I’m so thankful that I get time to read in the ‘off-season.’ I get to enjoy fiction, non-fiction, biographies, and a bit of ‘historical fiction.’ Some books I start and put down after thirty pages. Other books make me want to stay up all night.
I didn’t always like to read ‘real’ books. Comic books were more my style growing up. In fact, I’m always happy to talk old school Marvel and DC stories with the campers.
Reading more substantial books came in high school and then flourished in college. I found books that told great stories in ways that I understood – Lonesome Dove, Shogun, Undaunted Courage, and others – and wanted to read more.
I just finished reading a sweet, short book called The Noticer by Andy Andrews. It’s a nice reminder of being thoughtful in your choices. It also provides ideas to broaden your perspective on things.
The story begins with the narrator, a young man in his early 20’s, discussing how bad things had gotten for him. A somewhat mythical man calling himself Jones shows up to ask questions and lend some wisdom. Among the many lessons Jones lays out is that what you focus on increases.
‘When you focus on things you need, you’ll find those needs increasing.
If you concentrate your thoughts on what you don’t have, you will soon be concentrating on other things that you had forgotten you don’t have – and feel worse!
If you set your mind on loss, you are more likely to lose….
But a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.’
The day after I dog-eared that section, I stumbled on an article about gratitude I had squirreled away in my desk. Listed in the article were all the benefits found in practicing gratitude along with a few exercises to increase the habit.
Finally, this morning, I received this in my email inbox:
“Want the simplest way to build a habit of gratitude and color the rest of your day? It’s an easy three-step process:
- Put a writing pad or journal and pen or pencil next to you bed before you fall asleep.
- Go to sleep.
- Wake up and write three things* for which you are grateful before you get out of bed.
*Don’t go easy on yourself and write the same things over and over. Think! Look around! I bet you’ve so many things to be grateful for you’ll never finish writing them down.”
Time to Practice
Ok, universe, I get it! I’ll pass these ideas along about gratitude to the kids at Weequahic.
If things had gotten more obvious, I’d expect a brick coming through the front window wrapped with a ‘be grateful!’ message.
Here’s the fun thing about that simple, one to three-minute morning habit: you awaken to all that is fantastic in your life. And, done over enough mornings, you begin to spend time searching out that which you’ll write down the next morning.
More and more, you’ll be practicing the habit of living gratefully. Do that and not only will you be a happier person, you’ll have a lot more people wanting to be around you.
So, why not give it a shot? I’ll be doing this practice from now until the end of the month. I’ll report back to let you know what I experience. If you’ll join me, I’d be happy for the company and would love to learn what you thought about it all.
Have a grateful week!