No kidding, that quote literally changed my life.
I remember reading it a few months back and having this HUGE, profound “a-ha!” moment that I imagine bore some resemblance to Einstein’s “Eureka” experience. Since then gratitude has become a treasured and integral part of my life and a total game-changer in handling life with a greater degree of adaptability.
As children, it’s consistently emphasised to us that we should be grateful for things, like when someone buys you an ice cream, gives you a gift or does something nice for you. Gratitude seemed to be reserved for the “good times”.
The revelation of my “a-ha!” moment was that gratitude isn’t a nice-to-have sometimes, it’s the ultimate win-win. Always.
Think about it – when you genuinely experience and express gratitude, doesn’t it feel good? Equally, when someone feels or expresses genuine gratitude toward you, doesn’t that feel good too? Doesn’t gratitude help people to feel valued? Touched? Motivated? Create buy-in?
Gratitude is like an energetic lubricant. When it’s genuinely felt and expressed, it is so powerful that it can literally help to manifest the things we want in our lives faster.
So why do we limit gratitude to only the “good things”? Why not be grateful for everything that comes into our lives? Isn’t that the real challenge; to practice feeling and expressing gratitude even in the face of some of life’s greatest trials and tribulations? I can certainly attest to the fact that it gets a little harder to walk the ol’ talk when I’m having an intensely challenging week, as I did this week.
Just to give you a little taster of this week’s harsh realities, I learnt that:
- 3 more months walking down the same road and my business would have gone under;
- stepping up and being in integrity right now might mean stepping back or letting go of a relationship I enjoy but isn’t serving me; and
- sometimes I’m not going to get what I think I really want.
Was it an easy week? No. Was it comfortable? Definitely not. But armed with what I know about the power of gratitude I found myself asking:
What if the learning that’s on offer from the Universe at this moment in time is the exact perfect GIFT to prepare me up for the next BIG step change in my life?
From that perspective, I started to see things a little differently:
(1) 3 more months walking down the same road and my business would have gone under.
Learning: I’ve now got my eyes open and am aware of what’s going on. That awareness is the gift that gives me the opportunity to change things. Focus is everything. I’m accountable for being clear on my goals, roles and responsibilities, performance measurables etc. I now know what I need to do and am clear on where to invest my energy to take things to the next level.
(2) Stepping up and being in integrity right now might mean stepping back or letting go of a relationship I enjoy but isn’t serving me;
Learning: Taking responsibility and becoming empowered in my business is the choice that’s in integrity for me. Integrity is one of my highest values and allows me to be the best version of me. If a relationship takes away from that then it’s not in service to me or the other person at this moment in time. It’s ok to take a step back and assess if it’s time to let go for now.
(3) Sometimes I’m not going to get what I think I really want;
Learning: Because what I think I want isn’t always what’s best for me. Looking back with hindsight I can see that everything that’s happened has ultimately always been in service to who I want to be, so I can trust that the Universe is delivering this reality for my ultimate good.
When seen through eyes of gratitude, it’s easier to see how such harsh realities can offer the gift of a fresh perspective.
I really love how Neale Donald Walsch put it when he wrote…….
“Every event of life is a miracle, as is life itself. Life is designed to provide your soul with the perfect tools, circumstances, conditions with which to realise and experience, announce and declare, fulfill and become Who You Really Are (the highest form of yourself). Therefore, judge not, and neither condemn……..embrace every moment and every circumstance of life as a treasure; a perfect gift from a perfect Creator……seek results and outcomes, but do not require them.”
So this week, try on the thought that everything that happens is for your highest good and perhaps take a moment to be expressly grateful for something uncomfortable that happens.
In the meantime, if you’re interested to learn more about a professional career in self-mastery and personal development, join our free A-Z Roadmap to Becoming a Coach webinar at http://www.ipeccoaching.com//events-and-seminars.aspx or check out our Facebook page and Twitter (@Anna_Margolis) to learn more about ways you can cultivate your self-awareness and increase your level of consciousness.