Last Wednesday I went to Amy Winehouse Foundation ball where I met an enchanting lady who’s persona oozed with confidence. After an hour or so into our conversation she explained to me how grateful she was for her life and for her husband of 33 years. Granted she had a lovely life in Hollywood, but no matter what life you live you can still love it or loath it. She refined it to the most minute detail and gave gratitude to absolutely everything. This enormous appreciation of every detail of life and all the small steps and experiences made a huge impact on me.
Sometimes we all encounter women who either have it all, or have nothing - and regardless of their circumstances decide to act like it's all very very bad for them. And then again, we meet a lot of women who are from the wealthiest of families or come from the poorest of backgrounds and have chosen to look at every aspect of their lives with gratitude.
Me and this lady continued the conversation and she explained that she used to be a good long jumper when she was a young girl but never pursued the sport but often wondered if she was that good. Until one day she bumped into an old school friend who mentioned she remembered how good she was at long jump. Immediately a big smile appeared on her face. She chose to appreciate what she had even though she did not pursue an avenue that could have turned hugely successful. How often do we chose to regret lost opportunities rather than appreciate what we have created? There is always a choice isn't there. Do you celebrate what you have today or what you could have had yesterday?
She explained, 'Oh yes I knew I was right. I was good at long jump'. But she didn't dwell on her lost talent. She had created something else instead, something much more powerful, and she was grateful of her life as it was.
What is gratitude? It is to experience and enjoy life to the fullness from within, a state of thankfulness for everything that already exists, now. There is nothing you want to add, it is a state where you have everything you need.
For me the first thing that springs to mind is to be 'glad'. Glad for who we are and for the things that we have. Yes, it's easy to say “well if I had more I would be happier”. But why do you need to have more?
If we took the time to look at ourselves, if we weren't afraid to stop - we'd find we have all the abilities we need to take the next step. If we'd stop to appreciate who we are and what we have, for a minute, for once. If we did that, we'd all (and I mean ALL) find a nugget of talent or a trace of personality or passion we could build on. We'd find something that if we'd allow ourselves to decide we are good enough, that we are grateful for, we could build on. If we'd - for once - stop comparing. If we'd just appreciate. Then we could make something great of ourselves.
I'm so grateful I have the ability to train, to read a book (even when I don't want to read a book!), to laugh, to scream, to talk and to inspire. There is a lot there I can build on. I'm happy about who I am, and even that in itself is a rare talent in today's world. I am so grateful for it all.
How to be grateful, how to remind yourself why you should do it?
1) You can't be anyone else.
Comparing yourself to others is merely wasting your energy.
2) Remind yourself of your qualities, personality and your passion, and stand tall behind all that.
Appreciate what you have and what you have achieved, no matter how big or small. This will immediately relieve stress from your everyday life!
3) Give yourself high 5 and a pat on the back,
or a wink to yourself in the bathroom mirror. What ever it takes to remind yourself that you are where you are supposed to be and you have achieved what was right for you, at this moment.
4) Find someone else to applaud you!
It sounds cheesy but we all need a little cheer once in a while.
Remember, with gratitude comes fulfilment, with fulfilment comes strength, and with strength comes bravery, and with bravery we will take ACTION.
Gratitude is a great mental state, as soon as you achieve it it vanishes and it makes room for the immediate next steps! Be grateful for what you have right now and what you have achieved to date, and it will release you to work with maximum capacity on your next task.
Have a great week!