The Liberating Effect of Being Grateful
Do you find your life seems to be a constant whirl of activity where you don’t have time to sit for a minute and just contemplate the good things you have in your world?
Society today seems to have created a cycle for most of us that necessitate a constant rush from activity to activity with little or no time to be still and appreciate the good things in our lives.
Many of us need to stop and take stock of what we have, rather than what we don’t have, in order to stop this endless cycle that will eventually burn out or some other physical reaction. Learning to be grateful for the things we have rather than continuously seeking the things we don’t have, unleashes the power of optimism in our lives.
Gratitude is a powerful characteristic to develop. As we focus on gratitude for the blessings that are ours today, we stop taking them for granted.
Cicero once wrote: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, it is the parent of them.”
The attitude of never having enough and never being grateful is such a negative attitude; others don’t want to be around it. Yet the opposite is true for the person who radiates gratitude. They usually attract more reasons to be grateful and find more reasons to be grateful.
This attitude permeates every part of their life and is the drive that compels them to undertake the activities scheduled for the day. People who learn to be genuinely grateful for what they already have, creating a reduction in the need to be constantly seeking more. They feel genuine appreciation for other’s efforts and contributions and have energy left over to reach out to others from the perspective of being appreciative for what they themselves already have.
We all know people like this. History has recorded many famous names of people who have learned this important life lesson. We can transform the way we approach our life by developing this characteristic. Writing down each day at least three things to be grateful for, is a great way to cultivate this attitude and taking time during the day to express our gratitude to friends, family, God or the world, is a great way to
learn to live in an attitude of gratitude even when we are faced with a hectic schedule.
You Need to Take the Good Things in Life and Reject the Rest
When was the last time you watched a bee as it busily went from flower to flower collecting the nectar and pollen that would become the life-saving energy source for the larvae back at the hive? While some bees are happy to collect pollen from many different plants and flowers, others specialize in only collecting from certain species. The honey produced in the hives of these specialist bees is highly sought after for its unique qualities and flavors.
In our life choices, we can be like the specialist honeybee, taking the good things offered to us in life, and rejecting the rest that will potentially harm us, or our quality of life. Learning to say no is a powerful tool that many of us rarely if ever use. There is nothing wrong with the pollen and nectar than the specialist bees reject. They have the potential to produce delicious honey, for the honeybees that are searching for a special type of pollen; they represent imperfections and time-wasting activity.
Learning to reject or say no to what will hurt or harm us in the long term is the key to reducing the amount of stress we carry each day and to feeling better about ourselves. As we learn to reject the things that will harm us, we are more inclined to accept the things that will help us. Perhaps more importantly, we are able to learn to tell the difference between the two.
How can you tell the difference between what to accept and what to reject to help you stay stress-free?
Most of us know instinctively what is going to cause us distress. These things never are accepted and must be rejected from our life, but what of those things that will cause us stress but not distress? Can we trust our instincts with them?
Growing through stress is not a bad thing and sometimes we do need to move outside of our comfort zone to achieve progress in our life. The key to knowing what will produce good stress and what will produce negative stress is to have a life plan and only accepting those things that contribute to our life plan. Saying no to other things helps keep us focused on our goals and thinking positively about our life experiences.
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