Thankful & Grateful

Using Gratitude to Thrive

Be thankful. Be grateful. Shift mindsets and thrive. 4 ways to focus on gratitude.In the United States, we turn our minds this week to being thankful. . . right before we turn our minds to sales, merchandise, consumption. . . and all the things we don’t have.

It always strikes me as ironic that on Thursday, we are likely going to share the things for which we are grateful, then on Friday, we will knock each other down for the next “have to have.”

Perhaps that is a metaphor of our daily life.  We know we should be thankful.  We know we should be grateful.  And we think we would be. . . if only x,y, and z were true.  If only we had the right job, person, money, or toys in our lives.  And in that instant, we are pulled back into a scarcity mindset.

A thankful mindset shifts us to gratitude for what we DO have, takes us away from a focus on what we DON’T have, and helps us shift away from the scarcity threat.

Let’s be honest:  if you are able to read this post, you are among a fortunate group of people with resources.  But this isn’t really about comparing ourselves to those with less (or more) as much as being grateful for whatever we DO have.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss the power of thankfulness, and give you 4 ways to practice gratitude in your life.  Try it out to see if it helps you to shift mindsets and thrive.

OTHER RESOURCES:
Being Thankful
Showing Gratitude
Thrive Principles

Teaching Thrive Principles To Kids

Raising Thriving Children Series

Teaching Thrive Principles to children and young adults.In my recent book, Thrive Principles, I provide 15 strategies for living a thriving life.  In that book, I note that this does not mean an absence of struggle and tough times.  I suggest, instead, that these tough times are the fuel for thriving.  They are the times we build our thriving muscles — IF we understand how to thrive.

Guess what?

This is a great list of strategies to teach children and young people.  Imagine entering adulthood with those strategies and skills at the ready.  Imagine that when the tougher times come, young adults already know how to move through them — and thrive!

I’ve noticed that many people never learn to thrive.  And many learn to thrive only when they are at a tough point.  Then, when nothing is working, they finally have to find a way to thrive — in the midst of struggle!

Wouldn’t it be easier to master those skills along the way, when we are just trying to figure out the skills of life, anyway?  What if we just learned the helpful skills — not the unhelpful coping strategies that usually cause more struggle down the road?

Take a listen to the podcast to hear how those Thrive Principles can help your child.  (And if you think YOU might benefit, LEARN MORE HERE or grab Thrive Principles wherever you like to buy your books.)

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction
Eggs, Balls, And Turtles
The Important Influence On Children
Ingredients To Thriving Children
Antidote To A Narcissistic World

Antidote To A Narcissistic World

Raising Thriving Children Series

For parents:  An antidote to the culture of narcissism.Have you noticed that the world is getting more and more narcissistic?  More “Me-Me-Me” thinking is infecting society — to the detriment to the environment, civility, and those at risk.

We can’t stay on this course.

Is there an alternative?

I believe there is a clear antidote to the narcissistic culture.  And I believe parents play a roll in inoculating their children from the narcissism.

Let’s discuss the family antidote to the culture of narcissism.

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction
Eggs, Balls, And Turtles
The Important Influence On Children
Ingredients To Thriving Children

The Appreciation Approach

Tools to Thrive Series

The Appreciation ApproachYour brain is really only capable of being in one of two modes:  fear/threat or love/appreciation. Unfortunately, the fear/threat mode is pretty much the default and automatic.

Fortunately, changing to manual and shifting to love/appreciation is not complicated.

More than that, there is plenty of research to point to the specific benefits of that shift:

  • Better emotional health,
  • Higher pain tolerance,
  • Higher sociability,
  • Greater life satisfaction,
  • More sleep,
  • More exercise,
  • etc., etc., etc.

There really isn’t much of a downside to gratitude and appreciation.  It just requires a shift in habits to get there.

Got 10 minutes or so per day, just for the next month?  YOU can build your appreciation/gratitude  toolkit and add it to your Thriving Toolbox.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix

Healthy Midlife Transitions

Mid Life Transformation Series

How to have a healthy midlife crisis -- transition and transformation.Not every mid-lifer manages a crisis.  Many make a healthy transition to the new stage of life and development.

The difference?

There are several factors that come into play.  Central is a misunderstanding about what is happening.

Many people refuse to admit some change is happening.  They hold onto old models that no longer work.  They cling to old habits that no longer help.

When people come into my office and tell me they think they are having a midlife crisis, I congratulate them and ask, “What took you so long?”  The longer their delay, the deeper the crisis.

Let’s talk about some strategies of dealing with a midlife crisis in a healthy way.

MID LIFE TRANSITION SERIES
4 Myths of a Mid Life Crisis
The Heart Of A Midlife Crisis

Starting and Ending Your Day Strong

Start strong and end strong each day for a thriving year!How do you build a thriving year?  By having thriving days.

How do you have thriving days?  By focusing on how you start your day and end your day.  What happens in the middle tends to take care of itself — IF you start strong and end strong.

Do you have a morning plan or ritual? How about an evening plan or ritual?  Are you still looking for a way to start and end each day?

I’m not sure my plan is perfect.  And I don’t follow it perfectly.  But it is working for me.  I do my best to follow it.  My intention is to do better this year.  My plan is to continually improve my plan.

Listen and tell me what you think.  Let me know what YOU do in the comments below.

(Here is an earlier podcast on mornings and an earlier podcast on evenings.)

 

3 Thoughts To Turn Around Tough Times

3 thoughts to turn around tough times.In the midst of my own serious illness years ago, I had friends who were more than willing to share with me the many ways I might die from my illness.  They seemed to have missed the fact that I had the same information.

But they also missed the fact that I refused to play through every potential scenario.  Not because I was in denial, but because it did not benefit me to focus on it.

In reflection, I used three specific phrases to stay focused on my life (and not my potential demise).

And in fact, these same thoughts and reflections are strong sources of me thriving to this day.

Let me tell you about the thoughts I held and continue to hold when dealing with life circumstances.

Are there other thoughts YOU use?  Share in the comments below.

Fear or Love; Your Choice!

Immutable Laws of Living Series

You can live in fear and threat or love and appreciation.  Your choice.Have you ever wondered whether your brain controlled your mind or your mind controlled your brain?  Here is the answer:

YES.

Your brain certainly affects your thinking. But your thinking affects your brain. . . and you can CHOOSE where your thoughts dwell.

Brain chemistry is much more complicated.  And we know very little about how that chemistry works, anyway.

What we DO know about the brain is there are three layers.  The most primitive and deepest part of your brain scans the environment for threats — locking you into a fight/flight mode when it is activated.  The next layer is all about emotions.  And the top layer is about thoughts and reason.  We like that part.  But we often forget about the other layers.  Those other layers can keep us stuck, though.

Let’s talk about your brain and your mind.  Let’s discuss how to shift to Love/Appreciation — or you default to Fear/Threat.

Where do you want to spend your time?

(If you missed the earlier parts of the Immutable Laws Of Living Series, the links are below.)
Immutable Laws Of Living Series:
Life Isn’t Fair
Life Has Challenges
Life Isn’t About Happiness
A Thought Is A Thought
Every Perspective Is Limited
Change Is Inevitable
People Do The Best They Can
We ALL Have Fears
Life is YOUR Responsibility
“What Is” IS What Is
Control What You Can (Release The Rest)
Forgive To Live
Life Is The NOW
How Do You Spend Your Time?

It’s Not About Happiness

Immutable Laws of Living Series

Life is not about happiness.OK, before you kick me to the curb and tell me you want to be happy, hear me out.  I don’t want you to be miserable.  But I also don’t think life is simply about being happy.

In fact, that assumption is often what leads people to some pretty bad places of addiction, consumption, debt, unhealthy behavior — and unhappiness.

So many times, people have said to me that they are guaranteed happiness in the Declaration of Independence.  I first remind them that they are given the “unalienable right” to the “pursuit of happiness.”  Not to be happy.

Second, I point out that our founding fathers did not have the same idea of “happy” that we seem to find in popular culture.  Their idea was a bit deeper — and tightly tied to the Greek idea of Eudaemonia, a term that was about living a life of virtue a “Good Life.”

Let me say again, I do not think life is about being unhappy or miserable.  But I tend to think the more we chase happiness, the more it eludes us.  Because life isn’t really about happiness.

Listen below and let me know what you think!

Immutable Laws Of Living Series:
Life Isn’t Fair
Life Has Challenges