"Everyday think as you wake up 'Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive,
I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies
to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit
of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry
or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can'"
- Dalai Lama
The past few weeks, I've found a few tips.... tricks .... ideas to help me live a more gratitude filled life. Not all of them are easy. Heck, I don't accomplish some of them most days, but it gives me a goal to strive for. A best that I know one day I will hit.
First up, stop complaining. This one is really hard for me. I'm a complainer. It's too hot out. It's raining. So-and-so has annoyed me. I'm tired. I need coffee. I'm hungry. My work is boring. Seriously, my day goes a lot better (even when nothing is different) when I focus on what is right in my life instead of what is wrong. I have a job that pays well and that I like. I stayed up last night having fun with my boyfriend. I work with some awesome people. The wrongs don't seem quite as bad when you don't focus on them. This one really works you guys. Give it a try next time you find yourself in a complaint cycle.
The next one goes hand in hand with the first - stop judging others. This includes gossiping. It just adds to the negative cycle where you don't appreciate what you have in your life. Instead of thinking "I would do this ...." isn't it better to be thankful that you don't have to be in that position? That your life doesn't have whatever that particular event is in it? Once you get in that frame of mind, you can help the person instead of judging them.
Lastly, random acts of kindness and saying Thank You. I kinda view these as the same thing. Saying 'thank you' and sincerely meaning it really is an act of kindness in and of itself. Showing people acts of kindness is a great way to show that you a grateful - for their presence, for whatever activity you are engaged in, heck, even for just being alive.
I firmly believe that by living a more grateful life, it will be fuller, richer and happier. That's not to say that there won't be bad things that happen. There will be - I just won't be as focused on them because I'll be too busy focused on what the good things are.