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Take 5: Gratitude Edition

Gratitude isn’t a destination; it’s a practice. Here’s a brief, but powerful, exercise you can do to quickly tap into simple joy and appreciation.

Grab a pen and paper, or open up a new document, and take just 5 minutes to work through this brief—but potentially transformational—process.

 

Step One:

Write down 5 people in your life.

Write down 5 objects you use daily.

Write down 5 problems or challenges that you are experiencing.

 

Step Two:

For each person, finish the sentence, “What’s great about you is…”
For each object, finish the sentence, “What’s great about this [name of object] is…”
For each problem, finish the sentence, “What’s great about [insert problem or challenge] is…” (This one might be a challenge in and of itself! Whatever the problem—even if there are a million ways it feels awful—see if you can come up with just ONE truthful way to finish that sentence.)

 

Step Three:

SHARE
Just about no one knows how great they are. Help to fix that. To the extent that you feel comfortable/able, reach out to the people on your list—by email, phone, or in person—and let them know what’s so awesome about them, just BTW.

THINK/THANK
Is your toothbrush pretty awesome at doing what it does? As silly as it may sound to practice toothbrush appreciation, it’s kind of amazing the difference a simple, well-designed object can make in our lives. (Talk to me about my coffee-maker, favorite pen, or iPod shuffle for long enough, and you just may see tears well up in my eyes…) The next time you use each object on your list, take a moment to revel in its humble greatness.

CHOOSE
No matter how much something sucks, you always have a choice about how you look at it in a given moment. The next time you look at a problem on your list, just take a moment—a millisecond—to bring your awareness to what’s great about it. You may be shocked at the perspective shift it brings.

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What was your biggest gratitude surprise? Share with us in the comments below.

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