The following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Sally. Sally is the blogger behind TinyApartmentDesign.com, a blog about design, living well, and simple, tiny spaces. Enjoy!
I can’t help but feel that the Gratitude movement was hijacked by some of the sillier forces in our culture- you know, the Eat, Pray, Love’s of the modern era. But, gratitude is incredibly important, and a powerful way to start the new year, no matter what your intentions are for the year.
At its very core, gratitude is about acknowledgment.
It doesn’t mean you need to sugarcoat everything, but simply acknowledge what’s there and recognize that more often than not, there are positive aspects to everything around you. It can illuminate a situation and open up new paths of action for you.
Here’s one thing we all like to complain about.
You can regularly catch me saying that I won’t participate in that “charade” or that the political parties are both so meaningless that identifying oneself as either/or of the main parties is to admit total ignorance of the politics really being played in this country.
Now if I had uttered that same idea in say, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, I wouldn’t get very far. But here I can suggest whatever I like about the government (NSA wiretapping aside), I can go to my local city hall and demand access to the city’s purchases, payments and decisions for the last 15 years, I can write a treatise on why the latest bill in Congress is total bunk and live to tell the tale!
Why am I grateful for this?
Because it’s the foundation of our society. Sure, we think government doesn’t play a role in our everyday lives, but just visit a country with less guaranteed freedoms and see how quickly it starts to affect your life. Does this affect your finances? Absolutely! You can petition for lower permitting fees, capital gains tax rates and just about everything else. If the government declared it, you can appeal it.
When I hit the big 30, I finally opened up my eyes about my lifestyle.
I’m grateful every day that I can still play the sports I love and work out and all, but my sleep patterns and eating habits were all over the place. I wanted to show more gratitude toward my body. With so many healthy eating options, places to learn more about how our bodies work (and thrive), it is easy to be grateful about the tremendous impact we can have on our lives by just making little changes in our lifestyle. In the long run, this will save you so much more than money towards healthcare, it will save you heartache, stress and your life.
Your Biggest Problems
I prefer to attack my problems via blogging so that I can figure out how to fix them. My “big” problems used to be my debt and my insecurity. Well, I’ve paid off my debt and I am pretty confident in life, although I continue to work on it.
Now I think of my big problems as still not achieving my desired amount of income, and not going after the businesses I want to own and operate. But really, I am grateful for these “problems”, because they are just the next challenges, the ways that I will learn more about running a business, presenting my skills, going after what I want…in fact, these big problems tend to sound pretty fun when I think of them like that!
Just Three Things a Day
The gratitude habit is easy to start. You’ve seen the statistic over and over again: just find three things each day to be grateful for and it will change your focus from the negative to the positive. I’m not telling you to start wearing free-flowing pants and drink kombucha, just try this gratitude thing for a week. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at where it takes you in 2014, in your health, your finances and life.
How about you all? Have you tried a gratitude experiment before? Was it worth the effort?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1426735