If you watch and read the countless programmes and articles on the Law of Attraction, as a starting point, they all say that in order to attract what you want or to get more of what you have then you have to adopt an ‘attitude of gratitude’.
As a general rule, authors and filmmakers of the Law of Attraction recommend that on a daily basis, either in the morning or before bed, you make a list of the things that you are grateful for.
When I was first introduced to this concept about seven years ago, it felt silly and alien to focus on the positive things in my life. But I was keen to see things change. So, every morning before work, I religiously wrote out 10 things that I was grateful for and tried to maintain a positive attitude. Gradually, the things I wanted more of in my life started to appear and some things quite literally materialised overnight. I was hooked and would tell anyone (who was polite enough to listen) about the new habit and attitude I’d started to develop.
Letting it slip
When things are going well it is easy to think that you have conquered what was standing in your way. Unfortunately, I let my new attitude slide and before I knew it, the switch had flipped and my attention focused on the things that weren’t working for me. These thoughts escalated and I started to feel like I was attending a never-ending pity party for one. It seems silly that after seeing first-hand the benefits of gratitude that I wouldn’t simply flip the switch back. I started to resent people telling me to focus on all the good things in my life and the term ‘attitude of gratitude’ began to grate on me.
Bizarrely, not long after this I noticed a post appear on my Instagram feed which read:
“If you have time to feel like sh*t, complain and check social media, then you have time to meditate, write in your journal, make a list of the things you are grateful and better yourself.’
There it was – a push, nudge or reminder to change my attitude. Rather than pressuring myself to write a gratitude list every morning before work and berating myself if I didn’t I now try to be grateful for things as and when they happen throughout the day.
If I don’t have the time to give the thing I am grateful for the attention it deserves as and when it happens then I make notes or add buzzwords to my phone and sit down with my journal at the end of the day and give thanks for that ‘thing’ and anything else that happened that day. On reflection, I am probably spending more time feeling grateful than if I was rushing through a list of ten things in the morning.
When something that I wouldn’t ordinarily feel grateful for happens, I try and spin it around and see the positive in the situation. For example, a professional relationship recently ended and whilst I felt frustrated by the manner in which it concluded, I thought about everything I had gained and learnt. I also reflected on whether I was still benefiting from the arrangement or if my time would be better spent on something else. This approach made me realise that I had already got what I set out to achieve and that I needed to keep moving forward. Instead of feeling frustrated, I appreciated. In my head, I thanked the other person for their time and guidance and let it go.
By adopting this approach, for the first time in a long time I saw a positive in what initially felt like a negative situation and instead of spending hours over analysing and ruminating on it. I was able to let it go which in itself is what I am most grateful for.
Developing an attitude of gratitude
I don’t believe that there is a universal method for adopting an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and what works for one person might not work for another. What worked for me a few years ago doesn’t necessarily work for me today and I have adapted and learned new ways to appreciate all of the good things in my life.
As with any new habit, these things take time to ingrain but one thing is for sure it is much more enjoyable thinking about the good things, happy times and all the positive things in life than the opposite!