Through out this month, and over the past year or so I have been focusing much of my intent on gratitude. In fact, the entire year of 2017, gratitude was my focus on my personal My Intent Project. Through my gratitude journal and daily experiences I have tried to find something to be grateful for in every situation. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I was thankful for early detection and screening. I was grateful that it was found early and he was able to receive arguably the best treatment in the country. Almost every morning I start my day writing 3 things I am grateful for, 3 things that would make the day amazing, and a mantra in my 5 Minute Journal. And although I get a prompt every evening to write down what I am grateful for that happened during that day, I generally just use it as that, a prompt but don’t necessarily follow through with physically writing it down. But, what if I did take the time to end each day with the same amount of gratitude that I started it with?
During a podcast with Jesse Itzler he discusses this exact concept and the impact it has over time. Every night each member of his family, including his 4 young children, discuss 3 things that are positive and that they are excited about and grateful for. This doesn’t just express and instill a sense of gratitude, but this adds up to thousands of positive thoughts each year. That’s how they end their day, and those are the thoughts then spill over into their waking moments. Imagine being able to carry thousands of positive thoughts with you each year, and how those would accumulate over time. Imagine the positive impact those would have on you and your children. I love the concept of how these daily moments of gratitude combine to create an entire attitude of mindfulness and optimism.
Many people do highs and lows each day, and it could certainly be argued about the benefits of highlighting both. Positive thoughts and experiences to carry with you and also lows to learn from the experience. Itzler went on to say that we should not only “want our children to be happy” but we need to increase exposure to experiences. It is through experiences, both positive and negative, where we learn and grow. Yet this shouldn’t be something that we want for our children only; this concept is something we need to focus on in ourselves as well. Lead by example. By being mindful of the high and lows and how we can grow and learn from every experience, to fully experience this, we must actually engage; engage in the world around us and be fully present.