This Is Not The End

Ninety three. That’s the number of good things I experienced over the past month. Actually I experienced more, that’s just how many I made a lasting note of. I hadn’t really considered the number until I sat down to write this. It feels like a high number. It makes me feel really good. Taking note of three good things each day has been a wonderful thing to do and a great way to end my day.
As I think back over the last month I try to think about the bad things I have experienced. I feel like there weren’t that many. I’m sure I had my fair share, and considering things going on in the world, they were but drops in a bucket. But I definitely believe it was much less than 93. I know there’s an old version of me that would have a hard time believing the good things in my life would be out numbering the bad. This is clearly one of the benefits of partaking in this exercise of gratitude.
In addition to opening my eyes to how many more good things exist in my life, I have noticed that this has changed how I approach and look at the things going on. There were days when I knew I had nothing planned other than going to the job I don’t really like and I would become super aware of everything that was going on so I would be able to have something to add to my list. I was focused on the moment wondering if that was going to be the good thing for the day. This also caused me to appreciate more the most trivial everyday things. I thing I mentioned my sandwich one day and I know a couple of times a nap made the list.

Doing this everyday has left me in a better mind-set. I feel happier, more positive, and worry less. Part of this also came from some rules I set for my three things. For starters I would not allow myself to use any kind of negative language. Even if it was ultimately a positive thing. The brain processes negative and positive words in drastically different ways. It’s better to say, “I will succeed,” rather than “I won’t fail.” So it became important to me to keep those pesky words and thoughts away.

I also put in place the idea that I had to focus on the things that already happened and should avoid upcoming things. It can be fun to embrace the anticipation of upcoming events, but that also carries a risk of setting hopes too high. Also, focusing on what’s coming up takes away from being present and appreciating what is happening at that moment.

This whole experiment has made me happier, put me in a positive mind-set, and has increased my overall gratitude. These are all aspects that I think help me be a better person and thus create a better world. My initial plan was to do this for just a month. But my growth because of it tells me that I should keep going. So I’m going from a month of gratitude to a life of gratitude and 3 Good Things will continue to be posted.

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