Thursday, September 25, 2014

One thing that will exponentially improve your quality of life

What if I were to tell you that you could do one thing that has the potential to exponentially improve your quality of life and that it won't cost you a dime?

You might say I was crazy. And while there may be merit to that statement it wouldn't take away from the truth that I believe one habit, practiced regularly, can exponentially improve your quality of life.

What is that habit? 

It's the habit of gratitude.

Being thankful, saying "thank you," isn't just for kids. It really is a habit that could exponentially improve your quality of life.

Don't believe me?

Try it out for a week. And to help you get started I've included a short little article by Casey Graham. It was written to church leaders, but it has benefits for all of us. 

Read it and then practice gratitude.

If you're at all like me, it's easier to be ungrateful than it is to be thankful—it's just our natural bent to be that way.
 
Practicing gratitude is a bit of a challenge. Why? Because it requires effort. It's NOT what comes naturally.
 
In a recent team meeting, we talked about the proactive practice of gratitude. We were reflecting on this comment by Chris Tomlin:
"When we practice gratitude and begin dwelling on the goodness of God, and how He's blessed us, that gratitude purges all the negativity in us."
On that note, here are 9 thoughts on gratitude I hope you find encouraging:
 
1. The more you grow, the more you should thank. Why?
 
Because the "higher up" we go in life, the more self-centered we tend to become.
 
2. When you (or your church) have more money, you should be thanking more people.
 
3. You are not the sole source of your achievements.
 
4. Whatever (and whomever) we appreciate, appreciates.
 
Unfortunately, the people closest to us are often the ones  we appreciate the least (family, friends, church volunteers and staff, donors..etc).
 
5. People are attracted to people who practice gratitude.
 
6. If you want great things in your life and in your ministry (I'm not talking about loads of money here by-the-way), you've got to practice gratitude.
 
7. Focus on what you have, not what you don't have.
 
8. Taking yourself too seriously causes you to not be able to break away from your "world" and recognize the value in other people. This basically becomes a barrier to gratitude.
 
9. Cicero said "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." And, Paul said in Philippians 4:6-8 to "be anxious about nothing but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to let our requests be made known to God. 

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