This is the first in a short series on the things that energize us in life. Gratitude is a nearly “universal” topic and is one of the most important energizing characteristics we can adopt, so I’ll start the series with it.
Zig Ziglar, the late motivational speaker and Baptist Preacher used to emphasis that a successful person always had an Attitude of Gratitude. Gratitude is a precept taught by most churches and spiritual leaders.
A grateful person is usually a high energy person. A grateful person normally has a positive mindset. You can’t help but have a positive mindset if you are thinking about the things in your life that you’re grateful for.
As we get older, we tend to think back and look at the people, places and things that have affected us over the course of our lives. When we do that, we can look at our past in several ways. One, of course is to go back and dwell on the “should ofs” and the “could ofs” and spend our time sadly reviewing our past inactions and shortcomings. Or we can accept the past for what it is – GONE – and be grateful for the positive things that have made us the person we are today – and then say “I’m grateful for all that was, I am mindful for all that is, and . . . On with my life”. Of course we all tend to do a little of the former and review “what could have been” in our minds. Even though we may be happy and successful now, sometimes we continue to do the “what ifs” in our mind. “What if I had joined the Peace Corps back in the sixties and seventies instead of going to work for General Motors? What if “whatever”. I think that’s a force of human nature. But is there any benefit to dwelling on the “what ifs”? A lot of people spend their senior years doing just that – dwelling on the “what ifs” instead of being grateful for those positive things in their past and moving on with a positive and healthy future.
A grateful person reflects a healthy and energetic mind. A grateful person is normally a happy person. A person with an Attitude of Gratitude is pleasant to be around. A grateful person can’t help but exude energy and positivity and seldom will draw a negative breath. A grateful person can turn a negative past into a positive past by drawing from the positive aspects of their past and eliminating the negative from their upfront thoughts. Gratitude is one of the tenants of Twelve Step Programs. One of the promises of the grandaddy of all twelve step programs says that “We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it”, and stresses Gratitude as a means to success in their struggles.
There are few stronger energizers on earth than Gratitude. We all have so many people, places and things to be grateful for. If we can focus on those with that Attitude of Gratitude that Zig Ziglar so eloquently proposed, then we can’t help but be a high energy, mentally healthy human being. We are energy givers rather than energy drainers.
Many personal improvement and spiritual leaders suggest that you write out a Gratitude List every morning or night and consider the things you are grateful for. What a great idea. Talk about a way to energize yourself mentally – think gratitude!
Thank you for reading.
* Cartoon source from various posts on FaceBook. Original source unknown.