Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.”― Roy T. Bennett
“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals.If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.”― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”― Marcus Aurelius
For those of you that have been following me from the beginning you know that “Be Awesome Productions” was primarily started as a way for you to follow my Spartan journey. As I have stated in the past, the Spartan Race has been a great metaphor for life. You can prepare for everything, yet much like the course, life will throw in the unexpected. The Arizona Spartan Sprint and Super didn’t disappoint in doing just that. It threw in a couple curveballs and to my dismay, on day two, I took the course for granted thinking there would be nothing terribly new. I was wrong. The end result…BURPEES!
Not only did I complete two Spartan races in Arizona, but I did so on a more than bum ankle/Achilles. After running a couple miles the tendons would flare up, the pain increased, and it would cause me to limp around for a few days after. Of course this makes the training and race a bit more challenging. However, after last week’s life events coupled with the Arizona Spartan, I was reminded of something. That something is gratitude!
Even though I finished both races and in a decent time, I still complained about how much it sucks that I am not up to par in terms of my health. Some, myself included, might even say I am feeling sorry for myself. Simply put, that makes me a not-so-nice word.
One of my clients recently told me a story. It had a very interesting point of view and made me think, which I believe was his point. He was sharing his experience of a marathon he ran. Even though he finished, he threw up and experienced a lot of pain. His accomplishment is a story all by itself, but the twist was how he viewed it. He said even though it was painful, it was only a small amount of time he had to endure the discomfort. He explained that there are many people out there going through procedures like chemotherapy that experience this pain numerous times on a daily basis. That alone made him grateful that he was in the position that he was.
What he said really spoke to me. It really is all about mindset and how you view your experiences. Let me take a few of the things that I complain about and look at them a different way.
“My ankle/Achilles hurts and it is keeping me from running.”
Positive outlook: Despite my injury, I can still compete and train in numerous events. It hasn’t prevented me from doing the things I enjoy doing.
“I work way too much and have little time for a social life.”
Positive outlook: I have a job that puts a roof over my head, food on the table, and money in my pocket. There are so many that would give up so much to be in my position.
“I don’t make the money I want (yet).”
Positive outlook: I am beyond rich in so many other ways than monetarily. I am rich with fantastic relationships, everlasting memories, and I get to do things I love.
Despite an event, good or bad, we can look at it a certain way (click here for more on this). In a world where there is so much negativity and sorrow, it is up to us to be the light that we want to see. I am a true believer that what we think or feel, we will attract. Bad thoughts attract bad events and good thoughts will attract more good thoughts.
Here is my challenge to you. Look at your life and be grateful for what you already have and are able to do. The more we count our blessings, the happier we will be. Below are some links that will bring you to some amazing websites dealing with gratitude. I highlighted my favorites from each website.
Tips and resources for practicing the art of “Gratitude.”
- Keep a gratitude journal. All it requires is noting one or more things you are grateful for on a daily basis
- Gratitude requires humility, which the dictionary defines as being “modest and respectful.” Explore where it fits in your life.
- When you find yourself in a bad situation ask: What can I learn? When I look back on this, without emotion, what will I be grateful for?
- Learn to live in the moment.
- Immerse yourself with inspirational thoughts and motivational quotes. (My favorite website for quotes is goodreads.com)
- Make your own Gratitude Board.
- Always resist the temptation of comparing yourself with other people.
- Take a closer look at the very small things or what you may take for granted.
- Express your gratitude.
And finally, here are a couple of my tips that help me get back on the gratitude playing field.
- Remember the Bad. To be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you have come, you set up an explicit contrast in your mind, and this contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.
- When you are driving, sitting in your room, or laying in your bed before you go to sleep, say out loud the things you are grateful for. You would be surprised how this list gets bigger and bigger.
Top 5: What I am most grateful for.
- My mother. Without this amazing and AWESOME woman, I wouldn’t be who or what I am today. I LOVE YOU MOM!
- My health. I am blessed to have control over my senses, no conditions or limitations, and able to do many things some may never have the chance to do.
- Family and friends. Very much like my mother, my family and friends have shaped me into the person I am. Your support and realness keeps me going. Thank you!
- Negative people/bosses/events. For a long time I used to let these things bring me down. I allowed myself to be victimized. However, with a little help from some great people, I look at these things and realize they taught me what I don’t want. It really does take some negativity to see the greatness in your life. Allow yourself to see it!
- My life! Everyday when we wake up it is a blessing. Each day brings upon the hope and excitement that something amazing can happen. And if you take away anything from this post, even the smallest of things can make the biggest impact.