Career Magazine

Create Abundance Through Gratitude

By Rebecca_sands @Rebecca_Sands

Building a house on Daily Inspiration Board

For so much of my life, I focused on all of the things that I wanted to change. I wanted more happiness, more peace, more money, better relationships, more education, more fitness, more control over life, more in my career. I also focused on what I wanted less of – I wanted to be less argumentative and opinionated, smaller and thinner, less doubtful, less overwhelmed by everything that I wanted. I just figured that if I kept fighting for all of the stuff I wanted, I would eventually get it. Guess what happened? I usually tended to get more or less of the exact things that I was trying to avoid.

A couple of years ago, I started reading about gratitude. Or perhaps I just started taking notice of what I was reading. I realised that I was approaching life all wrong. I was so focused on fighting with life that all I got back was conflict. When I started learning about using gratitude as a foundation to life, like mini building blocks practiced daily, I began to realize that I had a firm platform on which to build upon. If you think of it like the construction of a house, it’s quite simple. Gratitude is the firm ground underneath; it’s the structure and the nails driven deep. Without it, you can’t put up any walls or windows or for that matter, a roof over your head because it will all continue to simply fall down.

Abundance is exactly that: it’s the walls, the windows, the curtains, the art work you hang on the wall, the flowers you put in the corner in a beautiful vase. You can’t have any of this without setting a strong foundation first. The best part about coming to this realisation was that I already had everything that I needed – and everything else was a ‘nice to have’. I realised that taking ownership of my current life situation and feeling gratitude wherever I could for all of the good stuff in my life was what I really needed to underpin all of the things that I wanted more or less of.

The other great part was realising that I didn’t need to fight with life any more. Getting everything that I ever dreamed of actually required less stress than what I was feeling inside. Once you start to feel grateful, it works like a domino effect: you start to notice great things about life that you never even realised or thought of before. When you feel gratitude, it creates an automatic shift in perception: almost like looking into a garden from a different window. You see a whole new vantage point and get a fresh take on your surroundings. Before, all I could see was what I lacked. When I started to feel gratitude for everything, all I could see was what I already had.

To create a life of abundance through gratitude, here’s what you need to do:

  • Write a daily gratitude journal. It can be a ‘one-sentence journal’ – an idea I borrowed from Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project”. This is brilliant for those of us who are time poor and can’t face adding a full journal to our daily task list. Every day, list one, two or three things you are grateful for today. This helps to shift the focus from what you want to all the good stuff you already have. It may not make a change today, but acts as those mini building blocks which will set you up with a firm foundation on which to grow.
  • Look at the flipside of the coin. When something that you perceive as negative happens in your life, flip the coin and ask yourself, ‘what is the good in this situation?’. For example, a little while back I lost all of my work to date on a business course that I am taking. I was distraught and completely unmotivated to continue. But I knew it was for a good cause – so I went on. Now, I realize that I was on the wrong track with my original ideas and workings. It will benefit me to go back and re-do the work with the knowledge and perspective that I now have, several weeks on.
  • Change the language you use. Instead of repeating to yourself how unhappy or overwhelmed or stress or sad you are, use lighter language or change the tone completely. Stressed? No, you’re eager to get stuff done. Unhappy? Instead, choose language like ‘keen to change that’. Empower yourself through words – because it’s amazing the impact that language has on us. Think of a time when you were upset about something and worked yourself into a frenzy either with your thoughts or by talking aloud to someone about your troubles. If you’d expressed the feeling in different language, what would have happened? Try it out and see. Lay the foundations, the build your house – or your mansion!

Tell me your experiences of your daily gratitude practice – I want to hear about your results! Share your learnings in the comments below, and help others to grow too. Bec x

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