I spent the evening with one of my BFFs, Mil tonight. She was my maid of honor when I got married in 2003. She's almost 20 years older than me and is like a big sister. I have learned so much from her over the years. Our relationship began when I lived with her when I was 21 years old. I had moved from Ohio to Atlanta just two years prior and was trying to figure out life as a young adult.
As we reflected tonight on blessings, happiness and gratitude, we agreed that, that a continuous cycle of giving to others brings about happiness. The coolest thing happens in that people then are generous to us which creates gratitude and starts the cycle over again. Having a thankful heart and an appreciative nature is so much more rewarding than expecting handouts and being negative.
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
How do you practice gratitude? Here are a few tips:
1. Keep a gratitude journal. Just write down one or more things you are grateful for each day.
2. Pay attention to your day-to-day activities and surroundings from a point of gratitude and you will be amazed at all the goodness we take for granted.
3. Look for something negative or someone with a negative comment (the conference is too long ), switch it in your mind to a positive trait (the conference has had a lot of great information).
4. Gratitude also has a characteristic of humility, which the dictionary defines as "modest and respectful." Look for ways to practice humility and put others before you.
5. Give out at least one genuine compliment a day.
6. When things are not going your way, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation.
7. Commit to 14 days of not criticizing, gossiping or complaining. See if you notice the amount of energy spent on negativity and how it drained you.
8. Be genuinely happy when people initiate a conversation with you.
9. Get involved in an organization that you believe in. Coming along side people with a common goal to better an organization is a magnet for a positive cycle.
10. Manners. How basic. Say, "please" and "thank you". Return an email or phone call in a timely manner. Give eye contact when someone is talking to you. Don't interrupt but listen. When you have manners, you feel good about treating others with respect and in turn, they will want to treat you with respect.