Start with Gratitude

Finding your Why is the first place to start when you are laying out your plans to accomplish your goals. Without great motivators, a greater reason why you want to do what you want to do, you’ll fizzle out before you ever really get started. It’s incredibly critical to have strong why’s and is key to your long-term vision.

However, on the day-to-day grind you need a different, short-term, solution to fuel your motivation. That short-term motivation is Gratitude. Gratitude is taking motivation and flipping it on it’s head. It’s attacking the problem of motivation from a different angle. And it is vital in keeping your ego in check.

photo cred: Pro Church Media

Before I start any day, before I even look at my I HAVE To list, I sit down and I write down what I’m grateful for on that day. This has number of benefits, not just to reaching your goals, but to living your best life:

  1. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me in reality when my goals and dreams are huge. Gratitude reminds me that the little things still matter.
  2. It keeps my ego in check. You need your ego to drive you to be better, but you also can’t let it run away from you. Gratitude reminds you that there’s more in the world than just you and where you are now, there’s more than what you have, and it’s a reminder that it could all go away in an instant. Be Grateful for it.
  3. It tells me what is really important in life. It reinforces my Why’s and reminds me that no matter how successful or unsuccessful I am at whatever I’m setting my mind to. There’s always good things in my life. Even if I lose, I’m not out.
  4. It reminds me of those who have helped me. And that I couldn’t accomplish anything or do anything if it wasn’t for those who let me stand on their shoulders to get there.

I keep my gratitude list right next to my I HAVE To list and it serves as a daily reminder of all four of the points above.

photo cred: Aaron Burden

And your Gratitude list can really contain anything. Anything you’re grateful for. My list always contains a mix of big and small things. Some days I’m grateful for the cup of coffee I have in my hands and the space heater next to my desk after a cold run. Other days I’m thankful for my mom, my dad, my wife, my kids, my dog… sometimes I’m grateful for a warm summer day or the success I’ve already been blessed with and other times I’m grateful for a good laugh and another day to live.

It doesn’t really matter what you’re grateful for, as long as you’re appreciating the world around you and sharing the credit for how you got to where you are. If you’re readying this, you’ve got something to be grateful for.

I’d love to hear what others are grateful for that maybe I haven’t put on my list of Gratitude yet. Let me know what you’re grateful for and leave me a comment!

5 thoughts on “Start with Gratitude”

  1. I’m thankful for the resilience I’ve observed by members in my family whom have significantly suffered both mentally and physically. These gifts are reminders of the importance of being present, grateful each day, and that there is always hope within the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

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