The Gratitude Challenge

Gratitude has been one of the recurring themes over the past few years of my life. It seems that I am learning the same lesson over and over. Focus on remembering how blessed you are, Ali.

It is amazing how different the world looks through a lens of gratitude.

I gave myself a challenge this past week. I decided that every time I started to feel frustrated or anxious about anything at all, that I would intentionally think of something I am thankful for in that moment. It was powerful.

Traffic. - I am so glad I have a car.
Son asking to be held as I am trying to make dinner. - Wow, this guy will not always fit in my lap. I love his precious, cuddly disposition.
Wishing for a bigger house and feeling slightly sorry for myself. - I have a roof over my head and my kids are warm at night.
Husband is running late for dinner. - He is on his way. He is safe.

It has been powerful.

I remember having this same realization in college. It is a season of life where people tend to favor fun over sleep. Most students on their way to class would rather be somewhere else, and most often this "somewhere else" is in bed still sleeping. I remember one day where nearly every person I ran into seemed to outdo the last with how tired they were. If I said that I was up until 1:30 AM writing a paper, you were most likely up until 3. I reached a point where I realized if the first thought I had every morning was, "I am so tired. ugh ugh ugh, " that my day wasn't starting on the most optimistic note. I began to challenge myself to wake with a bit more hope for the day, or at least, not verbalizing it all day. Because, if you walk around all day saying, "I'm so tired", you are certainly going to feel tired all day long.

Think of how often co-workers complain about the boss, the work environment, the job or the clients.

Think about how often we complain about our kids to one another.

Think about how often we complain about our husbands.

I am not saying don't keep it real. I am not encouraging brain washing yourself. I am just saying - it has made a huge difference for me to intentionally choose to have a posture of gratitude.



What are you grateful for today?



4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this reminder...you are so right !!

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  2. Powerful post - so true and thanks for the reminder!

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  3. Ali - this is exactly what I needed to read this morning. Having a tough week with my husband traveling away on business! I also read your post titled "Jekyl & Hyde Were Here... A Question of Contentment" and both articles really spoke to me today. I need to be grateful and present! I need to appreciate all the blessings I have in my life! Thank you for the reminder!!!!

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  4. This is a lovely remeinder. I've had one of those no-good-very-bad-days today, and needed the change in perspective that this post just gave me. About a year ago I started a gratitude journal, where I try to jot down five things that I'm grateful for everyday. I'll admitt...I keep it up in fits & starts, but it seems like I pull it out again when I'm most neededing reminder that regardless of how much can go wrong in my day-to-day life, there's still so much to be grateful for.

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