Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude

Years ago I read the scientific research studies by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough on the subject of gratitude. They found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional wellbeing and physical health than those who don’t. The findings opened my eyes and I began to dive in to this subject. I leant that gratitude is the cure to anger, fear and other negative emotions. We can’t be angry and grateful at the same time or be grateful and jealous at the same time. In other words, thinking grateful thought helps remove negative emotions inside us, and thereby assisting us in reaching the state of inner peace. The more grateful we become, the more likely we are able to connect with our higher self, and let our lives flow in harmony with the creative power of the universe.

Understanding that gratitude can help transform our lives, I started to train myself to be more intentional in showing my gratitude and appreciation in my everyday life. I will focus on seeing the good side on people and situations and stop dwelling on the negative things, be content with where I am and grateful for what I have. As I look round, I see people in my life who have gone out of their way to provide for me, guide me, care for me or to be a blessing to me. I would take a moment everyday to thank them in my heart. I find that I can be grateful for so many things such as my spouse, my children, my friends, my health, my businesses and my communities. The more grateful I am, the happier and blissful become, and this gives me the power of creativity, clarity and productivity that I haven’t experienced before. Some of you may not have what you have desired right now, but you should still be grateful for what you have right now. If you have health, you are already wealthy. If you can walk, you can talk, you can think, you can hear, you can see, you have something that millions of dollars couldn’t even buy. Don’t take it for granted that you can get up in the morning in your own bed or cook a simple meal at your kitchen when there are millions of people out there who don’t even have shelter to live, food to eat or water to drink. Some of you may be facing major set back in your life or going through tremendous pain right now, and you may ask yourself, “How can I be grateful right now?” I would still encourage you to keep things in perspective. There is always something to be grateful for in any moment. Any time when you feel discouraged or not happy with the people or things around you, instead of getting upset, frustrated or worried, the quickest way to get out of this negativity is to switch your negative thoughts to positive thoughts and gratitude. Instead on focusing on “what you don’t have”, shift the focus to “what you do have”. Instead of asking yourself,” Why do these bad things happen to me?”, ask yourself, “Everything happens for a good reason, how can I use this experience and turn it into a positive force in my life” When you change your perspective, you will start to see things differently. You will feel better and more peaceful inside.

Parents, if you get upset and worried too easily when your children’s grades are not high enough, when they don’t behave well enough, or when they are not as smart as their friend’s kids, you need to calm down. Your stress and anxiety is not going to bring out the best in your children and you. Having a healthy child without any sickness or disabilities is already a blessing, something to be very grateful for. Stop judging or demanding and start loving and forgiving. Spend time with them and have fun with them. Children need your presence more than your presents. Help them see the unique seed of greatness inside them and nurture them with love.

Over the years, I have developed a simple morning gratitude ritual that has served me immensely well. I’d like to share it with you. Every day when I wake up, I dedicate my first 15 minutes to my gratitude ritual when my mind is fresh and peaceful. The sequence of my ritual goes like this:

First, I thank God for my health and my immediate family.
Second, I recall my previous day and reflect on the things that I am grateful for.
Third, I extend my gratitude to my other family members, friends, associates, clients and the community as a whole.
Fourth, I will pray for people that need help.
Finally, I meditate on the assignments that I am called to do for the day.

This simple gratitude ritual has made a tremendous positive impact to me over the years and I hope that by sharing this with you, it will inspire you to develop your own way of expressing your gratitude every day.

May you live with gratitude everyday!

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Live Your Dreams

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Recently I took some time out to review my Dream Book. In there, I have written down my awesome dreams, my personal development goals and how I like to live my life. I also kept some of the most beautiful photos and clippings in this book that inspire me to live a life of my dream. When I looked through it page by page, I realize that I have indeed accomplished a good number of my goals, and I am starting to live the life that designed for myself in my mind many years ago. These milestones of accomplishments have given me extra confidence to chase my bigger dreams and more worthy goals. They also give me the inspiration to help others to create the lives they desire to live.

One of my all time favorite quotes is from Walt Disney and he said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I first came across this quote when I was a university student working as an intern at Walt Disney World in Florida. This quote resonates with me deeply when I saw it; it’s like “love at first sight”. I touched my heart and these few wise words, from one of the most inspiring human being that I know, has become an integral part of my belief system. I truly believe that in order for us to live a life we desire, we must first have a dream. What is your dream? What does your ideal life looks like? What kind of personal qualities would you to possess? Are you living each day according to that vision?

Many people have a tendency to settle for too little too soon. They have attained some success, get comfortable, and become complacent. They don’t realize that they have so much more potential inside them. They stop expanding their vision, learning new skills and keep growing. As a result, they fail to do better, serve more, and live a better life. Their quality of life is limited by their own limited thinking.

If you want to live your life to the fullest, you must conceive that extraordinary image of greatness on the inside before it can possibly be realized on the outside. For example, seeing yourself being healthy and joyful, working on your dream job, owning your successful business, living in your dream home, seeing your loving family and wonderful friends prospering, and making remarkable contribution to your community. You must first see it and let that seeds of greatness take root on the inside by intentionally seeing that vision repeatedly on a daily basis.

When you dream, dream big! Your dream should be one that excite you, inspire you and empower you. If you don’t have that feeling of excitement with your dream right now, chances are your dream is too small, too limited or self-serving. You need to enlarge your vision and dream bigger and better. What you receive in life is directly connected to how you think and what you believe. When you think big, think positive, think increase, think possibilities and abundance, you are more likely to receive them into your lives.

When you see others more successful, happier or wealthier than you, be encouraged rather than jealous. Get rid of the negative self-talk that you will never be able to do what they do. Quit comparing yourself with others. Change your thinking, Run your own race and celebrate others’ success. If you can hold on to your vision, make your effort, learn from your mistakes, keep moving forward and never give up, I believe one day you will make your dream come true too.

As parents, we affect our future generations with the vision we have right now. In our vision, my husband and I are going to do far more than our parents; our children are going to do far more than us, and their children are going to do far more than all of us combined and make a tremendous positive difference in the world.

Friends, I invite you to dream bigger to live better. Do not settle for the status quo or mediocrity. You have so much potential inside you yet to be unleashed. No matter what stage of life you are at right now, you can always rise higher and serve more. Create a live of significance and leave your legacy to your future generations. Take that leap of faith and make the rest of your life the best of your life!