Use the power of Gratitude to train your mind to know what you want, who you are and where you’re guiding your life.
By focusing on the good around us, we train our minds to search out what’s right in our environment and to take the steps necessary to attract better outcomes into our lives. After years of studying and developing a gratitude routine, I’ve discovered that it is most effective when I use a four-pronged approach.
Be grateful for those things that you have now—things that you judge as good. This can include any area of your life that you believe is going well—good relationships, success at work, a good workout routine. It can even be as simple as being thankful for a great cup of coffee that morning or a beautiful sunrise: “Thank you for this gorgeous morning.”
One way to reinforce the work of the subconscious is through gratitude statements. When you achieve a goal, no matter how small, give thanks to yourself or others who were involved. Give yourself a gift of time off, a special dinner or a purchase of something sweet.
The best way to incorporate this achievement and happiness tool, however, is by showing your gratitude every day. First thing in the morning, make a list of people and things for which you are grateful. This will not only reinforce the achievement process; it will help you begin each day on a positive note. For example, if you continuously message that you are grateful for a strong, healthy body, your subconscious will help you to maintain that state by increasing your energy and desire to work out, decreasing your craving for fatty foods, increasing your taste for healthy, nutritious food, etc. The subconscious is a beautiful partner, adjusting your focus and assisting you in obtaining the things you appreciate.
Be grateful for the people and situations that challenge you the most. You are the sum of all your experiences—the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of the people who have challenged you the most have also helped mold you into the person you are today. You may not be a big fan of your ex-boss or ex-spouse(s) but consider how you grew and strengthened as a direct consequence of a relationship you found so problematic at the time. Thank them for their contribution to your growth.
Be Grateful for Goals You Are Going to Achieve. One way of demonstrating gratitude for what you plan to achieve is by setting specific, detailed goals. Embedding goals deeply into your subconscious is like programming a GPS in your car. It not only shows you the way to your destination, but a voice (in your head) also alerts you when you make a wrong turn and instructs you how to get back on the right path: “Turn right, or you will suffer a severe financial setback,” or something like that.
When you reach a goal, what then? Maxwell Maltz, the author of Psycho-Cybernetics, wrote that the primary function of the subconscious servo-mechanism (aka the Reticular Activating System or RAS) is to give you what you want or, more accurately, what you expect. The process of consciously selecting and incorporating goals into your belief system tells your subconscious what you expect out of life. When it delivers, when you achieve a goal, it looks for validation—gratitude. If you feel disappointment, let down, or simply move onto the next goal, your subconscious can become confused about whether assisting with the fulfillment of goals is the right thing to do. This mixed messaging can diminish the effectiveness of future goals. The subconscious is a great tool but, like computers, it is very literal, requiring specific, clear instructions. Stating gratitude for what you are creating—your goals— makes it clear to your subconscious what you have chosen to accomplish. Always word your statements as if they have already manifested. If you speak of them as being in the future, they will remain in the future.
Be Grateful for who you are or who you are becoming. If you are working to change a behavior or habit, or want to reinforce your most cherished values, thankfulness can help. If you recognize behaviors/habits that you want to change, or that you believe need to be adjusted to achieve your goals, create gratitude statements that reinforce your new behaviors or habits. If you already use affirmations to affirm your goals, reword them as gratitude statements and add them to your daily gratitude time.
Using the power of thankfulness, train your mind to know what you want, who you are and where your life is headed. Be grateful when things go your way and when they don’t. Embrace the reality of our chaotically perfect world and be thankful each morning that you have another opportunity to enjoy the ride.