Archive for July 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude

Imported from my Facebook page
I’ve been reading a short collection of corporate devotions presented by Alan Lurie .Five Minutes on Mondays: Finding Unexpected Purpose, Peace, and Fulfillment at Work (paperback) Lurie is a Jewish rabbi who for several years gave five minute devotions every Monday morning to one of the corporations where he served.
One of his reminders strikes home with helping to deal with the emotional stress of every day life. It’s a simple habit that takes little time or effort, but makes a tremendous difference in the way your day starts and probably the way it progresses and ends.
Lurie notes that the first Jewish prayer of the day is, “I am thankful for having awakened to another day.” That’s not so hard, is it? And when you think of the alternative, it holds a very heartfelt bit of gratitude. God opens our eyes to another set of opportunities to provide value in the world.
From that simple habit, we have a chance to continue the day with an attitude of gratitude for every service provided us and everything we have. Think of the things we take for granted everyday just because we choose to ignore them instead of being grateful for them.
We might think the drive through line at that fast food breakfast place is slow, but what if you had to make that breakfast yourself? Why are you at a fast food place, anyway? Smile and say thanks! Or what about the traffic jam? Are you still moving faster and easier than a horse and buggy or your feet? The good old days weren’t so good after all, were they? Be grateful for the traffic, you could be walking.
Turn your thought patterns around and see how you can make this day positive rather than negative just by starting your day with the Jewish prayer Alan Lurie reminds us to pray, “I am thankful for having awakened to another day.”
How do you stay positive and push the negatives aside?
What difference do you see by maintaining an attitude of gratitude?


Build Good Habits for Success

We’re half way through the year. How many of your New Year’s Resolutions are still on track? The problem with most of us is we try to kick habits without replacing them with healthy ones. The void left by the unhealthy habit gets filled with something. If we don’t replace it with a healthy habit, the old one returns, sometimes with a vengeance.

Whenever you set goals to stop something, always replace it with something else. The something else doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult, but it needs to be something. That’s why former smokers often fiddle with pens or pencils, hold them in their mouth, and tap them aimlessly on the table. These physical idiosyncrasies replace the physical habits formed while smoking. Without them, the cigarette finds its way between the fingers far too easily.

Psychiatrists tell us it generally takes 21 days of consistently doing the same thing to build a habit. That’s really not very long…except the 21 days you’re doing it. Just because of the way we’re built, it seems so easy to slip back into old patterns. Make notes to yourself and put them in places you’re sure to see them. Put reminders of your new habits in your calendar, on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, on the steering wheel of your car, on your computer screen. Put them everywhere. Remind yourself every day for at least 21 days of the actions you’re taking and the benefits of the new habit you’re trying to build.

The three-week investment is worth the effort. People may think you’re a little crazy during the process as they see your sticky-notes pop up everywhere, but the new you revealed will show the value of the 21 day journey.

Like the approach? Share it with your friends.