Gratitude is a key component of a life well lived, bringing us into a state that makes us part of a bigger picture and allowing us to be receptive to the many astonishing and surprising moments that we might not have recognized without it.
If you follow and implement the daily messages about gratitude in this 28-day program, your life will change.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our routine that we forget to appreciate the simple act of being present.
On a Saturday not too long ago, Jeff found himself at home in the Myrtle Beach area for a couple of days. He and fiancée Janet had just finished working out and decided to make a run to the local Walmart to do some food shopping. Both Jeff and Janet were having a good day.
When it came time to head through the cash register aisle, the thought hit Jeff that many people go through these lines on autopilot – to the point sometimes that they don’t even know if the person checking them out was male or female, young or old.
“Because it’s not important, we don’t pay attention,” he said. “We are we are just like – ‘get the food through, give me my receipt and I’m out of here.’”
But at that moment, he was having a small conversation with the lady at the register – and he stayed present in the moment. Her name was Alexis – and he was sure to look her in the eye, acknowledge her name, thank her and tell her that he hoped she had a nice day.
“That little gesture is about us being present in the moment and appreciating the people around us,” he said. “I don’t know what it may have done for her, but what it did for me was that, for the rest of the day, my mood was enhanced.”
Jeff made a conscious effort to stop and appreciate the people that he otherwise might have been too rushed to even pay attention to – and since then, he has been sharing this story in his speaking engagements.
“It’s about appreciation for people that come into your life – even just randomly.”
Soon after this, he found himself driving through Wisconsin to a speaking gig. He pulled into a rest area to use the bathroom – and as he was walking out of the restroom area, he noticed an older gentleman washing the windows. He decided to acknowledge him as well.
“I said, ‘Sir – thank you. The bathrooms are immaculate,’ and he is just washing the windows like, ‘mm-hmm.’ I get in my car and I thought to myself that his response was probably because he is not used to people stopping and acknowledging him for the work that he does.”
Why was this guy’s response different? Why was he so blasé?
“Think about it. Here’s a gentleman – probably retired. This is maybe a part time job, or maybe he works for the state or the city. His job is to clean the bathrooms in the rest area and do the windows. Think about the hundreds of people that walk past him every day and don’t even make eye contact or acknowledge him. How is he supposed to respond when he is not used to this?”
Jeff thought about how sad is it that most every single day, we are so anxious to get where we have to go that we don’t pay attention to the little things. Someone cuts us off as we’re changing lanes and we get upset. We want to get where we are going as quickly as possible. We’re anxious getting into the store and anxious getting out.
“We’re late going here because we have to do this or do that – and so, being late – we don’t even pay attention to these little things,” he said.
In the next 28 days of the Boom Podcast, Jeff is sharing daily, actionable principles to help you bring gratitude into your life.
Today, simply stop and appreciate the little things – those small exchanges that make us feel connected to others.
“I think that’s pretty awesome,” he said. “Let’s give respect to people and we will get respect back.”
Some people might not return the respect, but Jeff says that’s not our issue. That’s their issue.
Also – when we give respect, some people might not give us respect back. That’s not our issue. That’s their issue.
“Understand this: We can’t change people, places and things. However, that doesn’t change the fact that what this does for us is really about self-care.”
Gratitude is self-care.
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