It’s Monday. It’s the beginning of the first day of the rest of your week. All you have to look forward to is long days at a job you wish you could replace with anywhere-else-but-there, doing work even Mike Rowe wouldn't touch, with people Tony Robbins gave up on a long time ago. Wonderful.
Have you ever been there? Maybe you’re there now. What if you could rewrite the script? Love the job, appreciate the people, and be in a place where you’re grateful for the opportunities that the job you have affords you. Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not! It’s all up to you.
First, take a slow deep breath. Okay, that’s not good enough. Really take a slow, chest-filling deep breath! Ready? Good. Now take a couple of minutes to write down ten things you feel you’re really good at or that people refer to you for because they have confidence in you. Maybe they’re things about you personally, or things about your work- or home-life that you excel at. Maybe there are things you know that people tend to go to you for information about. It’s you’re list, so fill it up with the best things. Okay? Great!
Now, make another list of ten things in your life that you’re really grateful for. Did you wake up breathing this morning? Do you have a job to go to, a family and friends that care about you? Is there regularly a roof over your head and clothes to wear? Do you benefit from an education? Are you moderately healthy, own a car, expect you’ll have food and clean water today, maybe even have access to technology to make your life more enriched? What are the things, talents, and experiences you have that you are grateful for but maybe tend to take for granted?
Okay, one more thing. Think of a time in your life, one event that you’re most proud of or that filled you with pride, love, happiness and excitement. What does it look like in your mind? What were the sights, sounds, smells and tastes involved with it? Who was with you? What emotions were you feeling at the time? Think about it deeply and relive the experience. Let it play out again in your mind. Breath…
The things that make us unique and even special to those around us, the things that enrich our lives that we tend to take for granted, and the experiences we’ve had that gave us joy and all the most positive emotions in our life are those things that matter most and are what we can use to shape our responses to the noise and negativity that fights to enter our lives each day.
Now, think about this. Each day we wake up with a choice. We (you) make a decision what day is ahead of you. You decide it. Nobody else. If you drop straight into the litany at the top of this post, it’s going to go just as you planned. But if you take a few minutes before you rise up, while you dress and prepare for the day ahead, or while you drive into work, to think about all the good things you have, the good things about you, the things that people depend on you for, then your attitude rises up to a place of confidence, gratitude, and appreciation.
When you decide to have a great day, then you can take time to appreciate the good in people around you and be more gracious about their shortcomings. You can help pull them from their trenches and elevate their day as well. Remember the value of a smile, a touch, or an unsolicited compliment. Understand that people have self-doubt, issues they’re dealing with that they haven’t shared with you, and a myriad of things that keep them down. Everyone needs a helping hand, generosity, and understanding at times. When you’re coming from a better place, it’s easier to lift others up when they need it.
You are the master of your day, week, and life. You alone determine your attitude and your actions. Make a decision today, right now, to live a life of gratitude, grace, and understanding. Remember the things that make you unique and valuable to others. Give yourself a lift up and then do the same for those around you… and remember to breath deeply!