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“If you attain fame and fortune, and do not attain gratitude along with it, the chances are that you will not enjoy that fame or that fortune.”―Napoleon Hill, Success Habits: Proven Principles for Greater Wealth, Health, and Happiness

Do you practice gratitude daily? It is hard some days. You wake up; you feel like crap; you don’t feel enjoy going to work. How do you find that place where you are thankful for what you have?

I like to journal first thing in the morning. When I get to my gratitude journal, I write in it until I feel that all is right with the world. When I first began my gratitude journal, I was going through the motions. It takes time to develop feelings of gratitude. Over time, however, I achieved a state of peace and calm. It snuck up on me. You find gratitude by writing what you are thankful for and acting grateful. These feelings of gratefulness will come. Give it time.

Gratefulness is a way to express your thanks for what you have. You can be grateful for your life, your job, your skills, your situation, the good times you had yesterday with a friend, the quiet time you had with your cat or dog, drinking tea, and enjoying a good book. You could be grateful for a good meal, a nice outing with colleagues, or just for having a job. Each of us are unique. What you are grateful for may differ from what other people are grateful for.

How do you start a gratitude journal? Start small. My gratitude journal started when I found The 5-minute journal. You can Buy the 5-minute journal here. I am not affiliated with this journal; I am merely suggesting it to you if you do not understand how to start. In this journal, it will require you to write 3 things you are grateful for in the morning and 3 things you are grateful for in the evening. At first, you might have difficulty finding 3 things. Once you do, you’ll feel something you may not have felt in a long time. The best time to do your gratitude journaling is in the morning as soon as you get up and around. The best time in the evening is right before you nod off for a good night’s sleep. This is how I got started.

Now I use Microsoft’s OneNote for my gratitude journal. You can use a diary app, you can use a handwritten journal, you can use the 5-minute journal. Whatever works. Gratitude journaling is all about training your mind to focus on the good things in your life and ignore the bad things. Whatever you give life to will overwrite what you stop feeding. This is the premise of gratitude journaling. Thinking about what you are grateful for will help you avoid thinking about what you are unhappy about. It’s a psychological bait and switch.

Try this out. You have nothing to lose. If you are a person unhappy with your life, this will help turn that around. Once you focus on what is good in your life, you’ll think about other positive aspects of your existence. This thinking will bring you better results and re-write that part of your mind that has dominated you with negative, unresourceful thinking. Your mind is a powerful creator. It will create whatever you focus most of your time on. Thinking negatively will cause your mind to only filter the negative things around you. Your mind will create what you think. Turn this around and think about positive things—things you are grateful for. Your life will take on new meaning and you will feel terrific!

Until next time…