Attitude of Gratitude

In the USA Thanksgiving is the most important family holiday. It is also a day on which many celebrities share food with those less fortunate than they are and I know from my own experience that this is a very rewarding experience.

Giving thanks to all the good that already is in your life is probably the easiest ways to find happiness. One of the first things I ask of my coaching clients is that they keep a gratitude journal. Each day they have to write at least 3 things they are grateful for. The more the better.

Why do I ask them to do that? Because I want them to start feeling good about themselves and their lives. I want them to appreciate what they already have so the gap between that and their goals seems smaller.

For most people it seems easier to find things to complain about than to find things to give thanks for. But it is exactly that which keeps them from happiness and fulfillment. What we concentrate on is what we get. When we complain and concentrate on what doesn’t work, we enforce exactly that. That is why when people have financial challenges and don’t stop to concentrate on their lack of money, things get worse and worse. Whatever they try, they don’t seem to get out of that situation and even when they make money they loose it again.

What you focus on expands. When you focus on lack, lack is what you get. When you focus on abundance, abundance will come into your life. Start giving even if you have little and give without expecting anything back. If you give and expect gratitude it will not work.

Our subconscious does everything to fulfill our wishes but it cannot understand a negation. If you say “I don’t want to smoke” it understands “I want to smoke” and helps you with that. If you think “I don’t want to have financial problems” etc. it understands only the basic which are financial problems. Therefore it is omni-important to focus only on what you want and never on what you don’t want.

As I said in the beginning giving thanks, feeling grateful is the easiest way to feeling happy. Look at what you already have in your life and say thanks for that – each and every day. Be grateful when the sun shines and when rain gives water to the land so our food can grow. Give thanks for having a roof over your head, for the food you eat, for having family and friends in your life, and for your health and whatever wealth you have accumulated so far. Give thanks for being alive and kicking. For the flower you see grow out of the cracks of the asphalt, for a beautiful sunset, or the perfect snowflake that lands on your nose.

There are thousands of moments and things in every day of our lives that we can and should be grateful for. Start writing them down in your gratitude journal every night before you go to sleep and again in the morning before you start your day. Do that for 21 days and your life will change. That is a promise.

Happy Changes!


Create a positive work space

As adults, most of us spend more time with our colleagues at work than we do with our families. Therefore loving what we do and being a member of a great team is essential for a fulfilled life.

Today we will look into the qualities of great Teams and how to build and lead them because with the exception of your family, no other relationship will have as profound an impact on the quality of your life and the joy you can experience at work.

Here is what one of the greatest teamplayers of history, Henry Ford, had to say:

“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success. “

Unfortunately, like most families (the divorce rate in most western countries is around 50%) corporate teams tend to be pretty dysfunctional. Instead of developing a motivated team of individuals sharing a common goal and everyone driving their energies in the same direction, most teams are poorly trained and tend to compete instead of cooperate which makes them implode under pressure.

Let’s look at the components of a great Team.

First of all you have to feel responsible (respons-ability = ability to respond)

Remember, it is your team whether you lead them or are just a member

Be a leader

It is not alway the boss that leads. You can be a leader too. Contribute with ideas and suggestions and help to implement them.

Show your willingness to cooperate without being subservient

Enjoy building “your team” and remember how much time you spend at work and that it’s worth while enjoying. Starting tomorrow, become an active team member who leads her/his team in the best direction… one worthy of everybodys involvement! Inspiring your team is in your hands – you have the choice!

Questions to ponder

In the next few days I will share some questions to ponder. There are no right or wrong answers. There are your answers. That’s all. The important thing is that you give them some time and thought.

And sometimes asking the right questions is already the answer.

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. I will post more questions over the next few days.

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Are Self-esteem and Self-respect the same?

Our culture is concerned with matters of self-esteem. Self-respect, on the other hand, may hold the key to achieving the peace of mind we seek. The two concepts seem very similar but the differences between them are crucial.

To esteem anything is to evaluate it positively and hold it in high regard, but evaluation gets us into trouble because while we sometimes win, we also sometimes lose. To respect something, on the other hand, is to accept it.

I enjoy singing and do so quite frequently. As those within earshot will attest, I’m not very good but I love to sing anyway. During summer parties I frequently sing solo and play the part of the “moving ball,” trying to stay just ahead of the music to provide the words for those who don’t know the song. I am not saddened by my lack of talent. I accept the way I sing. Because of this acceptance, I am able to sing without being evaluative of myself or concerned with what others think.

The word acceptance suggests to some readers that our culture does indeed deal with this idea of self-respect; after all, don’t we have the concept that it is important to accept our limitations? Aren’t many of us encouraged “to change the things we can change, accept the things we cannot change and know the difference between the two?” I believe I could learn to sing better, so my acceptance is not based on my limitations. Nor is it based on resignation, since I am not resigned to the belief that I cannot sing well and am not committed to any particular belief about my voice in the future.

The person with self-respect simply likes her- or himself. This self-respect is not contingent on success because there are always failures to contend with. Neither is it a result of comparing ourselves with others because there is always someone better. These are tactics usually employed to increase self-esteem. Self-respect, however, is a given. We simply like ourselves or we don’t. With self-respect, we like ourselves because of who we are and not because of what we can or cannot do.

Consider an interesting test of self-respect. If someone compliments us, what is our reaction? If we are very pleased, it would suggest a certain amount of uncertainty about our skill. Imagine that somebody whose opinion we respect told us that we were great at spelling three-letter words, or that our pronunciation of vowels was wonderful. Chances are we would not be moved. We know we can do it in the first case, and we don’t care in the second. Because we were not evaluating ourselves, the compliment was unimportant. The more instances in which we don’t “take the compliment,” the less vulnerable we become to evaluation and insult.

My recent research, with Judith White and Johnny Walsch at Harvard University, points to the advantages of self-respect. Compared to those with high self-esteem who are still caught in an evaluative framework, those with self-respect are less prone to blame, guilt, regret, lies, secrets and stress.

Many people worry whether there is life after death. Just think about it: If we gave up self-evaluation, we could have more life before death.


This article was written by Ellen J. Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, is author of The Power of Mindful Learning (Perseus, 1997) and Mindfulness (Perseus, 1989).

How Gratitude creates Happiness

Yesterday I talked about the power of accountability and I can only recommend everyone with dreams and goals to take that advice. Today we want to talk about another amazing tool and that is GRATITUDE.

It was the 4th lesson I learned from my first coach. What he had asked me to do was send him an email every night with at least 3 things I was most grateful for in the past day.

You have no idea what that does to you. It makes you actively look for things to appreciate even when you have a tough day. Taking this asignment serious brought a lot of happiness into my life and helped improve the lives of hundreds of my clients because once I understood the power of it I started using it in my coaching too. Try it out. You will be amazed at the results. At first you will have to use willpower to keep the commitment for writing it down every day but after a few weeks it will be totally natural and I can assure you, YOU WILL LOVE IT!

Why? Because you start to relize all the good things that are already in your life. You take your focus away from your troubles and focus on the good which eventually will bring you more of the good. Remember, what you focus on expands.

I give thanks every night before going to sleep and very often again in the morning before getting up. That is a good way of doing it once it has become a habit. Until then the best way to do it is through keeping a gratitude journal. I still keep mine because it makes me feel good about myself and my life.

You will be amazed at the beauty and wonders you start to see all around you once you get into this.

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Do you plan to live a happy, fulfilled life?

Jim Rohn, one of my most important mentors, says:  “Most people spend more time planning their holidays than they spend on planning their life.”

What about you?

Do you plan to live a happy, fulfilled life or is it just a dream?

I didn’t really start living my purpose fully until I was over 50 but since then I have published a book and spoken to over 15.000 people in 8 countries and loved every minute of it.

If you had all the money you would ever need, had traveled to the places you wanted to go to and had all the material things money could buy what would you do? What would get you up in the morning? What would keep you up at night?

Take pen and paper and write it down!

Define what you really want clearly

New Year is coming up when we usually make New Year resolutions. Naturally we all want to succeed but the majority doesn’t know how to clearly define success.

We have talked about this before. If you don’t really know what you want you are highly unlikely to get it. You need to have real clarity about your intentions … what it is you really, really want to experience in your life.

Most people desire to be rich. What does rich mean to you and why do you want wealth?

Years ago I saw a beggar in the streets of Sri Lanka and I could see from his eyes and his smile that he was rich – not rich in worldly goods but rich in true happiness and contentment. What type of wealth, what type of riches do you want and most importantly WHY? Apart from the obvious THINGS like dream holidays, a nice house or a new car but that is just a small part of wealth, isn’t it?

Why do you want wealth?

Do you want wealth in order to have lots of money in the bank or do you want it for the joy and freedom it gives you; for the experiences you can have because you are wealthy and don’t have to worry about tomorrow’s food or roof over your head? Give this a moment of thought.

Why do you really want wealth?

If people have everything they want, it is because they were very clear about what they wanted to experience. Everyone else who still feels unfulfilled, and this is about 99% of the population, needs to get true clarity about what they want to experience. Only real clarity is power.

Many people talk only about things, about the objects they want in their lives, like a beautiful house but in fact, what really makes people happy is the experience of living in that beautiful house.

Let me give you an example – I love sailing and have always dreamt of having a really sleek sailing yacht but I never bought one. First because I did not have the money and later because I did not really want the responsibility that goes with maintaining a boat. Still the yearning remained until I realized I want the feeling of absolute peace and oneness with nature that signifies sailing for me and I don’t need to own a yacht to have this experience. I can charter one whenever and wherever I feel like it. It is the experience of being on the sea listening to the water glide past and the sound of the sails that turns me on, that gives me this sensation of utter peace – not the yacht itself.

The strange thing is that if you focus on the object only, like the yacht or the dream home, you are actually limiting yourself because the strongest manifestation is through emotion, is through sensation, through the experience itself. The object is just the vehicle.

Unfortunately most people think the vehicle is what they want and therefore manifest that but what we really want is the feeling, the experience of peace, freedom, and joy. If we concentrate on that, we find that we are able to get these emotions in a variety of ways, and may have but don’t need to have the object itself to feel the satisfaction. If I had no money I could work on a yacht to get that feeling, couldn’t I?

Ask yourself what it is you really want? What do you want to experience in your life and then think of ways how to achieve that.

Happy experience,

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