“Happiness isn’t having what you want, but wanting what you have.”
One of the fastest ways to increase the satisfaction and happiness we feel in our own lives is to be grateful for the life that we have and enjoy the moment. But too often we get caught up in a quest for more and forget to stop and acknowledge the wonderful life we are living.
If you’re focused on becoming more grateful for all that you have, then doing these two things will help you get there.
1. Keep a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is a great way to keep track of all of the wonderful things happening in your life on a daily basis. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but consistency is the key. Pick a time each day, whether it is in the morning before others get up or in the evenings before bed, and write down three things you are grateful for that day.
Like any habit you’re trying to create, keep things simple. You could be grateful for the smile your child gave you before they went to school, the sunny day that’s giving you energy, or the fact that you ate your favourite meal for dinner!
By creating this habit, you’ll change your mindset from one where you never feel like you have enough, to one where you see abundance each and every day.
2. Tell me something good about your day
If you’re like most people, after a long day at work you sit down with your family and you ask the typical question “how was your day?” You then get the conversation killing response “it was ok.” That’s usually the end of the conversation. You didn’t put much effort into the question, so why should you expect much effort in the response?
If you’d like to create more gratitude in your life and the lives of those around you, try taking a different approach and starting out with “tell me something good about your day.”
By rephrasing the classic question of “how was your day”, you immediately create a situation where:
- It encourages the other person to reflect on their entire day searching for something positive
- It shows real interest from your side and that you’re ready to listen
- It creates an opportunity for a conversation and allows you to engage in the other person’s day
Even if the entire day was crap, at the bare minimum they could say that “I woke up and I’m not dead.” It sounds crazy, but that in and of itself acknowledges that things could be worse. It also creates the opportunity for a conversation where you can follow up with other questions or comments about how good life actually is for that person.
How does this add gratitude to my life?
The title of this post was about creating more gratitude in your life. But the second point was all about how to bring gratitude into the lives of the people you care about. Here’s the catch… you have to give to receive.
Think about all of the wonderful conversations this creates between you and your loved ones. Doesn’t that automatically make you more grateful about the life you have and the quality time you’ve gotten to spend with them?
So the next time you sit down at the table with friends and family, remember to start off in a way that opens the door to a more fulfilling conversation.