The Gratitude List

Dan Pink, in the book “A Whole New Mind“, suggests having a “Gratitude List” on your birthday, with x things you are grateful for, if you turn x years old. The principle being that once you grow older, you learn to appreciate the things around you more, and you get more to thank for.

I guess a lot of my mindset changed since I started coaching, and this blog. Even if I haven’t coached formally in a while, I’m still keeping the mindset and the self-awareness. Gratitude is one of the key components.

I’m pretty sure that appreciating everything I have, has made me happier, in the past 2 years.

I’ve always believed that

Happiness =
a healthy background +
extra sugar on top

meaning that you should have the bare necessities in your life, and some extra frosting (sun in the sky, a kiss from a dear one, someone smiling…you get the idea)

So here are the things I’m grateful for, at the beginning of a new year.

11 things for 2011:

1. Having good health, even with the minor inconveniences.

2. Having someone who really loves me, feeling comforted.

3. The new house (oh, thank you, thank you, thank you :) )

4. A great job, where I sometimes sit down after arriving home and think “I’ve had the opportunity today to work on this and that, and really loved it, even if it was damn difficult”.

5. Friends to meet up with weekly for boardgames.

6. A good and improving relationship with my parents.

Better said, I used to not talk to my father.
We’re now on speaking terms.
I’m pretty happy about not needing to sigh anymore when I think about my mother. So yeah, things are improving, and I appreciate that.

7. Good income.

Sometimes I look back at the days when we had a small room with a putrefactory smell coming out of the closet from time to time, and I remember how happy we were as we bought our first curtains together. We had such a limited budget.
Or I remember my poorest days as a Work & Travel student, when all the money that did not go on rent, went into savings, and how I did not let myself buy Starbucks coffee, because it was too expensive.  I still consider Starbucks coffee a treat.

8. The ability to make up images, and later transfer them on paper and canvas.

And having other people like them so much, they would actually pay for them.

9. All the little moments when the pieces of the world seem to fall well together, everything in its right place.

10. Finding other artists, writers, creators, and immersing myself into their work.

For example Dani, Ash, Ree, Jo, Marina, Nati. Books. Movies. Music. Silence. Having the time and the luxury to sit down and look at the frozen trees outside my window.

11. Finally, I am grateful for being able to look forward and having a good feeling about what is to come.

Thank you.

There is an excerpt in the book “Presence“, where one of the authors describes an extraordinary experience.
Going on a self-exploration workshop, he is left on a corner of an island for 7 days, with enough food and supplies to survive, with the purpose of staying there and just entering in touch with the environment.  He is supposed to salute and give thanks in the four directions of North, East, South and West, every day at dawn and sunset. After a few days of performing this ritual, he describes how Nature responds back, first through seals looking at him almost humanly from meters away, then through a pair of whales jumping in the water at sunset.

I found this excerpt of the book extraordinarly touching – it shows how, if we are focused and truly mean the gratitude we send out, there is something out there that responds back. Most of the time we do not see it – but if our eyes, mind and heart are open, we might notice it easier.

What are you grateful for, in the year to come?

Exercise gratitude. The universe will respond.

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  • Dana
    January 6, 2011

    I am grateful for my wonderful friends, and for the wonderful people that keep showing up in my life. I am grateful for the lessons that they all are here to teach me and I appreciate them all. I am grateful for I will finish editing and share the book I wrote, with the whole world, for free, on my new and wonderful website. I am grateful for my writing gets better and better and I am becoming wiser and wiser as time goes by. I am grateful for I do what I love, and love what I do. I am grateful for I know I am living on purpose and that gives me peace of mind. I am grateful for I am learning everyday to be a better person and share my gifts and talents with those around me. I am grateful for I can find pleasure in all things, small or big, beautiful or not, and I am happy.
    I am grateful for I can share my work using the Internet and getting to all those who really need some sunshine in their lives. I am grateful for I have learn how to meditate. I am grateful for I am a healthy and strong person. I am grateful for I have the opportunity to share my gratitude list now, here… I am grateful for….
    Peace and Love!
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..Today’s Quotes- 01-06-2011 =-.

  • catalina
    January 6, 2011

    Foarte fain, mi-a placut! E foarte benefic sa pui pe hartie si sa dai mai departe.
    Am facut si eu o lista similara de Craciun – My reasons pentru prietenul meu. Poate o sa iti urmez indemnul si o sa completez si o lista cu 26 de multumesc-uri de ziua mea.
    Apropo, La Multi Ani!
    .-= catalina´s last blog ..New Year resolution anybody =-.

  • Maria
    January 7, 2011

    Bravo Cata! Mi-a placut blogpost-ul tau de Anul Nou. Cred ca lumea se plictiseste de New Year’s Resolutions. Poate de asta preferam sa ne uitam in jur si sa ne minunam de ce avem, in loc sa tanjim dupa ce ne lipseste.

  • Maria
    January 7, 2011

    Very good looking website, Dana! Keep up the great work :)

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