Gratitude Is More Than Attitude – It’s Action
May 05

Gratitude Is More Than Attitude – It’s Action

Have you ever wondered why you keep getting more of what you don’t want in your life?

One of the primary reasons for this is the way we think – the way our minds work. The human mind is a mismatch detector. It always notices what’s wrong before it notices what’s right. Consider a couple of examples:

You walk into an art gallery and there are ten paintings hanging on the wall. Nine of them are straight and one is a little crooked. Where does you eye go? To the crooked painting – instantly. Your attention will be grabbed by what’s wrong with the situation, not what’s right with it.

A personal example: I had a tooth pulled not too long ago, and I noticed that for many weeks after the tooth extraction, my tongue kept going to the gap between my molars where my tooth had been. It happened again and again, throughout the day. It was as if my tongue was “worrying” over the missing molar. Did my tongue pay any attention to the other 29 teeth that are fine? No. It just kept going back to the empty space.

I already know that my mind is a mismatch detector – I teach it in my seminars. And yet, I couldn’t keep from focusing on what was wrong in my mouth, rather than what was right. Knowing what my tongue was doing didn’t stop me from doing it!

My friend, Sam Beasley has a good antidote for “what’s missing thinking.” He calls it scheduled gratitude. Here’s how he taught it to me:

Sam asked: “Do you like where you live?”

I said: “I love where I live!”

Sam: “Good. Then here’s what you do: Every morning and every evening, for ten minutes or so, walk through your home and notice the things that you really love. An old quilt your mother made, a vase you inherited from your great-aunt, a piece of furniture you treasure, a room you love to spend time in, a piece of art, or whatever it is that you love. Touch these things, run your fingers over them, and say out loud, ‘I love this; I’d like more of this.’ This is an act of active appreciation in which you tell the universe, or God, or your higher power (whatever you call it) that you are deeply grateful for these things you love. You show appreciation and you ask for more. The universe is a giant YES machine – it will always send you more of what you pay attention to.”

Sam summarized: “If you don’t like what you’re getting in your life, change your prayer. How you live your life is a form of prayer; what you pay attention to is a form of prayer; what you express gratitude for is a form of prayer. If you want your life to be different, your prayer must be different.”

He added: “Schedule this time on your calendar, just as you would any appointment. Because if you don’t schedule it, you’ll start forgetting to do it. This is scheduled gratitude – it’s active appreciation.”

I’ve been following Sam’s instructions for some time now and it has made an enormous difference. I feel like a very rich person. I walk around happy almost all the time. I notice what’s right in my life. I give gratitude for my cats as I pet them. I am grateful for the beautiful view from the picture window in my living room as I stand there looking out. I give thanks and appreciation for my car, my garden, my fruit trees, and more. I celebrate what’s right with the world. I express gratitude for my son, for good friends, and for great neighbors. I am especially grateful for good health. And I give deepest thanks of all for the abundance of love in my life.

Sam taught me that gratitude is more than attitude – it’s action. It’s active appreciation.