Gratitude is powerful. I have experienced it first hand. Being grateful has impacted how I experience and respond to any and every kind of thought.
Before I dive into the how’s and why’s of me embracing gratefulness as a way of life, it’s good to shed light on me and my situation as well, for context.
I have generally been a person with a positive outlook (sometimes annoyingly so), haven’t seen or been in real struggles (I have first world problems at the max). Having said that, my apparently first world problems are important to me. They do cause me restlessness, a few sleepless hours, and a lot of venting out. Venting out is my therapy.
I am that person who believes in the law of attraction and swears by it. I am that person who believes in the energy of things and people. I am that person who reads anything and everything about how you are in control of what you can manifest in life.
That’s to set the stage for how gratitude and consistency in being thankful has made me more annoyingly positive about life.
I had read about journaling, vision board, gratitude in the hours I spent reading and discussing loa with my friends. I never really did anything about it, like most of us who read all the personal development books but barely get around to applying it in real life.
I reached out to gratitude in a moment of desperation.
We had migrated to Melbourne. Blissfully happy in my current contracting job, we bought our first home. A restructuring at my organization suddenly left me looking out for a new job. I loved everything about the place I was working at — the work, the people, the place, the coffee. I was disappointed that I would have to leave it but like my usual self I set out looking for a new role. It took a while and the end of my contract was looming large.
I was fortunate to bag an opportunity before the end of the contract. Lucky me?
I had an aversion for this new place even before I took it up. Why did I accept the offer — mortgage! I did not start it on my best foot- which was very unlike me. It just never sat right with me from Day 1. I was miserable at that place, I didn't enjoy the work at all, it was more than a 75 min drive on a good day and well I was missing my old organization.
I already mentioned — first world problems.
I was miserable at new work ( in the prior 10 years, I have loved every single day of being in the corporate jungle). This wasn't me. This was new.
One afternoon at my desk I was feeling particularly terrible, and I was desperate. In that moment of desperation, I started scribbling on my notepad. I was trying to channel my inner sunshine. I started writing everything I was grateful for and why and kept writing for a few minutes. After I finished I felt a sense of calm. I felt peaceful and in control. This moment was the beginning of my gratitude journey.
I kept at it. I wrote every day in that notepad, primarily because every day I used to feel miserable at my desk. And after every writing episode, the calm used to wash over me. It was addictive after a few weeks.
I suppose this happened for a reason.
In a few months, I got an interview with my previous organization and eventually a permanent role there. My happiness knew no bounds.
I left behind the place I never took a liking to, but I took the habit of gratitude with me.
Ever since I have been consistent in my practice of gratitude.
Let’s get to the logistics and effects of gratitude.
I did not have a set time. I wrote in my OneNote at work. I skipped weekends. I had tabs for every month and two pages within each tab: one for things I am grateful for and one for what I want in life.
An entry looked like this:
Grateful for this outfit. I am feeling the vibe and I think the outfit and I are a great fit.
Grateful for abundance. Abundance of love, laughter, and happiness.
Grateful for books. Stories, characters, and perspectives help me lead a fuller life.
Inspiration, handstand, good hair days
I have since then had 3 entries almost every weekday. I have been practicing gratitude since 2016.
This routine worked for me. Fitting it in with my workdays and work laptop meant I did not have to worry about a place or that special book. I knew I was going to be at work most days. If it was a holiday, I did not fret. Missing a few days here and there when I was primarily drawn to it did not bother me. This worked for me.
Some people I know, do it first thing in the morning, some as a nighttime routine, some count their blessings, some write it down — all of this will reap the same benefits. You need to do it in a way that works for you.
Like everything else, consistency is the key to see a significant impact.
Gratitude has brought me materialistic and non-materialistic benefits.
Materialistic benefits. Most of the entries in my “desires list” manifested — jobs, speaking opportunities, handstand, half marathon, good hair days. The opportunities I desired came knocking.
Internal benefits. The defining impact though has been how I am aware of my thoughts and emotions. I can catch myself in the middle of a negative emotion anytime and be aware of it. I can stop myself from wallowing in it. When a tough situation presents itself my brain is now tuned to look for the silver lining. Even when I am reacting to a perceived negative situation I feel in control of myself and my emotions. Externally, I might react and vent and express but internally I am in control. I can move on from things with a better and calmer perspective.
Awareness of thoughts has made me tap into more of myself and help me understand what I truly desire. This has helped me be motivated to reach for what makes me fulfilled and every action is inspired action. Inspiration has presented itself to me in many shapes and forms.
I wouldn't be on medium exploring my love for writing if not for this awareness instilled in me by my gratitude practice.
Can all this manifestation be coincidence? Possibly. I have heard that argument.
Have I turned into an insanely calm person? Hell no. The calm is inside.
Even if it is a coincidence, the calm and control I feel is priceless. The inspiration that drives me is worth every minute I have practiced gratitude.
“Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things.” — Rhonda Byrne