Five Positive Ways to Express Your Gratitude

Expressing gratitude can be difficult for some people.  Often times, gratitude is mixed in with other feelings like jealousy, envy, embarrassment, or insecurity. Why? Because it can be humbling to admit that we need help from others.

It is important to realize that expressing gratitude does not mean you are weaker or inferior in any way. Gratitude simply expresses your appreciation and shows the respect you have for others.

By focusing on an attitude of gratitude, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to express how you feel. Plus, people will be far more willing to help someone who respects and appreciates them.

Here are Five Ways to Express Gratitude:

  1. Keep it simple.  Instead of thinking about how best to express your thanks, just say it.  Tell the person “Thank you” or “I appreciate it” and let that be the end of it.  Gratitude is something that can be easily expressed just as long as it’s genuine.  Expressing gratitude is as important as anything else in your relationships because it builds trust and respect.

  2. Write a letter.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is use the power of the written word to express our thanks.  Get a thank you card or a piece of stationary and write a letter. It’s one of the most personal ways of expressing gratitude nowadays, especially since few people take the time to write by hand.  Again, you can keep it simple by letting the person know that you appreciate them.  You can hand deliver the letter or drop it in the mail so it can be a nice surprise in between the stack of junk mail and bills.
  1. Give a gift.  When someone does something nice for you, a nice way to express your appreciation is to give a small “thank you” present.  This doesn’t have to be anything costly or extravagant, just something that shows that you appreciate what they have done for you.  For instance, you might give a coffee lover a gift certificate to their favorite coffee shop, or buy a chocolate lover a gourmet piece of chocolate. It’s a simple gesture that can go a long way.
  1. Return the favor.  If someone has done something nice for you, a simple way to show your appreciation is to return the favor by giving your time.  For instance, if someone has helped you during a time of need, tell them that you want to take them to lunch, dinner, or dessert for being such an instrumental person in your life.  This lets them know you appreciate them and it also gives you a chance to chat and grow closer.
  1. Tell others.  In the presence of the person or people you wish to thank, share your gratitude with others.  Public forms of gratitude are important because it shows just how much you appreciate and care for others. This will also help you let go of any insecurities, jealousy, or anger because you are putting others first.

Gratitude is an important part of all relationships, so today, let go of your fears and simply say “Thanks!” to all those around you!

Faith fuels my endeavors.

I dare to dream because I believe my vision is becoming my reality. When I launch myself into a new adventure, I expect a positive outcome. My faith provides me with the certainty that good things are to come.

I rest easy in the comforting arms of my faith. When my circumstances seem hopeless, my convictions give me to courage to imagine the bigger picture. I know that wonderful things await me beyond what my eyes can see.

My seemingly small beginnings are simply the first steps on the path of greatness. I am diligent in the most mundane tasks of my life. As I dedicate myself to each moment, I prove myself worthy of more responsibility.

Through my belief, I can persevere during the storm. Faith locks my mind on the goal and on positive thoughts, banishing discouragement. As I allow my convictions to increase, the limits to my possibilities disappear.

My ears are open only to the dreams placed deeply in my heart. They are closed to any negativity around me. I foresee a grand future. Even if doubts about my success try to creep into my mind, I immediately eradicate them.

I have the power to believe that I am who I want to be. I control my own destiny by choosing what I believe about myself. Because I know I have this power, I can achieve anything.

Today, I choose to believe that my dreams are attainable. I dare to see myself as someone with great potential who deserves to succeed in every way imaginable.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What do I believe about myself?
  2. Is my inner dialogue marked by faith or doubt?
  3. Why is it necessary to believe the best about myself?

Stopping Negative Behaviors Before They Stop You

Do you have negative behaviors that you want to get a handle on? Whether it’s something you do to sabotage yourself or an action that annoys others, it’s important to examine the impact of what you’re doing.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could arrest your difficult behaviors before they spread negative karma all around you?

Try these techniques to stop engaging in troublesome behaviors before they become detrimental to your life:

  1. Claim the power you have to stop the actions that bother you. Look in the mirror and say it out loud: “Only I can stop (fill in the blank).” Then, vow to yourself to make a concerted effort to cease the actions.
  • Pay closer attention to what you’re doing. So much of what we do each day is done without aforethought. If you consciously focus your thoughts on any actions you’re about to take, you’ll have an increased chance of deleting the troublesome behaviors from your repertoire.

  • Slow down your thinking. When your mind starts racing, it’s your first clue that you might be about to take an action you may later regret. Take a deep breath and re-focus on a positive action, instead.

  • Identify situations, people, and events that trigger your negative behavior. For example, perhaps in social situations, you talk too much. You interrupt others, finish their sentences, and other people have little opportunity to talk. Take an honest look within yourself and your annoying behavior. When is it most likely to happen?

  • Decide what you’ll do instead.Make a plan for what you’ll do in place of the negative behaviors. For example, if you want to stop talking too much in a social situation, what could you do instead of speaking?

  • Keeping with this example, you could make the decision to “experiment” with listening to others, just to see what you can learn from them. You would talk less and practice listening each time you’re in a social situation. Later, ask yourself, “How did I do? How did it feel to listen instead of talk?”

  • Who knows what great things could happen from making a decision to cease your troublesome behavior!

  • Ask close friends and family members for their assistance in stopping the behavior. For example, tell your sister that you’re trying to stop interrupting people so much. Ask her to touch your elbow at the family reunion tomorrow each time she notices you interrupting. This way, you’ll have a cue to stop the behavior.

  • Say you’re sorry when you engage in the behavior, if it affects others. Staying with the example of talking too much, as soon as you realize you interrupted someone, say, “I’m sorry I interrupted you. Please do go on. I’m interested in what you were saying.”

  • Showing humility will help you learn to stop the old behavior and change it to a more effective action.

  • Seek expert guidance if you need it. If you’ve been working on your troublesome actions for a while and have had less success than you want in stopping them, asking a professional to assist you can be a big help.

It’s up to you to avoid behaviors that cause you difficulties or discourage people from wanting to spend time with you. Banish your unwanted behaviors for good by putting the above steps into action. Remember, only you have the capacity to stop your negative behaviors before they stop you!

Nature sustains me.

In a time when technology runs the world, I appreciate opportunities to step away from it. Immersing in natural environments keeps me conscious and self-aware.

I connect to my true self when I retreat to nature. Spending time in the beauty of unspoiled environments is renewing. It gives me a chance to recall where I am from and appreciate my humble beginnings.

When I go to the beach, I unplug from technology. I lay on the sand, close my eyes, and listen to the sounds around me. Connecting in this way is therapeutic.

Being able to listen to the waves crash and the birds chirp reminds me that I share the world with other beings. Being present in those moments encourages me to maintain environmental consciousness.

I do my part by cleaning up rubbish and debris that people leave in our natural spaces. It is the least that I am able to do to protect the Earth.

As I hike through the mountains, I am careful to avoid stomping on plants. Their contribution to the continuance of life is acknowledged. I avoid taking for granted that there are millions of plants around me. Each one serves a unique purpose in the world.

Today, my time with nature is a blessing because it keeps me conscious. I recognize the value of other lifeforms on this planet. My duty is to sustain them for generations to come. I am happy to be an environmental advocate.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. How much of my financial and time resources are committed to environmental causes?
  2. How do I practice environmental sustainability?
  3. In what ways does spending time with nature contribute to my overall well-being?

I am worthy of my dreams.

I have big dreams and I expect to achieve these dreams. I have earned the right to expect great things to happen in my life. If I do my part, I know I can achieve my goals and expectations.

I deserve for good things to happen in my life. I am considerate of others and treat everyone with the respect they deserve. I am a loving friend and family member. I have the best interests of others at heart.

I do the work each day necessary to deserve success. I work hard and with focus. I am clear on what I desire and do the work required to make my dreams a reality.

I have big goals and expectations that are congruent with my abilities.

I review my goals regularly and allow myself to get excited at the prospect of achieving them. I have detailed goals and plans to make them happen.

I am deserving. My strengths and skills are sufficient to achieve my dreams. I am motivated and capable. I am worthy of my dreams.

Today, I remind myself of why my dreams are appropriate for the person I am becoming each day. I have the confidence needed to be successful in the pursuit of my goals.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What are my biggest goals and my plans to achieve them?
  2. Am I willing to do the work required to be successful in achieving my goals?
  3. What steps do I take each day to make my dreams a reality?

The more grateful I am, the more reasons I find to be grateful.

Being grateful comes so easily to me. I find reasons to be grateful every day.

When I first wake up, I mentally list the things I am grateful for in my life. Anytime I experience a challenge, I remind myself of my many blessings. Being grateful makes my life richer and easier.

Being thankful for the little things in life is a remarkable way to live. I appreciate the little things. I find that the more grateful I am, the more reasons I find to be grateful.

Being grateful is not always easy, but if I find a situation challenging, I purposely look for something positive in it. Invariably, I can find something good. Now I can smile at any situation and realize it is a gift.

When I lie down at night, I again reflect on things I am thankful for. This simple habit always makes me happy and fills me with hope. My life is so wonderful.

I am so blessed. My blessings are too numerous to even count. I am the happiest person in the world. I am continuously receiving good things in life. I appreciate all that I have and wish everyone could be as fortunate as I am.

Today, I view my life with gratitude. I find the positive in each situation. I see the excellence in every person. And I feel that the world is good. The more grateful I am, the more reasons I find to be grateful.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What am I grateful for in my life?What else could I be grateful for?
  2. How would I benefit from a stronger sense of gratitude?
  3. How can I cultivate more gratitude?

Doomed to failure?

How many of you believe if you just tried a little harder you can be much more successful? This is a common belief taught to us all our lives.

As a kid I was told by loving family and teachers, just try harder. Unfortunately, this is not the answer.

If you want to learn how to get what you want in life, how to make quantum leaps instead of small improvements, then come learn the secret. Join a group of like minded, motivated people that are living the new way. It is free!

There is a way to live the life you want and you will probably find it is easier than you think. Are you ready?

How to Maintain a Positive Mindset When You Don’t Feel Like It

Do you have days when you know it’s better to be upbeat and positive, but you just don’t feel like it? When you face challenges or feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, it can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude.

Try these techniques to improve your mood and experience the inner peace you deserve:

  1. Start your day with something positive. Decide each morning that you’ll start the day headed in the right direction. Instead of waking up on the wrong side of the bed and setting the stage for a grouchy day, resolve to experience something positive first thing in the morning.
  • Develop a morning routine that you can repeat daily to ease into your day’s responsibilities. Determine what activities help improve your mood and put you on the path to positive thinking. Find two or three things you can do each morning that’ll set the stage for a successful day. As these become habit, add to the routine little by little.
  • A routine will help your body and mind settle in and focus on what you need to accomplish. Instead of rushing around or forgetting important details, your plan will guide you through a peaceful set of steps that calm your mind and create unstoppable momentum.
  • Set exciting goals. If you wake up each morning with nothing to look forward to, your mind may quickly latch onto negative feelings that can last throughout the day. Give your life focus by setting goals that motivate and excite you. Write those goals down and review them every day. Each day, take some small action that brings you closer to attaining your goal.
  • Set aside a few minutes this week to write down all the reasons why each goal is important to you. How will you feel when you reach the goal you’ve set? How will your loved ones be affected? How will your quality of life improve?

  • Spend a few minutes each day reading through this list. A big enough “why” can help you to overcome obstacles that are in your way.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. If you want to feel better about your life, hang around people that encourage you and bring out the best in you. Spend more time with people that make you feel good about yourself and less time with those that complain about everything.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining and it’s easier to find that silver lining when you hang around people that help you to see it.
  • Remember that bad days happen. When you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up or dwell on it. Remember that tomorrow is a new day with exciting possibilities and challenges. Your next victory is right around the corner if you resolve to start with a fresh perspective.

These suggestions will only help if you put them into practice. Pick one or more of them and decide that your happiness is worth small changes that lead to a big payoff. Begin to experience the happiness you deserve by taking positive steps today that will lead to a bright future.

Self-Awareness: Why it Matters

What is self-awareness? The dictionary defines self-awareness as “knowledge and awareness of your own personality or character.” When you’re self-aware, you have an accurate and clear understanding of your personality, strengths, weaknesses, and beliefs. You know what makes you tick. Self-awareness also includes an understanding of how others perceive you.

Lacking self-awareness can lead to a very confusing and frustrating life!

Your level of self-awareness can influence your relationships, career, and happiness:

  1. Self-awareness is necessary for taking control of your life. The direction of your life is determined by your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and reactions. Self-awareness is the principle way of understanding and manipulating these things.
  • Self-awareness highlights faulty beliefs and emotional reactions that stand in your way and gives you the power to make adjustments.

  • Self-awareness illuminates the real reasons for past failures and challenges. We often dismiss our failures as bad luck or a lack of proper timing. It’s much more likely that you failed to perceive the situation, others, and yourself accurately. It’s much easier to see the reason behind relationship, work, and other struggles when you can look at yourself clearly.
  • Do you consistently struggle at work or in your relationships? It’s only logical to conclude that you’re doing something ineffectively.

  • Those who lack self-awareness are puzzled by their negative outcomes or blame others exclusively.

  • Self-awareness is a critical quality for leaders. One study concluded that a high degree of self-awareness was the best predictor of success for executives.
  • Executives that have an understanding of their weaknesses are able to build a team composed of members that fill those weaknesses.

  • A lack of self-awareness puts a limit on your leadership abilities.

Self-awareness is the foundation for personal progress. Without it, any personal development efforts will be severely hampered. Building greater self-awareness won’t happen overnight, but it can be developed.

How to Develop Self-Awareness

Build your self-awareness one step at time:

  1. Write your own manifesto. Think about and then document your views on life, your goals, and your intentions. You might be surprised by what you write. This is a great first step for understanding yourself and your beliefs.

  2. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. How do you know? Are you certain? Avoid jumping to conclusions. You may have always believed that you’re a hard worker, but are you? To whom are you comparing yourself? Provide yourself with proof before you make any decisions.

  3. What would others say about you? Consider how your partner, children, friends, family, co-workers, and boss would describe you. What would they suggest you improve about yourself? Then ask them and see how accurate you are. Do you know how others perceive you? Find out how perceptive you are.

  4. Meditate. Meditation is all about developing a better awareness of the present moment and yourself. Meditation is an ideal activity for enhancing self-awareness.
  • Meditate at least once each day. Spend the rest of the day paying attention to yourself, others, and your surroundings. You can develop a higher degree of self-awareness by just paying attention.

  • Question yourself throughout the day. “What am I attempting to achieve?” “What emotions am I currently feeling and why?” “What are the people around me feeling?”

Self-awareness is the cornerstone of success and self-improvement. Without self-awareness, the knowledge you possess can’t be applied effectively. It’s necessary to understand your beliefs, habits, strengths, and weaknesses to make a personal change. Avoid assuming that you’re self-aware. Give it some time and thought.

Life is easier when you’re self-aware. You can start building your self-awareness, and reaping the benefits, today!

Develop Your Imagination

It’s hard to talk about the imagination without also discussing creativity. After all, the imagination is the greatest creative faculty we possess.

Yet most people claim they’re not creative. If you think or say that, stop it! You ARE a creative being.

In fact, you are creating every moment of your life. You created your image of yourself, your present job, what’s in your bank account, and your relationships with your friends. You even create new cells and a new body every few months.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you are tapped into the energy of the creative flow of the universe. It’s literally flowing through you, and if you let it out, it will change your life in phenomenal ways.

Unfortunately, well-meaning adults may have stifled your imagination and creativity when you were a young child. Your parents or teachers may have told you to pay attention like they did to me. Or maybe they said you’d never be a lawyer, singer, entrepreneur, or whatever it was that you longed to be.

You were a child so you obeyed them and believed what they said. And you learned to let your dreams go. But now you know better and you can go beyond them.

You see, you’re divinely guided by Spirit at all times and Spirit is perfect. It makes no mistakes. When you have a strong desire to express or create something, know that the feeling is divine discontent. There is something in you that wants to grow.

When a big idea comes to mind, you have the choice of keeping it alive by letting your imagination flow, or dismissing it and remaining stuck in fear. Trusting the perfection that resides within you is the key.

Bob says, “NEVER say or think you’re too old for anything. I’m in my 80s and I am setting new goals that stretch me all the time. I love to learn and do things I’ve never experienced. And I almost always achieve each goal. And do you know what I do to get there? I use my marvelous imagination! I see myself reaching the goal.”

As adults we tend to let complacency, security, and boredom set in. But not kids. They have the instinct to fight boredom, and in that respect children are great actors. They’ll take the most mundane things and make them an adventure. They put some life into the ordinary.

Take a hint from your younger self and do some acting. Build an image of how you want to live. Then, act like the person you want to become. Like a child, you’ll be surprised and delighted by what happens.