"Thanks." It's a simple word. We use it all the time. But
Thankfulness gives you enormous strength to contend with life's challenges.
To explain what I mean, let me start with a story. It's an old one - probably one you're already familiar with. But listen carefully. As with most of these old tales, there are some important perspective-shifting insights in it that never get old . . .
The Ungrateful Dog (Adapted from Aesop's Fables)
A dog found a delicious chunk of fresh cheese on the side of the road. Hardly believing his luck, the dog looked up and down the road before he snatched it up in his mouth and trotted off to find a good place to enjoy his feast.
The dog stopped in the middle of the bridge and looked over. And lo and behold, staring up at him was a dog with what looked like a bigger chunk of cheese in his mouth.
"Whoa," thought the dog, "I would be a fool not to try to get that cheese as well. In
So the dog growled at the dog he saw below him, hoping to intimidate him out of his cheese. But the dog looking up at him just growled back.
He tried again, this time with an even more threatening growl. But again, the other dog didn't budge and only growled right back at him.
So anxious was the dog to get this second chunk of cheese that after the growling didn't work, he opened up his jaws to let out a ferocious bark.
And as he opened his mouth, the chunk of cheese fell into the river below. And with a splash, the cheese - along with the second dog and the cheese below - disappeared from sight.
What We Risk Losing When We Don't Give Thanks
Now we can all laugh at the dog's outrageous behavior. But let's turn this story back on ourselves . . .
How many times have you gotten so focused on something you want that you forget what you have already . . . and risk losing it as a result?
How many times do you get preoccupied with working longer and harder to increase your pay . . . or bemoaning that you don't fit into a size 4 jeans . . .
Only to lose track of your family, warm
We all do this. It's human nature. And there's nothing wrong with aspiring to greater heights or working towards goals.
The problem arises when our ambitions start to undermine our current wellbeing and wealth.
On the flipside, when we shift our attention to being thankful for what we have, interestingly enough, it gives us a tremendous boost in getting closer to our goals in life.
How Giving Thanks Gives Us Power
For years I've used a gratefulness meditation technique to help me through rough times. We get what we focus on! Focus on gratitude and the universe provides you with more to be grateful for.
It is the law of nature explained by quantum physics. And I'm always amazed at how powerful it is. I've come to realize how it shifts my mindset in some very strategic ways . . .
First, being grateful shifts our focus to what is good in our
See our brain is a funny thing. Our actions are directed by not only our conscious self but also the unconscious
Secondly, giving thanks gives us energy - lots of it.When your focus is on the worries and frustrations
But let me be clear, this is not about being naively optimistic. Sure, you need to acknowledge the problems in your life. How else can you fix them? But instead of dwelling on the problems, focus your energy on the solution and all the tools and strengths you have to take care of them.
Be grateful now! The quality of this moment predicts your future.
Thirdly, it helps us stop making mountains out of molehills.Most of us live with exceptional comfort,
And you can even take this to another level . . .
Try being grateful for your challenges. You would be stagnant and bored without them. Your challenges build character. See them as opportunities to learn and grow. Practice deep radical acceptance of your challenges, enemies and your current life situation. The truth will set you free!
Being thankful can keep you healthy
See, these sources of anxiety
However, simply by shifting your perspective by reminding yourself what you're grateful for, you'll feel that itchy cloud of stress starting to lift away. And as you cut the strings holding that cloud over you by giving thanks, you help yourself physically.
You may end up boosting your immune system, fortifying your heart and bringing your blood sugar levels back in balance. Amazing as it may sound, simply by being grateful, you may save your own life.
Here's the point we all need to hold onto: The universe presents us with beautiful chunks of cheese all the time. But too often we overlook them, diminish their value and lose them in our pursuit of more.Savor the gifts of cheese in your life. Don't lose out on what you've got - or even what you could achieve in the future - because you're too busy looking for more!
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