By Glen Hopkins
Imagine for a moment one of those nights when you just can’t
fall asleep and you have to get up early the next morning for a
very important meeting of which you are the keynote speaker.
Your alarm clock goes off early in the morning waking you from
what little sleep you had. You stumble out of bed, have a
quick shower, grab a coffee and some toast, and off you go to
fight the traffic on the way to work.
Does that sound like the start of a terrible day? Most would
answer ‘yes’. Few people however, would answer, ‘no’. These
are the people, who are in my opinion blessed with a gift. A
gift which determines how they view their life. These people
live with ‘an attitude of gratitude’. For them, the situation
described could be worse. Much worse. For example, think of
the man who doesn’t have a bed, let alone a roof to over his
head. When he is awoken from what little sleep he is able to
get, it is by the rain falling on his cold body. He too stumbles
to his feet and begins his journey to work in his bare feet. His
work is in the field of survival. He searches though garbage
cans for scraps of half-rotten food to eat and odd bits of
clothes to keep him warm.
The purpose of this example is to illustrate that we all have so
much to be grateful for. Even in times when it seems that
nothing could be worse, there is always a reason to be
grateful. And when you feel a sense of gratitude, you feel a
sense of happiness and content. My challenge to you today is
to learn to look for the good in every situation and live with
‘an attitude of gratitude’.
I assure you, if you were the fellow searching for food in
garbage cans you too could find things to be grateful for. You
just have to look hard enough and ‘open your eyes’ to what is
around you. You have to focus on what’s good in your life, not
“I once was distraught because I had no shoes, until I met a
man who had no feet.” – Unknown
Life works in mysterious ways. Time and time again there have
been stories of people who are in a dire strait yet they are
found helping others who are experiencing greater turmoil. This
is because once you have helped someone in greater need
than yourself, you always feel better. You feel better because
you have helped another human being, and this forces you to
change your mindset from focusing on your problems to
focusing on their solutions.
Always focus on the solution, not the problem and live with an
attitude of gratitude! Mother Teresa was a primary example of
this phenomenon. Her entire life revolved around helping others
in need. As a result she experienced a great deal of love and
self-satisfaction in her life.
I challenge you now to take a moment to think of five things in
your life that you are grateful for today. For example, your
friends, your family, your job, your sense of smell, touch,
sight, and sound. The list can go on and on. Imagine what
your life would be like without these things. Write them down
on a piece of paper and really think about the things you are
grateful for. You will be amazed at how great you will feel!