Gratitude is a practice

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When I hear the word “practice”, two words come to mind: repetition and improvement. And upon checking the dictionary, my word association is not far off. Practice is defined as an activity that is repeated to gain, maintain or improve proficiency. What does this have to do with being thankful?

I talk about gratitude as mindfulness <insert link> - when we choose to stay in that special space between the stimulus/experience and the reaction towards something. Gratitude is the choice to see value at that moment. That’s not easy to do but gratitude’s positive effect on myself and others makes it WORTH DOING again and again. And like a MUSCLE that gets consistent work out, it becomes stronger - the more we are grateful, the better we are at it.

“When I am grateful, I have a sense of purpose to continuously help myself and others.”

I know I am going to ruffle feathers when I say this: I am more of the belief that gratitude IS NOT a personality trait. For example, timidity -- a person could have been born shy. When he talks to a big crowd, he is stepping out his comfort zone. Opposite to what an extroverted person would feel - drawing energy and comfort with the company of many people. When a person is grateful, there is an INTENTION to be, regardless of my personality - I’m shy so I prefer sending Thank You notes, while a colleague thanks with shout-outs and high-fives.

Simple terms, please.

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Let’s start the practice of gratitude today: 

“Just like with my favorite hobby, I want to get better at being grateful by…”