November 25

Keep a grateful journal.  Every
night, list five things that you are
grateful for.  What it will begin
to do is change your perspective
of your day and your life.

Oprah Winfrey


Today's Meditation:

As much as I don't like to admit it, I'm a person who needs constant reminders.  When I appreciate something, it's easy for me to take that something for granted because I simply forget how much I appreciate it.  When someone does something kind for me, I often forget it when tomorrow becomes today and a new set of challenges and experiences arises.  When I do remind myself that there are things in my life for which I'm grateful, then I recognize how rich my life is, even when there are other things that are threatening to bring me down.

When we work on changing our perspective to a more positive outlook, then we can get a much more accurate idea of what's going right in our lives.  We tend to focus so long and so hard on the bad things that a dose of reality each night in the form of a simple list can do wonders to help us to realize just how many positive aspects of our lives we do, indeed, have.

What Oprah is suggesting is an active exercise to counteract the passive approach that we so often slip into.  We can just let life happen and then move by without even noticing what went on if we're not careful.  If we're not active in our own lives, then we're not really living--we're just existing; life, though, rewards action, and our perspectives can grow only if we actively exercise and expand them.

When we change our perspective on our todays, our perspective on our life as a whole begins to shift.  After all, our lives are made up of a series of todays, and each today is made up of a series of moments.  What we bring to those moments through our perspective is just as important as what actually happens in each moment, as our perspective affects our attitudes and our ability to learn and grow.  It's well worth it to begin some sort of active exercise, and focusing on gratitude is definitely a good place to start.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things do you have in your life today for which you can be grateful if you choose to be?

How many positive things slip by us without our acknowledgment that they are, indeed, things for which to be grateful?

Why do so few of us take an active approach to our lives?

For further thought:

Sometimes we need to remind
ourselves that thankfulness
is indeed virtue.

William J. Bennett

More on action.   More on gratitude.


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