A pastor friend of mine had a knack for turning issues on their head, so you would see them from different angles. He sent me a list that comes to mind when I face difficult circumstances and feel tempted to complain. By flipping into a mindset of gratitude...
rather than complaint, I find I am able overcome challenges instead of being overcome by them.
The list is of things to be thankful for. Here are some samples:
The taxes I pay, because it means I’m doing well financially
The spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am able to walk
Piles of laundry and ironing, because it means my loved ones are nearby
A high A/C bill, because it means my home is comfortable
The arguments I hear about government, because it means I live in a land that has freedom of speech
Weariness at the end of the day, because it means I’ve been productive
Abraham Lincoln said that “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Like Lincoln, my pastor friend had many wise thoughts. Showing the difference a well placed comma can make, he once remarked that “A man is not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks, he is.”
Being thankful is not just something to feel. It’s something to choose. I’ve seen families choose to live with more gratitude, and the difference it makes in their lives is transformative. It’s one of the ways I’ve come to judge our impact on clients.