On this episode I talk about the importance of having an attitude of gratitude to keep your mind in a positive place, even when facing tough times.
An important practise that is commonly forgotten, when going for goals or just in life in general, is the habit to show gratitude. I’ve had so much support and I’m still very grateful to people who gave me support in various areas throughout my life.
Take my stroke to marathon goal for example, I’m forever grateful to my coaches for my physical training and their support. But I also had great support with encouragement from people who followed me, such as through social media, and letters from supporters. I had people create events for my fundraising goal, and people attended events that I created – I am super-grateful for that. I had businesses who sponsored me as well.
So always show gratitude; I truly believe this should not be forgotten. For example, I show people gratitude by simply thanking them and letting them know how I truly appreciate them and their support, and how important their involvement has been within my projects. I also share this with others to let people know of their amazing support or the work they’ve put in, and help promote their skills.
This is really important when going for your goals too. There will be individual, or groups that you across that will even just say something kind, to pick you up, when things may seem hard on that particular. It may be colleagues at your work place that may put in an extra effort to help you with a job that you are finding difficult, or to lower your workload. Or you may have a coach, sure you pay them, but also show gratitude by doing the action, whether that be what was asked of you or a simple thank you…even if you are having a down day.
Be polite to the checkout person at your supermarket, I notice when I acknowledge that person and ask how their day is going, they usually respond with a smile, appreciate the acknowledgement, and do the best they can to help you. But this should come from a good place…. not with an expectation of getting something in return.
At the end of a keynote speaking event, I enjoy it when people come up and share their stories with me. It’s awesome! I usually invite people to come up and talk to me and even share what their goal is, or if they’re struggling with something. At one particular event many years ago, two people came up to me, a mother and daughter, to say hi. I remember the mother saying to me, ‘My daughter and I were just talking about how people like yourself … who have been through some sort of struggle … we notice that they come out to be inspiring people. Why is that? What do you put that down to? Can you tell us why and how you’re like that?’
I said to them, ‘Maybe it’s because we’re determined.’ Then I said straight after that, ‘It’s gratitude! I think the main thing is gratitude. Because we’re grateful for where we’ve come from to where we are now.’ I’m speaking for myself here, but I see it a lot in people who’ve been through adversity.
But you may say, I’m in a really tough place, there’s no way I have anything to be grateful for. The mindset behind that is nothing is good enough, I want more, I’m in a bad place, why me? I should have that, I’m not happy until I get that.
It may even be: “I’m not happy until I reach that goal, I don’t have anything to be grateful for until I get that goal,”… thing, project, person even… That build a negative mindset that doesn’t move you forward in the long run, with a healthy state of mind.
Focusing on the negative…the “I don’t have that” message in your head, is always playing in your mind. What about focusing and being appreciative of what we do have, that sounds more positive and attracts positive people around us…which creates a good team of people around you, what I like to call ‘Training Buddies’ (I will explain more about that in an upcoming episode) or you can read about in The Unlikely Marathoner.
But let’s get back to GRATITUDE.
Here’s an exercise I’d love you to do. I do this every night before I go to sleep, when I’m laying in bed. I definitely recommend this one. Before going to sleep at night, think of seven things you are grateful for from that day. Say it out loud or in your mind. Just acknowledge it. I always do it when I’ve got my head on the pillow, before I go to sleep. I’m grateful for the legs I have to carry me. I’m grateful for my bed, my family, to have a roof over my head; I’m grateful for my friends, or whatever has happened in my day. And so on.
Think about what you are grateful for, whether it’s big or small. Make sure you acknowledge what you have; this is a really big thing to move you forward, especially when you’re struggling.
Once you think about it, you are kind to yourself and think. You think hey a month ago I didn’t know how to do that toward my goal, and now I’ve learned the first step, I know more. It’s bringing me closer to where I want to be. I am grateful for that!
Keeping that thought in my mind makes me grateful and keeps me moving forward.
So let’s remember to be grateful with good intent, I call it ‘The Attitude of Gratitude.’
Ready! Set! Goal!
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