BEING GRATEFUL: How to Open the Door to a More Fulfilled & Abundant Life in 13 Easy Steps
This IS IT! The antidote, in a simple, easy-to-read format, to issues such as:
• Low self-esteem
• Negative thinking
• Fear of failure
In the monotony of our very, busy lives, we often forget the simple principle that our thoughts determine our destiny. And it’s not until we hit a rough patch, that we decide we need to retool our life’s compass. In her book, Janice takes you on a journey that causes you to unearth a heart of gratitude that will provoke you to change the way that you perceive and live your life.
If you are looking for an abundant and more fulfilled life, this book is for you. In her thirteen steps, Janice gives compelling reasons for changing your attitude and outlines specific details with quick and easy to implement strategies. These methods are vital in order to develop and maintain an “attitude of gratitude,” and to live a life of gratefulness.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. On this journey we call “life,” if we don’t believe in ourselves, there is not much we can do or accomplish with this life we’ve been given. We will be stuck, immobilized, similar to being connected to a stake in the ground. Believing in ourselves is something we must all do. We must know there is something this current life has to offer us. Where does this belief come from? It comes from the value that we place on ourselves and our life. It comes from within.”
If you’re interested in a better quality of life and are tired of your mood swings, bouts with depression, or your inability to experience true joy—this book was written with you in mind.
As you turn the pages you will discover tips that you can implement immediately. You will find that being grateful can and will transform your life. It is the key that unlocks the door to a life of ultimate fulfillment and perpetual abundance.
STEP #1 Believe in Yourself
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
“LIFE WILL PAY WHATEVER PRICE YOU ASK OF IT!”
CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. On this journey called “life”, if we don’t believe in ourselves, there is not much we can do or accomplish with this life we’ve been given. We will be stuck, immobilized, similar to being connected to a stake in the ground. Believing in ourselves is something we must all do. We must know there is something this current life has to offer us. Where does this belief in ourselves come from? It comes from the value that we place on ourselves and our life. It comes from within.
How do I know this is true? Believe it or not, it basically all boils down to faith. What do you have faith for? What can you believe for? You are on this planet for some reason, right? So, I guess it’s time for you to figure out why you’re here. If you have little faith, you will have little belief. How do we go about believing in ourselves? I believe it’s in the mind. It’s a mind game. We must think bigger and ask for more. We have to believe we are worth it.
Let me ask you a question, “How valuable do you see yourself?” The more value you have and feel about yourself, the more you will believe in yourself and what you can do and accomplish. The more you will seek, and the more you will find. Really, it’s all in our perception. Our perceptions determine our lives. At a Chinese restaurant recently, I got a fortune cookie. Inside it read, “Attitudes are the forerunners to conditions.” What did Henry Ford, the late great auto maker, say, “If you think you can, you can; if you think you can’t, you can’t, either way, you’re right!” This is our first attitude that must change, what we perceive, think, believe, and say about ourselves.
Our conditions, most often than not, are a result of our thoughts and attitudes. Our thoughts take us places we don’t always want or desire to go. This is indeed true because two people can be going through the same, let’s say, negative situation or environment- one person can still see the light at the end of the tunnel, while the other can only see darkness. You know this is true. We are getting what we are perceiving.
How do you go about believing in yourself? What do you tell yourself? In the book 14,000 Quips and Quotes by E.C. McKenzie, is this quote: “If your life looks cloudy, maybe the windows of your soul need washing!” How do you clean your soul? By what you believe, which determines what you say and what you do. Believing in yourself is a conscious, active decision. When I taught high school English, I would always tell my students, “Stop telling your brain what you don’t want it to believe!” So, my question to you is this, “What are you telling your brain?” Whatever it is, your brain is believing it and what you believe, you say! Change your belief by unclouding your mind.
This can become a never ending cycle. What we believe, we receive because whatever we tell ourselves over and over again, we eventually start to believe it. Then once we believe it, we say it, and act upon it for the good or for the bad. Think about that for a minute. Doesn’t that make you stop and pause and wonder about your deep-seated, inner beliefs? Can’t you see how your thoughts are keeping you bound or setting you free? What are you thinking and believing about yourself and your life right now at this present moment?
DO NOW: Try this exercise. Grab a sheet of paper and jot down the first three to five things that come to your mind. Are they good things or bad things? Are these thoughts hurting you or helping you? Now, take another minute and reflect on someone who you think has it worse than you. How are you feeling now? What are you believing now? Has your perspective changed?
All you really have to do is change your perception to change your life. Joni Eareckson Tada did just that. Listen to her story, a diving accident in 1967, when she was sixteen, left her paralyzed from the neck down. She could have given up on her life, but she didn’t. She learned to paint using her mouth to hold the paint brushes. She started to believe she had a chance and therefore, she took it. You must believe you have a chance and take a risk to fail but to finally succeed.
Today, Joni is an internationally known mouth artist, a talented vocalist, a radio host, an author of seventeen books, a movie has been made about her life, and she has a prison ministry where she speaks to prison inmates and has them construct and repair wheelchairs for the handicapped. What did she choose to believe about herself? What was her perception? Did she focus on what she couldn’t do or on what she could do?
How about you? Do you focus on what you can do or on what you can’t do? It’s been said that what we focus on gets bigger or expands. I suggest we choose to allow our minds more flexibility, more risk-taking, more excellent thoughts. If you can’t and don’t believe in yourself, you won’t have a reason to try anything. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
I’m reminded of the song sung by LeeAnn Womack, I Hope You Dance. In that song are the lyrics, “When you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” What makes you believe in yourself? What makes you dance? Whatever it is will come from deep within, from your soul. Joni could have had the attitude, “Well, I’m paralyzed. I guess there’s nothing to do but sit here and moan.” Joni could have chosen to sit it out, but she chose instead to dance. You can choose to sit it out or you can choose to dance.
Not believing in yourself will cause you to miss out on life and waste your life. Truth be told, it will cause you to miss your potential. We all have a lot of potential. There are so many things that we could do, but most of the time, we don’t even think about them. We don’t even “tap” our potential. If most people believe that we have this one lifetime, why would we waste any of it by not believing in ourselves? If in reality, life is so short, why wouldn’t we, as they say, “go for the gusto?”
I’m sure we all know people who seem to be wasting their lives by their non-believing attitudes. People who complain, murmur, gripe, are never happy or content, and put themselves and others down. Having this lack of belief causes a lack of abundance in every area of life. You can’t soar with the eagles wallowing around in the mud with the pigs. There is no way to find fulfillment in life without belief.
Keep track of your thoughts. Literally, change the picture that you have of yourself. If your thoughts or pictures are limiting you in any way, change them! On my journey, this is what I’ve had to do over and over again. Even when circumstances were not good, I focused on things becoming better. You have to decide to do this, too.
We can’t receive what we can’t or won’t believe. As a high school speaker and debater, I always knew, felt, and believed that I would win, come in first place, at every speech contest. I received about 45 trophies proving I was right. What good does it do to not believe in yourself? It does no good at all. Think about the limitations we force upon ourselves by our lack of belief. We keep ourselves frozen, unable to move. You’ve seen those movies where there is this force field blocking someone’s ability to move forward. It’s like that. You want to move forward, but you feel stuck, bound. But, you can break through this barrier.
It takes getting in touch with our inner soul to believe in ourselves. We need to change our beliefs. Perhaps you need to window wash your soul. Be bold to ask for more of life. Our ability to have an abundant life depends on it. Overwhelmingly how we act stems from what we deeply believe. Yes, it’s that important.
DO NOW: Try another exercise. Take a sheet of paper and number from 1 to 10. At the top of the paper write this statement-
WHY I SHOULD BELIEVE IN MYSELF: list ten reasons. If you can only think of 5, then write 5. Find at least one thing on the list you can be grateful for. If you are having difficulty coming up with a list, maybe you can’t think of reasons to believe in yourself because no one has ever really believed in you. I believe in you. That’s why I am taking you on this journey with me.
COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE:
STEP #2 Enjoy your Journey
ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY
IT’S LATER THAN YOU THINK.”
CHOOSE TO ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. What does that mean? It means to enjoy your life. You may be asking, “How do I do that?” Sometimes this is easier said than done. When you enjoy something, you take pleasure in, have satisfaction, and experience joy. Too many people are not enjoying their lives for one reason or another.
DO NOW: Take this quick test to determine whether or not you are enjoying your journey. As you read the 20 words and phrases below under each category, put a mental check by which phrase most adequately describes you.
A person who ENJOYS LIFE:
sees glass half full
sees a light at the end of the tunnel
sees obstacles as opportunities
focuses on solutions
always sees the good
sees everyday as an adventure
A person who DOESN’T ENJOY LIFE:
sees glass half empty
sees no light at the end of the tunnel
sees obstacles as dead ends
has no joy
has no peace
has no faith
focuses on problems
always sees the bad
sees everyday as a chore
How did you do? Do you enjoy life or do you not enjoy life? Maybe sometimes you enjoy life and maybe sometimes you don’t?
Here’s a point to ponder from thegoodvibe.co: “As you breathe right now, another person takes their last. So stop complaining and learn to live your life with what you have.” In other words, quit waiting to enjoy your life. It may be later than you think.
Make a decision right now to have and enjoy life. Make a decision to stay in the ENJOYS LIFE column. Whatever you have to change, change.
How many years do you have left to live? You don’t know, do you? Shouldn’t that be a reason enough to live your life as fulfilled as you possibly can? We have to stop letting so many weeks and months go by while we mope. Since we have come to realize our thoughts determine the outcomes of our lives, we now commit to control our thoughts.
We commit to stop making excuses for not enjoying our lives. We choose to believe in our unlimited capabilities. We let our imagination run wild. We can enjoy our journey because we are still on it. We can be grateful for that. True, our circumstances are far from perfect, but who ever said we have to have a perfect life before we can enjoy it?
Let me say, if you are waiting for a perfect life before you can enjoy yours, you may be waiting an extremely long time. If you woke up this morning and could see, walk, taste, feel, or hear, you are blessed and have a reason to be thankful. I am assuming you were able to brush your teeth, comb or brush your hair, put on your clothes, drive to work or school or get a ride, and later at nighttime, you were able to have somewhere to lay your tired body. Am I correct?
Enjoying our journey is a choice we all make. Ask yourself, “What excuse or excuses am I making for not enjoying my life?” First of all, you have to know what you want out of life. If you want nothing, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
DO NOW: Take some time and write or jot down what you want. Brainstorm ideas for your life. What brings you passion? What makes you light up? We all have something. Find a reason to live for. Apathy is easy. Lastly, you have to do more than try to enjoy your life. That usually won’t work. You’re going to have to actively and purposefully do something different. You’re either doing or you’re not. You’re either finding joy or you’re not.
Granted, you may have strong, convincing reasons why it is hard for you to enjoy your life. You, like Joni Eareckson Tada, may be paralyzed. You may not have been able today to dress yourself, brush your teeth, or comb your hair. Perhaps you are unable to drive or hold a job. Maybe you are in constant pain, taking chemo or drugs just to stay alive. Live your life with what you have. Surprisingly enough, someone else has it worse.
You may be asking yourself, “Why should I enjoy my life?” Well, let me ask you something, “Why shouldn’t you enjoy your life?” You may think your life is not worth living, but what else are you going to do with it? If we have to live it anyway, we might as well enjoy it. Who knows how much life we have left?
Take an imaginary stroll through the graveyard. What are your thoughts as you meander around? Are you in a hurry, dying to be one of the occupants? Look at the tombstones. See the dash between the two numbered years. (i.e. 1964-2012), what is that dash? That dash was their life. What will you accomplish and experience between that dash? Whose life will you touch? What legacy will you leave?
I came across this quote-unknown: “There are too many people in too many cars in too much of a hurry going too many directions to get nowhere for nothing.” How sad. The human rat race. We don’t want that to be our epitaph. It is imperative that we appreciate life now. Right now in this moment! Not tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. It’s vitally important to think of the numerous ways we can appreciate the life we’ve been given. Don’t look for a perfect life before you show appreciation for the life that you have. It indeed may be later than we realize.
Going to the mailbox in my neighborhood, I overheard an older gentleman ask a fellow, female neighbor how things were going. Her reply was, “I’m breathing!” I said, “I know that’s right!” Just reflect on that. Your breathing is a cause for joy.
In order for us to really enjoy our lives-our journey here on this earth-we have to make the best of it, good and bad. In the 14,000 Quips and Quotes book is found another proverb-pearl of wisdom-, “You’ll have a better life if you make the most of the best and the least of the worst!” I have a couple of friends, Ben and Shari. They are a married couple who have recently been told they both have bone cancer. But even so, they continue to enjoy their journey. They are making the least of the worst. You can do that, too. Whether you realize it or not, this journey we are on, is helping to mold us into the person we were meant to be.
Let’s make a new determination to have fun, to see every day as an adventure, and to expect an abundance. What do we have to lose? What might we have to gain? We just need to take one step and then another. We just need to trust the process and relax. Take our lemon-related problems and make some lemonade.
Do this tomorrow. Instead of complaining, when you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself, “Today is a good day. This is a day of victory in my life. I’m expecting favor today!” Tell yourself, you’re taking your lemons, struggles, etc., and making lemonade. Believe your life is worth living, and it will be. Don’t just make a mad dash to the end. Don’t just hurry through, going nowhere and accomplishing nothing.
In the movie, The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, their characters are dying of cancer. They meet in the hospital and shortly thereafter make the decision to not die until they have seen the world, so to speak. Morgan Freeman, Carter, asked Jack Nicholson, Cole, two questions: “Have you found joy in your life?” and “Have you given or brought joy to anyone?”
The theme of the movie is to live and enjoy yourself, accomplish and do what you can, and not give into excuses. Enjoy your life before it’s too late. Stop waiting. Start your “bucket list” now. Death is coming for us all. Look for the joy no matter how hidden it may be. And, with everything you can muster, release joy into the atmosphere.
DO NOW: Try another exercise. Take a sheet of paper and number from 1 to 10. At the top of the paper write this statement-
WHY I SHOULD ENJOY MY JOURNEY: and list as many reasons as you can.
COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE:
Things I can do to enjoy my journey are…