known as “the beginner’s mind.” By seeing the world like an awe-inspired child viewing each experience as a new wonder, we help ourselves and those around us to grow. At times it is difficult when all seems to be crumbling around us. We can get caught up in the could’ve been rather than the what is.
Consider: Right now my knee throbs (from years of wear and tear) and my shoulder aches (from attempting to act like a twenty-something in the gym). I could dwell on those as painful negatives. Or I can focus on the lessons learned—and move forward to new fitness goals and routines.
As you know, life is one choice after another. Why not choose gratitude? We have to practice looking for the good—and we have to practice it consistently. The rewards are wonderful.
Shawn Achor reminds us that “…consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious, or lonely.” If only for selfish reasons think of the positives of gratitude! But it goes beyond selfish feelings. To embrace gratitude is to feel good within—and to help others feel that energy as well.
As you read my short list, consider your gratitude list. I am sure it is great—in scope and length. I know that the more I ponder my list, the more I add to it. So here is my initial listing of what I am thankful for:
- Family (wife, relatives—alive and deceased)
Video recommendation for the week:
- There is a great scene and lesson at the end of one of my all-time favorite movies, It’s a Wonderful Life. Clarence the Angel leaves a reminder for George Bailey: “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”
- Colleagues on campus
- Colleagues around this nation
- Mentors (and there are many)
- People who inspire us
- Publishing opportunities
- Students who keep me young and vibrant
- Fitness coaches
- Good health
- Atlantic Beach, Florida
- Thanksgiving at Pete’s! (It’s a beach thing…♥)
- Well-crafted lyrics
- Beautiful melodies
- A fast computer connection
- Sun-filled days
- Summer rain
- Walks on the beach
- Bike rides
- Acts of civility
- Challenges and their opportunities
- Buddy (my dog)
- Minimal morning traffic
- Delay-free air travel
- An empty seat next to me on the plane
- An upgrade
- People who read my blog
- People who share my blog
- Reflective time
- Each new sunrise
Yes, there are bumps in the road. There are days that have been a huge inconvenience and pain in the posterior. I don’t ignore the potholes; and many times I need to stop and do some unanticipated road repair to continue the journey. But, in sum, it is a wonderful journey. Why would I possibly want to focus on the potholes when there is so much beauty to enjoy along the way?
Video recommendation #2 for the week:
Sing it Louie! Ponder the wonders–small and big.
Choose well. Live well. Be well—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
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Make it a wonderful week!
(c) 2013. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.