Appreciating Every Gift

Appreciating Every Gift

A few days ago I was eating lunch outside of the SikhNet office and decided to catch up on listening to the latest SikhNet Audio Stories. I listened to the story "Secret to All Happiness & Sucess" (Part 1 & Part 2) and enjoyed hear Jagjit’s explanation to Narayan Gupta in the story about how he had become successful.

The essence of the story was about being extremely conscious of all the Gifts that God gives you every single day. To pay attention and realize how many gifts we all get. Even those of us who have a lot of hardship still have beautiful gifts. When we appreciate what we have then we are less likely to take anything for granted. 

 It is easy to not notice positive things that happen in your day and focus on the negative things that may happen.  This is when we start to feel like a victim of something and not feel happy your life or situation.

Narayan SmilingOne of the nightly routines that my wife Arjan started in our family is called "Favorites". Basically at dinner time of right before bed all of us take turns listening to each others favorite things of the day. When each of us talk we have to pay full attention and listen to them without talking. It is a lesson in listening as well as consciously acknowledging and paying attention to the favorites things of the day. I have found that especially for the kids it is great since it makes them think about their day. When we first started the kids couldn’t think of much, but after a while they learned to remember and think about lots of different fun things for the day. 

Often times I feel frustrated about things that happen in my day to day life. Or I feel powerless when I hear about large negative things happening in the world around me that I feel I can’t impact. It can be depressing hearing and feeling these negative things. Taking the time to recognize the small and large joys helps counter this and bring happiness to your life.

After hearing the SikhNet audio stories I remembered hearing an audio with Oprah Winfrey talking about the concept of a "Gratitude Journal", which is pretty similar to what Jagjit Singh did in the story. He wrote every day in his journal all the beautiful and special moments in his life.

So are you ready to start your own Gratitude Journal and see what happens? First have a listen to the SikhNet audio stories below to hear about Jagjit Singh’s mysterious book.

Secret To All Happiness And Success, Part 1: Jagjit’s Mysterious Book

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Secret To All Happiness And Success, Part 2: Good And Kind

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How to Keep a Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is a way to consciously call attention to the things for which we are thankful each day. By focusing on gratitude, we become aware of those things and thus create a shift in our thinking to the positive. The following suggestions can help start a gratitude journal and a whole new outlook on life.

 

Instructions

  1. Choose a blank notebook or journal to write in every night. Consider a spiral-bound journal that opens flat for ease in writing. Select lined or unlined paper. Keep this notebook next to the bed with a pen readily available.
  2. Look for things during the day for which you are grateful. Make mental notes throughout the day. Notice how the gratitude journal shifts the focus to a more positive outlook.
  3. Write five thing you’re grateful for each night before bedtime. Review the day and include anything, however small or great, that was a source of gratitude that day, e.g., a baby’s smile, a flower in bloom, or the smell of a newly cut lawn. Make the list personal. Write a few words about the five benefits or blessings. Be brief and increase the length as time progresses.
  4. Begin looking everyday for the positive angle in all things. View obstacles as opportunities to appreciate.
  5. Focus on the wonderful things in life to attract similar encounters in the course of the day. Use positive energy as a magnet to draw even more positive energy. Note these attractions in the gratitude journal.
  6. Personalize the gratitude journal. Expand it with clippings, photos, quotes or verses from magazines or other sources.

There is even an iPhone app for gratitude journal writers for those techy types :)  Here is another audio to listen to about the The Power of Gratitude