I was called out by my wife, again, for being a “bad gift receiver”. She is right. I need to be more grateful.
I got mildly upset because a Christmas gift we received last year was slightly different from the one that was on the list. Same thing, just a different brand. This gift was for my son, and he loved it, yet I'm still complaining about it 12 months later!
Yes, I hang my head in shame.
Have you ever done this?
I play it off as a joke, but the reality is I looked at the gift as a hindrance instead of what it was, a gift. A gift from a place of kindness and joy.
I want each gift to be perfectly tailored, but that's impossible. Just the idea that someone is thinking of me or my son is all that should matter.
No one should have to be worried about giving me or my family a gift because I'm such an ungrateful nerd. People should be excited to give us a gift because of how excited and thankful we all will be.
I'm working on this, and my goal now is to replace every negative thought, right after I notice it, with two positive thoughts.
The reason I'm writing this is because I was recently given a business referral from a good friend. She asked yesterday what I thought of the email referral, and I was about to write back that it was wonderful, but a little too long.
Then I stopped myself. She created this referral from a place of kindness and giving, and I was about to poo poo all over it with a “but” comment.
Then I heard my wife's voice in my head about being a bad gift receiver, and I realized I could change that. So I wrote back:
Thank you so much! It was an amazing referral. Perfect!
You know what happened?
I felt so much happier after sending a positive thank you in response. My bad habits may die hard, but I'm not going down without a fight. My hope is that I live long enough to turn into a great gift receiver!
Importance of Gratitude
Your success and happiness depends on other people helping you, and the more grateful you choose to be, the more people will want to help you.
The key is knowing where you are making a mistake and creating “bad” feelings, and replacing a bad habit with a better habit that makes you – and other people – feel happier.
My Challenge to You
Pick just one habit you would like to create or improve. What would it be?
- Start a meditation practice.
- Be more thankful.
- Go to bed earlier.
Then pick one super small way to practice over and over until you create a better, happier habit.
Another example: I wanted to start a meditation practice. I knew it would benefit my health and help make me happier. I was so right. I started with a 2 minute meditation practice after I finished up my work for the night and before I would watch my favorite show. Now I’m up to 10 minutes a night and I love it.
The key here is picking a time and place. You will be 90% more likely to build a positive habit if you are specific with when and how. If you can envision how you will accomplish the task then it’s easier to see yourself actually doing it, which means you won’t procrastinate. You’ll take action. Here is a cool article from Jenny Blake about creating magnetic personal project. When you start small, with a personal project, it can turn into something bigger. You never know.
What positive habit would you like to improve or add to your life that would make you happier?
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