The habit of gratitude

Appreciation – the most important habit.

There are five easy ways to get in the gratitude game.

First, be grateful for the life you have. Whatever it is, right here, right now, you have a life worth living. You are here because of your infinite wisdom and this is the life that is yours. When we look at our lives with love, love is returned to us. When we look at ourselves with appreciation, it comes back. It’s a straight hit from us to us.

Second, value yourself. Start small. Can you smile? Do it. Make a list of wonderful things you can do. Review what you have done every day. Have you picked something up on the street and thrown it in the trash? Did you smile at someone? Have you cherished your dog, your cat, your child, your spouse, your friend. Do you love everything you call your own? Why not? They are a gift, from you to you.

Third, appreciate what is outside of you, what you see, feel, touch. All the music, books, movies you can access – all for free if you need it. Do you know that other countries don’t necessarily have libraries and lectures, old movies for their citizens for free? What great opportunities we have for personal development and enrichment and entertainment. Every municipality in this country offers great trips at little or no cost to worlds beyond our immediate borders.

Which leads right to #four which is respect for other people. People who share with us their knowledge and skills, their enthusiasm and hope. Screenings, books, lectures, dances, theater – the list is endless. There are people around us who collect trash, save wild animals, read to children in schools, record books on tape for people who have problems with the written word. There are millions of great stories among us that are never on the evening news. People who are good neighbors and friends, lovers who are kind, spouses who are not indifferent, friends who are true. Cheer up! Check them out. Pay attention to what is in front of your nose. You don’t pass another person without smiling – unless you are in a dangerous place – you know where you are and what is the right thing to do.

Fifth, take this opportunity to partner with those around you. Once you start laughing, you will see that people are attracted to you, you will start to see how similar they are to you, how you get along with them. You have to make an effort to get to know them – if you still feel that you are good and they are idiots, you are not listening to “them”, you are not seeing “them”. If you truly see people for who they are, you will see commonality and in a funny twist, you will see your own uniqueness. The more we concentrate on our feelings, our motivation, the truth within us, the more we feel connected to those around us.

So take a leap of faith. Be kind. Be generous. Start here, now, with the most important person you know – YOU!

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