PFA 014: Be Grateful And Recognise Your Value

The Prepare for Awesome Podcast

Where I want to educate, inspire, motivate and empower you to strive higher, push further, give more, do more, be more as you become all you possibly can be.
PFA 014: Show notes
On today’s show, we will be talking about you, your value, being grateful and how that impacts on everything you do.

#PrepareForAwesome #Motivation #Happiness #PersonalDevelopment #Grateful #GratefulLiving #Believe #Gratitude

It was Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero who said, ‘Gratitude is not the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.’
So what does it mean to be grateful?  And what are the benefits to you and me of showing gratitude?
Fortunately, being grateful or showing gratitude is not that bizarre notion that everything is perfect and there are no problems with you, your life or your day.
Being grateful or living a life of gratitude is rather about choosing to focus on the things around you which you appreciate rather than moaning and complaining about all the things which you don’t appreciate.
The objective of being grateful in life is not to pretend that life is not a challenge or there are no difficulties around you.  It is not about being so positive that you try to block out any negative, but rather it is about choosing to change your perspective and approach to the challenges and difficulties that stand in front of you.
It is about finding the ray of light in all of the darkness, the peace in the chaos, the calm water in the fast flowing, rapid-filled river of life.
And then expressing that gratitude in whatever way you possibly can.
Many years ago, prior to meeting my wife, my gratitude was mostly restricted to the level of my bank balance.  If it was low, I would grumble and moan about everything and if it was healthy, then life was great.  But after meeting Debbie, she taught me to see the beauty in the leaves on trees, the petals on roses, and so on.
She taught me to be grateful for those thing which were just there.  Nature.  I had to do nothing for it to be there, but it was there and it felt amazing to understand that I could be grateful for it being there.  It made the world a brighter place.  A healthier place.  A more alive place.
Soon I found myself being grateful for so much more.  My friends and family for example.  It did not mean I had to get on with them or even like them, but being grateful for having a family began to make me feel better about most of my family.
I have always been an animal lover, particularly my dogs and cats, being grateful that I had animals made me that much better as a person and as an animal owner.
But there is so much more besides to be grateful for.  The sun that shines and gives light, the rain that falls and feeds the earth.  Being grateful for the country you live in, for the neighbours you have or maybe don’t have.
There are qualities, characteristics and talents within you for which you should be grateful.  It may be that you’re a very committed person and when you get your teeth into something, you hang on until it works or you are kind and able to show compassion in even the most challenging situations.
While everyday I am grateful for the wife I have, I am truly grateful for the little dog we brought with us from South Africa.
Why?  Well, when the going gets tough, and believe me we have been through some challenging times, she is the chief happiness officer in the business.  She has the uncanny ability to know when to come and ask for a bit of love and it is always when the challenges are high and the stress levels are off the charts.
You see having an attitude of gratitude is what it is about.
And it can change your life!  How?
Here are 5 scientifically proven benefits:

 

#1. Gratitude has been shown to improve your physical health.  Shown in a 2012 study, grateful people exercise more, attend more regular health checkups and consequently experience fewer aches and pains.  Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces blood pressure, enables better sleep patterns and induces great relaxation responses.
#2. Gratitude improves your psychological health.  Research by renown scientific expert on gratitude, Robert Emmons, showed that people who display gratefulness regularly have higher levels of positive emotions, are more alert, joyful and happy.  It increases your mental strength and as mentioned previously, reduces stress.  It can also play a major role in overcoming trauma.  A study in 2003 found that gratitude was a major contributing factor to resilience for survivors following the Sept 11 attacks in the US.
Recognising all there is to be grateful for, even in the most challenging of times, develops greater mental strength.  I believe that gratitude gives you better perspective from which to reflect on, appreciate and interpret negative life events.
#3. Gratitude enhances your ability to empathise.  Empathy can be defined as a persons ability to recognise and share the emotions of another person.  It is not pity or sympathy.  It reaches further much further.
Nobel prize-winning author, John Steinbeck said of empathy, ‘It means very little to know that a million Chinese are starving unless you know one Chinese who is starving.’  Empathy comes from an emotional connection and people who are grateful have shown a higher level of empathy than those who don’t live grateful lives.
#4. Gratitude improves your self-esteem.  Many studies from countries around the world have shown that gratitude makes people kinder, more friendly and people who live grateful lives, build more social capital.  Which means they receive more help from others and are liked and appreciated more.
It also means that grateful people are more likely to reach out and be helpful even when there is nothing in it for them.  It also means they are not threatened by the success of those around them.
#5. Gratitude makes you more optimistic.  There is a very strong correlation between gratitude and optimism, and optimism and your health.  By being grateful and showing gratitude, you change your focus from all the negative stuff going on and focus rather on the good in life.
And then biology kicks in and you become predisposed to focusing on the good in life and will find yourself more able to deal with all the other stuff going on.  Research has shown that people who keep a daily gratitude journal are 15% more optimistic than people who don’t
However, I think that before you can really be a person who focuses on being grateful or showing gratitude, it is important to understand that you are a person of immense value.  When you understand your value as a person and recognise that everyone else is equally valuable, it becomes easier to be grateful.
Take time out to reflect on your life, identify your purpose (and everyone has a purpose), embrace personal development and be original.  Your uniqueness plays a huge role in your value.
Pursue excellence in everything you do and become an encourager of other people.
Do these things and the process of transformation has begun.
I think it was Albert Einstein who said, ‘Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.’  Then you can begin to identify those things in your life and about yourself for which you are grateful.
Show the world your value and become a grateful person.  It will transform you and the world around you.
As I draw this episode to a close, let me just add this critical piece.  Gratitude and self-value or self-worth are your choice.  You and only you get to choose how grateful you are.  Only you gets to determine how valuable you are.  If you want to be sad and depressed, that too is your choice.  It is simply a decision of your making.
So here is a suggestion.
Over the next 7 days, at the beginning of each day, write down in a note book 2 new things you are grateful for and then read them aloud at least 3 times during the day.  What would really great is if you each day add the previous days notes to the present day and read them aloud.
That would mean that by the end of 7 days, you have 14 things you are daily grateful for and if you do it with real conviction, I would suggest that you will be well on your way to being a changed and transformed person.
So that it for this episode.  Thanks for listening.  I look forward to chatting with you again in the next episode.
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Thanks again for your time today and I look forward to chatting with you on the next episode where I will again share with you ideas, tips and tools to help you become the best version of yourself you could possibly be.
Have a great day.  And remember to be awesome today.
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