Being Grateful Makes You Full of Greatness…

Thanksgiving week always brings about talk of what we’re thankful for in our lives.

Of course there are the basic answers like family, friends, food, a place to live, indoor toilets and any opportunity to eat massive amounts of pizza from NY.

The other day, as I tried to go beyond my usual list of things I’m grateful for, my thoughts turned into a question…

What are the results of being grateful vs. the results of being ungrateful? What are the different “side effects” or manifestations that occur on a physical, emotional and a cognitive level?

To clarify, when I say “ungrateful” I mean active complaining or ingratitude — in other words being negative.

“What you are thinking about, you are becoming.”
                                                 – Muhammad Ali

When we’re being ungrateful, we’re keeping in mind something that we’re not happy about  something negative, unwanted, bothersome or just plain annoying.

In this state of being, we get stuck in the mucky-muck of negativity. We use our energy dwelling on something we’re unhappy about instead of using that same energy to find solutions. And in doing so we help solidify what we’d really like to change.

When we’re grateful, the outcome is very different. We’re being positive, freeing up & refreshing our energy to move forward instead of holding ourselves back. Sure, there may be things we’re not happy about, but when we’re focusing on something positive, we’re letting go of being negative about something else.

I’m not saying to pretend to be grateful for something that just plain sucks. But why not think about something that doesn’t suck? Why not make a plan to make that particular issue less sucky, instead of just dwelling on it? Are humans so driven to misery that we can’t do this simple thing?

Muhammad Ali said it so beautifully. What we think leads to what we speak. What we speak leads to how we act, and in turn the reality we create.

There was a time when I was so unhappy with my job that I became physically ill and almost died. I was so ungrateful for everything good in my life that my personality became very negative, my soul spiritless. And in turn my body started failing me (I had Crohn’s Disease).

Getting sick turned out to be one the greatest gifts of my life. It woke me up (which was my body’s intention in the first place) and empowered me to make the changes I needed to make.

Although I am aware of the benefits of being grateful, that doesn’t mean I always am. It’s a constant battle to remain mindful about my thoughts (no pun intended).

I’d like to leave off with a question:

Can you allow yourself to be greatness? I’m not talking about ego here, but the greatness that comes with being grateful, positive and true to who you really are.

Anything is possible. The simple choice of being grateful just might change your life.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:
The Road to Nowhere: It’s Not Too Late to Recreate Your Reality
The Magic Quarter: Creating Your Own Reality
Anything is Possible
Out of Energy. Out of Time. Out of Luck?
Can You Let Go of the Need for Control? The Sedona Method, Part 3

Just Another Day Without My Kids

Once again I’m showing my age. In 1992, one of the most popular songs was “Just Another Day” by Jon Secada (click here to play the song). The height of this song’s popularity happened to coincide with a trying time in my life. The time Kara and I were broken up.

Don’t worry, the story has a happy ending. We’re married now with two beautiful boys. But to this day, the song brings tears to my eyes. Every time I hear it, I remember what I almost lost, and how Kara and I fixed things by making major changes to ourselves. Changes that helped me become more of a man, and less of an ego based boy.

The song has been on my mind lately, and has taken on new meaning. Now, there’ s something else I’m losing. Something irreplaceable & precious: time with my kids.

Every day I go to work is just another day without them.

I waste my time, day after day working a job so I can get paid

It makes no difference what I do, for it just gets changed over and over so I have to redo (I’m a professional writer)

All the while my kids are at home, while I feel completely alone

I sell my time so my family can survive, but the feeling of loss just won’t subside

Please forgive my attempt at poetry, but this is how it feels.

The pain of loss. Frustration. Grief. Thank goodness it’s not all I have, but it’s here in my heart. Right along side the joy and gratefulness I feel because I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful family. There are divorced dads (and moms) who don’t see their kids at all for days on end. I can’t even imagine what that must be like.

I’m feeling a stronger need for major life changes again. Changes that will allow me to be with my family more AND make more money. This seems pretty daunting. But the thought of facing day after pointless day is pretty daunting too.

What’s a dad to do?

And remember, you are not alone…