The Gratitude Mindset
“The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live. He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.” – Albert Schwietzer
Questions for Reflection:
-What is positive and unique about your family?
-What are three of your best memories from your first year with your spouse?
-What is the most magnificent goal you have already accomplished?
-What parts of your body tend to work really well most of the time?
-In what ways has God shown his grace in your life recently?
-What is the nicest compliment you have received in the last month?
-What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from another person?
-What is the most beautiful thing you’ve seen in the last week?
-What is an old crisis or rough situation from the past that in retrospect has turned into a blessing or benefited you in some way?
-What is the number one thing you are going to be grateful for this time next year?
What is Mindset?
Mindset is the X-Factor that determines what you do with your natural talent, and with your opportunities. It includes the attitudes, assumptions, and expectations that you hold about life. It’s really how you choose to approach the different circumstances of life.…whether your habitual thinking multiplies your talent and work ethic or whether it does the reverse.
What is Gratitude?
1) Feeling – a sense of joy and appreciation after receiving something, being blessed in some way
2) Capacity – skill, practice, mental discipline
3) Choice – conscious and deliberate decision;
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Why is Gratitude Important?
-The master attitude
-Shapes how you see the world
-Influences your relationships
-Affects your health
Blocks to Gratitude
-Over-exposure to media
-Worry, negative forecasting
-Lack of connection to the Creator.
2 Levels of Gratitude
1) Routine, minimal, basic, elementary
-reactive thank you/relief after learning of someone else’s misfortune
2) Exceptional, proactive, intentional, detailed, relationship-focused. (doesn’t require something to be missing before it’s appreciated)
-Fast lane to living 4:8
-Discipline, practice, repetition
-Perspective: past, present, FUTURE
Habits of Gratitude
-Blessing/grace at mealtime
-Handwritten notes, emails, texts, phone calls
-Public acknowledgments of others’ efforts and excellence
-Asking 4:8 questions
-What am I grateful for?
-What are my strengths?
-What are my recent victories?
-Who are the people that really love me?
-What am I excited about and looking forward to?
-Sunshine and rain
-Forests and deserts
-Mountains and beaches
-Freedom in all forms
-And so on…
“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” -Thomas Merton
Ways to Express Your Gratitude Now (“Thanksgiving Binge”)
Here are some thought stimulators to turbocharge your gratitude. Most of these have come to me from clients over the years. Now they can be yours. Your Thanksgiving binge officially begins now.
1. At night, count your blessings silently as you drift off to sleep.
2. Count your blessings as you lie in bed in the morning after the alarm clock goes off.
3. Journal your blessings for three minutes immediately after waking up in the morning.
4. Make a list of what you expect to be thankful for ten years from now.
5. Before grace at mealtime, discuss specific things you are grateful for as a family.
6. Every day send a brief thank-you e-mail to someone who’s been helpful in any way, large or small.
7. Leave mini thank-you notes around the house to let your family know you notice their efforts.
8. Leave quick thank-you notes around the office to ensure that coworkers know you notice their efforts.
9. Make a list of twenty-one things you are grateful for, and meditate on that list for fifteen minutes without distraction.
10. Journal your blessings for three minutes before getting into bed at night.
11. Go the extra mile to help someone who has helped you.
12. Go the extra mile to help someone who has not helped you.
13. Ask God for a greater sense of awe and appreciation.
14. Create fun surprises or little rewards for those you appreciate.
15. Ask the important people in your life what makes them feel appreciated.
16. Repeat the affirmation “I am so blessed. I am so blessed.” Repeat this silently over and over again as you fall asleep, as you exercise, or as you drive somewhere by yourself.
17. Thank someone belatedly for the help, encouragement, or assistance they provided in the past.
18. Give yourself a special treat to express appreciation that you are unique and irreplaceable.
19. Show gratitude for a particular loved one as if it were your last opportunity to do so.
20. Itemize all the possessions in one room of your house. Thank God for those you’re glad to have, and then give or throw the rest away.
26. Discuss with a good friend some of the things you used to want but now you are glad you don’t have.
31. Greet everyone with the type of smile you’d exhibit if you had just received great news.
35. Write a previous teacher, coach, professor, or employer, thanking them for what you appreciate about them.
37. Show extreme gratitude for your own physical body by upgrading the way you treat it for a designated seventy-two-hour period.
38. Say a quick prayer of thanks for all the things in your life that don’t need fixing.
Here’s my challenge to you: Make Everyday Thanksgiving!…because your success and YOUR GRATITUDE blesses others.