7 – Express Gratitude

This is the ninth post in the series of Daily Habits, which is about a listing of useful habits that should be a part of a productive person’s daily routine. To read, you can start here.

Write (don’t think only) 3 new things every day for which you are grateful that day. Until I actually started doing this, I never understood how much impact this habit can have on one’s life. Here is the logic.

Basically, a human mind has its limits and can easily be conditioned to enhance some aspects about life while ignoring some others. On average, most normal lives have both positive and negative things going on. Those who habitually focus on positive gradually get tuned into having a positive outlook about life, staying healthy and happy and consequently attracting more of the same. They start spending their lives without any complaints, demands or a sense of entitlement. Events outside their control then have little effect on their internal locus of happiness.

The reverse is also true. There are people who stay in a never-ending complaint and criticism mode and consequently can never attain happiness. They focus on what they are ungrateful for today. Bad things always seem to be happening to them and the world is consistently at war against them.

When I started writing 3 things for which I am grateful, my list was always exactly or closer to the following.

  1. Health
  2. Family
  3. Work

It was only after a few days that I realized that I have to write 3 new things for which I am grateful every day, irrespective of how little it seems. So now my list can have anything like finding a good book, having a good night’s sleep, nice food, and living in the age of Google (yes, I am extremely grateful to it).

When the brain is forced to think in a certain way every single day, slowly it starts focusing on gratitude and rejecting the ingratitude that has a direct impact on a person’s relationships as well. We have this ritual at the dinner table where every member of the family has to tell anything for which they are grateful today. Children say funny things they are grateful for, and show us how we can find appreciation in almost everything around us.

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