The Power of Gratitude

What are you grateful for today?

A loving family, good health, new home, great career change, planned vacation trip, your faith? The list can go on and on from here. There are so many things we overlook in the hustle and bustle of daily life that we should be thankful for. Take time out to identify what you are most grateful for today and declare it!

GratitudeStart each day by saying aloud what you are grateful for, then show it through your attitude and by caring for others. Pay it forward. The next time you’re not feeling that ‘attitude of gratitude’ for all your blessings, consider this … 71% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day. 1.5 billion people globally live on less than $1.25 per day. Your life could be much worse and these statistics help to put things into perspective, don’t they?

Even in the darkest times, we can find a way through them by expressing gratitude for the good things in our lives, rather than dwelling on the negatives. My loving wife, Laura, passed away on March 4th of this year. Although the pain of her loss is still unbearable, I’m grateful that she’s at peace and free from the pain, the surgeries, the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, etc. she had to suffer through during her long-term battle with breast cancer. I am also very thankful for the 38 wonderful years we had together, our two amazing children, and a lifetime of great memories.

Life is not always fair. However, as Joel Osteen so aptly points out, “When we dwell on painful experiences in our past, our emotions go right back there with us”. We can choose to be bitter when things don’t go our way, or we can get better by recognizing there is always a reason to be grateful. It is our choice to make. If you are having a bad day, or finding it difficult to come up with something to give thanks for, then check out this recent article from Lifehack.org, ‘60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life’ http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/60-things-thankful-for-life.html. It will give you many great ideas to build upon.

But don’t stop there … share it with others!

One of the best ways that I know to show the power of gratitude is by dedicating your time, talents and treasures in service to others. Don’t just be grateful, give back. Take the time to demonstrate your gratitude through caregiving and stewardship in your business, local community, church, outreach programs, or charitable organizations.

My good friend, Sandy Anderson, is a great example of how powerful gratitude can be when you pay it forward. After Sandy’s mother passed away when he was just a year old, he and his three brothers were raised in a remote Christian mission in India. He survived on $12 per month from charitable sponsorships of a group of U.S.-based Sunday School teachers. From those humble beginnings, Sandy has made it his life’s work to serve others through his ministry. Today, he’s the founder and president of Build International Ministries http://www.buildinternational.org/ which provides services to millions of people around the globe, and Sandy has personally ministered in over 60 countries.

Build International

Want more proof of the power of gratitude? Researchers are discovering that gratitude doesn’t just make you feel like a better person, it is actually good for your health. “Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,” according to Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis. “It can lower your blood pressure, improve immune function, and facilitate more efficient sleep.” In addition, it can also improve heart health.

If you want to experience the true power of gratitude working in your life, start with a simple ‘thank you’ for the countless blessings in our life today, then take action on three things you want to do to give back to others. By doing so, you’ll feel better and will be making an impact where needed most in the lives of others.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2016 John Carroll