Welcome to the second day of the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge.
Starting a new mission is exciting because you can picture the result. It’s great to have an incentive in the picture.
“What are the real benefits of gratitude?” some may wonder. I’ve done a bit of online reading and came across many articles pointing towards the most common benefits. From the ability to create meaningful relationships to improve psychological well-being, gratitude takes care of that. Thankfulness overrides toxic emotions, e.g. frustration, envy, and regret to enhance the spirit of ubuntu (humanity towards others).
You will sleep better too. Why? Because your system has better things to do instead of wasting your valuable time trying to figure out the perfect revenge. A sense of gratitude improves your mental fortitude and self-esteem too. I guess it all comes to knowing who you are. When you stop comparing yourself with others, you will realise that the most significant competitor is yourself and won’t feel the need to bring others down so you can get somewhere. A spirit of gratitude makes you a better version of who you are, which leads to more open doors, adventures, and opportunities.
If you’re like me, you might be inclined to do the right thing, which explains why you’re reading this article. However, I am reminded of the number of times that I started something and quit somewhere along the way: too many distractions, something else came up, or to put it - I lost the motivation. It was not because the challenge was a bad idea; it’s because changing a habit is one of the most challenging things to do.
As much as I’ve been on the gratitude journey before writing, I’ve noticed that I don’t always feel motivated and inspired to practice gratitude. I know for a fact that today, I let my thoughts wander, and at some point, felt a wave of negative emotions. I was impatient, became irritated about a minor issue, and even entertained fear. It’s inevitable; we’re human. But I’m grateful that I quickly realised what was going on, and chose to practise patience instead of judgement, spoke a few thought-out lines, even when I could write a novel about my negative feelings, and made a conscious choice to stay focused and plan my day.
A spirit of gratitude makes you a better version of who you are, which leads to more open doors, adventures, and opportunities.
You, too, will find some resistance as you embark on your journey of gratitude. When that happens, don't be hard on yourself, take baby steps, and allow room for failure. You might quit and choose to forget about it, but I believe that if you've ever felt the need to change something about yourself, you will most likely come across another reminder. We all have choices, and free will is a given. May I take this opportunity to encourage you to continue practising gratitude, even when you don't always feel like it. "Choose life, so that you and your children may live." (Deuteronomy 30: 19)
Today, I am focusing my gratitude on a country. Yes, I will be patriotic and highlight some of the few things (amongst many) that I'm grateful for as a UK citizen.
Brexit or no Brexit, I love and appreciate this country and what it's done for my children. So many times, we complain a lot without taking a moment to be thankful for what we have as citizens. One day, I will get to where I was born and raised, but for now, I feel encouraged to give thanks for some of the things that many of us now take for granted. Having a helicopter view of what others are going through in life spearheaded my gratitude journey. It reminded me how lucky I am to live here in the UK.
Day 2 of 30
Previous article: Day 1
Uncover inspiring stories with moral lessons from our surroundings.