If you were sitting in a restaurant and your meal was taking a really long time to arrive do you…
A.Get very cranky, become really upset and allow yourself to feel the energy of being outraged soar through your veins?
B. See the silver lining, savour the moment and be grateful that you can even afford to buy a meal in a restaurant. You understand that patience comes to those who wait and that you can manage your energy wisely instead allowing anger engulf you.
Does option A seem like you? Don’t worry you are not alone; you wouldn’t be human unless you’ve experienced option ‘A’ over and over again. The heart naturally finds it difficult to be thankful in situations where we don’t feel happy or excited which is why we need to cultivate the attitude of gratitude. Last year I had a minor accident on 26th December; after all the rejoicing and enjoyment with family and friends I went to the airport to drop some part of the family who were travelling to the east. I was enjoying the cool R & B music playing from the stereo, feeling myself and gradually driving home when a black Hyundai swerved into the road and before I could hit the brakes the damage had been done. I was ANGRYYYYYYYYY. Pieces of the smashed head lamps were all over the road, other cars screeching from behind and passers-by looking and my head was just spinning while I was fuming inside. ‘‘Oga, are you drunk? Did you not look? Don’t you know that you are turning into a major road?’’ I was throwing 101 questions at the guy and at the same time calculating how much unplanned expenses I was going to make. Oh, I was sooooooooo angry. While in this mode, one of the passers-by who was an elderly woman dragged me to her side. She said, ‘‘my daughter, no worry again; thank God say nobody die or wound for body, na only car spoil. Settle with oga make una comot for road so anoda accident no go happen.’’ Her words struck me, I remembered that God took me through 12 years of driving without any form of scratch or accident; even with this, both cars were not badly damaged – just a broken head lamp and bumper, there was no blood on anybody. We quickly settled the matter and went our separate ways.
If you have challenges in your life that have dominated your thinking—money, business, relationship, e.t.c, you will have a tendency to focus on the problem. And by focusing on the subject, you fuel the problem and it drains every atom of happiness in you. Irrespective of what is going on in your environment or economy – the value of Naira, the rapid reduction of oil price, the job instability, unemployment, unfavourable government policies, e.t.c. decide to maintain a grateful heart at all times.
Most people know it’s good to be grateful, but many don’t understand what gratitude really does for us. You may be asking, why do I need to be grateful after all the sad things that have happened in my life? This is why –
- “The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” Zig Ziglar
- “Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the Universe. You can open the door through gratitude.” —- Deepak Chopra
- An attitude of gratitude brings joy, keeps you happy at all times and changes your mood and outlook.
- ‘‘Expressing gratitude instantly shifts your energy. It puts you in harmony with your source of supply so that the good in everything moves toward you.’’ Sarah Prout
- ‘‘An attitude of gratitude opens up your mind to see opportunities and easily recognise it. When you are thankful for little things that others don’t appreciate – God can turn that little thing into something big and give you ideas for wealth creation’’. Lynda Omerekpe
Now that you know why you need to maintain an attitude of gratitude, the next question wll be HOW can I do this? Follow these 3 easy steps –
Write it down (Gratitude Journal). Oprah Winfrey urges viewers to keep a Gratitude Journal because there’s a transformative power in written words even simple things like fresh flowers or somebody holding the door open for you. Writing moments of gratitude down helps you focus on the good in your life, rather than what you don’t have and, in turn, makes life brighter and more fulfilling. I (Lynda) have downloaded the Gratitude Journal app and will start today to fill it in. The app is available on Android and AppStore.
Take a gratitude walk. Deepak Chopra advices to set aside 20 minutes (or longer if you can) and walk in your neighborhood, through a park, around your office or somewhere in nature. Pay attention to your senses everything you’re seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and maybe even tasting and see how many things you can find to feel grateful for. By doing so, you can improve your mood which makes you open to the abundance around you.
Be intentional. According to Oprah Winfrey, if you wake up in the morning and consciously look for things to be thankful for, you’re more alive and receptive to the goodness that comes in your life. When you allow yourself to feel gratitude in the present moment, in the now, what I promise you is that the spiritual dimension of your life begins to change. It opens up. It expands. And you just grow with it.
I’ll leave you with these words…
“The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. And the more grateful you are, the more you get. And whenever you can’t think of something to be grateful for, remember your breath. With each breath you take, you can say, ‘I am still here.’ Make each day a holiday of thankfulness—and give yourself the gift of gratitude. ”