The power of gratitude is unleashed into our lives in ways that may not be immediately apparent. As part of my own personal development, I have become convinced that learning to develop an ‘attitude of gratitude‘ is fundamentally connected with achieving success. So today I want to do something a bit different with my blog entry. I want to make this a gratitude post. I am going to simply list some of the things in my life for which I am grateful.
Perhaps this is something that you might consider doing too. Once you start the list, it will probably surprise you that there are just so many things that need to go on there. That is certainly true for me. Do you remember what you were taught at Sunday School; that when you begin to count your blessings, you will be surprised at just how many there are?
Here is the little chorus I remember that we used to sing:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
– Johnson Oatman, Jr
Recognising that there are just so many things to list and understanding that I will not be able to list everything right now, here is the start of my own list of things for which I am grateful:
When I look at this beautiful planet upon which we live, I feel I want to start by saying that I am grateful for life itself. I am grateful for having lived and enjoyed all the wonderful pleasures that life has to offer including finally finding my soul mate (my lovely wife), discovering the joy of learning and the finding the opportunity to create something that will outlive me.
Secondly, I am grateful for my wife. Yes, I know I mentioned her above, but as my best friend and my soul mate, I feel she deserves a special mention on my gratitude list. I am grateful for everything she has done for me in our life together including believing in me, supporting my efforts and providing me with my most trusted and valued source of help and good counsel.
I am grateful for all my close relationships. To my parents, both of whom have now passed on, I am grateful for everything they did for me. They always had my best interests at heart and always acted in the best possible way. I am grateful to my sister who is one of the kindest, most unselfish and good-hearted people I have ever known. And I am grateful to my kids, both of whom have turned out to be kind, caring and genuine people that I am proud to call my children. I am grateful for all my good friends with whom I have ‘chewed the cud’ and shared so much of life and its pleasures.
For the important lessons I have learned, I am grateful to everyone that I found difficult during my entire working career. Since God knows that I still have not learned, well enough, the practice of patience, the art of empathy and the ability to respect opinions, I expect that he will be lining up a few more such people for me to learn from in the future. I want to change my attitude toward anyone I find difficult and be grateful for each new relationship, treating them as wonderful opportunities for personal growth.
I am grateful for the privilege of having known some very special people including Cornel Munn who is a truly exceptional person. Born without arms and with just one leg, this person has achieved so much with his life that I don’t have space to begin to list his achievements here – that might be the subject of a future post. But I am grateful for receiving such an object lesson in what can be achieved through determination, persistence and effort. Another exceptional person I met is Jennifer Cox, who is involved in helping to support an orphanage in Honduras. I am grateful for the opportunity to have helped, in some small way, and learned in the process that what really makes me happy is helping others.
I am grateful to have finally found my life purpose and to have a vision and mission that gives my life meaning and focus. It is a real joy and a privilege to be actually doing what I envisioned all those years ago when I imagined myself as a writer, simply engaging in my writing as my own contribution to life. I am grateful for the enduring good health I have enjoyed and the ability to think and problem-solve that is vitally important for me to achieve my mission and important goals.
Writing is, necessarily, a solitary business and I actually love that solitude, but it is also very nice to connect with readers, so finally, I want to say that I am grateful to you, dear reader. I am grateful for the people who find my website and enjoy reading what I write. I am grateful for the many positive comments and emails I receive about the site and what I am doing.
So that’s at least the start of my gratitude list. Now that I have started, I am sure that I will return to add to this list in the future. As the Johnson Oatman chorus said, there are many things that we are grateful for when we stop to think about them and I feel that the process of simply listing these things has been very beneficial to me. I wonder if you will be encouraged to start making your own list. Perhaps you could give it a try and let me know how it made you feel.