*The following post is a guest post written by my friend Jordan D. Blackwell. Enjoy!*
Why should I be grateful?
Theoretically, I feel we all know being grateful is good for us. The question is why? Well what do we ultimately want out of life? Once we know that, it’s easy to see being grateful is a necessity in our lives.
What I personally want out of life is to be healthy, wealthy, and a positive influence in this world. I don’t want to worry about finances, about my family being in danger, about the future, etc. Of course there are other things that I would love to have, but if I had those few basic needs met I would be happy. I think many of us would be more than satisfied to be healthy, wealthy and positive. Just imagine having all that you could want and being able to enjoy it without worrying about whether you deserve it or if it’s okay to have it. Imagine having the house that you want, the boyfriend/girlfriend you want, the relationships you want. Wouldn’t that be amazing? How would you feel if you had those things in your life? Would you feel happy? Peaceful? Grateful?
For myself, those things would give me an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I would know that there is a higher power that loves me and wants the absolute best for me. I’d know that I’m being taken care of and I don’t have to worry about my needs being satisfied. My God has blessed me and continues to bless me because I am loved.
Interestingly enough, I already have most of the things on my list! How is it that when I think of the things that will make me happy, they end up being things I already have? Why aren’t I happier?
We aren’t as happy as we could be because we aren’t always aware of all the blessings we have in front of us. We don’t consciously try to keep count of the blessings we’ve already received and naturally we’ll forget about them as we live out our lives. We’re holding ourselves back from being happier people by not acknowledging the things that we already have. It’s a little sad but it’s also pretty amazing to think about. Just by increasing our awareness of what we have we can all become happier with our lives.
I was thinking of how I could best keep track of these things and started thinking about other aspects of my life that I do a good job at keeping a track of. I immediately thought of my finances. Most of us are pretty good at keeping track of our money. We check our accounts regularly and make withdrawals and, hopefully, deposits on a regular basis.
Why don’t we do that with our blessings? What if we had a sort of blessing bank account? We’d check our account regularly, make deposits whenever we could, and withdrawals when needed. I have a box in my bedroom with a pad and pen in it. I could make it even easier by using my phone or computer but I use the box because I can physically see it every day. Whenever I can, I write something that I’m grateful for on a slip of paper, fold it, and “deposit” it into the box. They may be things, experiences, or people; anything I’m grateful for.
If we continuously make these deposits, over time we will see our box grow and grow until we have an abundance of blessings from which we can “withdraw” whenever we need to be reminded of how wealthy we truly are. Whatever mood you were feeling before reading over your blessings, I’m sure you’d feel better after reading them. I believe using this method would make us all more aware of our blessings and therefore much happier people.
The crazy thing that’s happened to me since starting this habit has been that I have not yet looked over my list. Months have passed by and I haven’t needed to make any withdrawals because the simple act of regularly listing my blessings has caused me to become more aware of them as they enter my life. Taking three minutes out of my day to do this has caused a positive shift in my perspective and I have no doubt that it would for anyone else who tries it.
I hope this post has helped you out in some way and I truly believe that this exercise could change your life for the better. I love y’all. Be grateful and, as always, be well.