Gratitude for the Faint of Heart
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
One of my favorite motivational speakers and authors, Rachel Hollis, was once asked by a viewer how to start the journey to happiness. It made me wonder about this woman...was she heartbroken? Ill? Alone? So pushed aside by the world that she didn't even know where to start?
Then I realized, she is all of us. She is me when I don't see an end to the chaos around me, she is my friend who just got divorced, she is my mom dealing with hospital visits and my father's illness, she is my coworker who feels the world being thrown at her project by project.
I never thought of happiness as a journey before. I always figured I would know when it arrived and the sky would turn blue and the birds would sing, and everything would be as it should.
Rachel Hollis' answer jolted me into reality. She told this woman that the journey to happiness starts with gratitude, that we have to look around us and find the joy and the thankfulness in the smallest of things. Maybe I am grateful for the gas light on my car that reminded me not to get stuck on the highway with no fuel. Maybe I am thankful for Google Drive because I was able to access everything I needed at work today.
The point here is that we don't get a new job everyday, buy a new car everyday, win the lotto everyday (or ever). The happiness that is to be found is in the everyday things around us. If we look toward some unnamed happiness in the future, it will never come because we are not looking right in front of us at what's there. The big joys come and go, but the little joys are all around us.
As a result of this epiphany, I decided to do a little experiment. Everyday for 10 days I live-streamed on Facebook about the ten things I was grateful for that day (I called it my "10 for 10"; creative, I know). The interesting part was that sometimes it was hard to think of 10, but I always did. And then, the really great part, is that I started noticing it in my friends too! People on my feed started posting about things they were grateful for. Friends at work would use the term "thankful" throughout the day as if it had always been in our routine to speak about these things.
So here I am today, grateful for the fan in my bedroom because my room is hot, grateful for the rotisserie chicken from the store so I didn't have to cook, thankful that I remembered to plug my computer in so it didn't die on me mid-blog. And I'm thankful that I can find the joy in little things.
What are you grateful for?