**the following post is an excerpt from a chapter in my upcoming book “Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Purpose: 21 Ways to Walk Boldly Into The Life You Were Created To Live” **
Are you looking for a real makeover as you strive to live an extraordinary life?
The best transformation I found was when I shifted from being simply thankful for my life, health and strength and stepped into a much deeper realm—being grateful. Gratitude made me pay attention to the details, the small things that happened throughout my day that seemed insignificant from the surface. Like the day I was at Panera Bread and witnessed a homeless woman using their public bathroom sink to “wash up,” I was grateful that morning that I was able to take a shower in my own apartment. Gratitude shifted my attitude and brought renewed energy and peace in my life. Striving to live a life filled with gratefulness is a major step in your extraordinary purpose.
Living out your purpose will require you to be consistent and intentional in making gratitude a lifestyle and not just a one-time event on Thanksgiving. (click to tweet this) For me, I decided to keep a gratitude journal. I started journaling at the end of each day and it created an opportunity for me to reflect on my day and put it all into perspective. I was able to recall specific events and occurrences that had happened throughout the day (or that didn’t happen), asses my mood and write out what I was grateful for. Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have or what went wrong that we let the really good stuff, the stuff we should be grateful for, slip through our memories. By being intentional about writing these thoughts down and choosing to be grateful, I set out on a journey each day to recapture those moments, to reclaim them, to reflect on them and to call for more to come into my life. Journaling made me realize that being in a constant state of gratitude is where I was able to find joy in even the most difficult times.
Journal Entry from March 2014:
“Today I am grateful for God’s word that lights my path as I journey through life. Not only does he guide me, he has also given me his peace so that I don’t have to worry or fear.”
No event is too big or too small to highlight in your gratitude journal. A review of one day in my journal tells me I was grateful that the barista at Starbucks gave me a grande when I ordered a tall or that I shared a good laugh with a friend. I love using my journal to review—especially when I’m feeling discouraged and overwhelmed with stress. When I was still in the startup phase of my business, I often had many “freak out” moments —realizing I had given up my steady corporate paycheck and job stability, I often turned to my gratitude journal. I read about the week I received three new clients in a span of two weeks, and checked out that time I received an unexpected check in the mail, which covered the amount I went over budget during Christmas shopping.
When you focus on gratitude, you will also notice that you will stop complaining. When you complain and focus on a negative situation, it is very easy to get upset and frustrated. You are constantly rehearsing scenarios in your mind. But when you are in your gratitude zone, it all changes. Instead of complaining about the issue, search for a reason to be grateful about the situation.
Shifting the focus doesn’t change the problem, but it does change you. And after all, that’s the only one you can control.
It’s all about perspective.
Want more inspiration?
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