THE POINT TO GET TO
I believe that we cannot "get to" gratitude without fully understanding and accepting the "mountain" of blessings we have - and seeing everything else as minor in comparison.
The end goal is to "go through life with a great feeling of abundance, feeling safe in that I am way above my baseline."
WHAT IS THERE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR?
Practice well, so when you are having tough times where you wonder 'what is there to be grateful for?', you can automatically and easily bring gratitude and gratefulness to the fore.
It is essential for your happiness that you learn to "see", learn the skill of "gratitude vision". Without gratitude you cannot be happy. Gratitude vision is seeing "what is there" and knowing not to, unless in a solution mode, focus on "what is not there", and appreciating the value and incredibly abundant good stuff in life. There should be no energy wasted on stress about what is missing nor on losses.
Gaining and "having" the perspective on life, rather than just a list of what you are grateful for, is essential, for without that we lose sight of the overall picture. Start with What I Have For Sure Vs Losses. Gratitude is about seeing what is there and having the confidence that there is plenty - and it is necessary to remove the opposite, erroneous viewpoint. (Read Why Buddhist Monks Are So Happy.)
THE PROGRAM TO INSTALL GRATITUDE FULLY
And I'm not kidding. This is a serious must.
Week 1: Build a wealth of "what you have"
1. Compile your gratitude lists - 1st week. Spend an hour a day the first week and you'll have, by the end of the week, your gratitude lists set up and usable for reminders. Use the list in The Positives Portfolio.
Week 2: Set up your systems for installing gratitude
1. Implement the gratitude practice (3-5 things a day you notice and are grateful
for), for at least the first month, though forever would be good. Set up a Gratitude Journal.
2. Set up reference systems, so you can find and review what you have that you could be grateful for.
Print all your lists and insert them in the notebook.
3. Start the daily review for a month. Review the lists to "install" in your brain what there IS in your life that you HAVE. (As in What I Have For Sure Vs Losses.)
Continue reading until you are an expert in this most vital area. It's your life and this is essential for a happy life - so please do it! (If you feel other things are urgent, do those, too, but do not stop or interrupt this program!)
Week 3: Set up a whole new baseline (above which you are happy/grateful)
For 3 months: Reviews and installation completing
Review the gratitude items daily for a few months, then regularly, keeping the
Devote an hour a day to your gratitude efforts if you can, but no less than 30 minutes.
For the rest of your life: The daily 5
5 minutes of reviewing (and affirming) or listing what you are grateful for, and seeing what you HAVE, like really, like losses are minor and inconsequential.
When you've done the first month, email me and let me know the impact it had on your life!
(Also, if you have suggestions on how to improve this program and/or other programs to go to that might work better or in addition to this one.)
Not directly related, but tremendously beneficial is doing the visions and dreams you have for your life. It is an "expanding" your "what IS there" viewpoint, as it also "fills you up" with "positive stuff", "food" for life energy and appreciation. (Put them into your Reminders Notebook.)
Once finished with this program, then the Happiness section is a good one to go to and implement.
The "Forty Days And Forty Nights" Program
For forty days and forty nights, simply listen to or watch (Videoclips related to Gratitude) videos or audios for a few minutes every morning and a few minutes every evening, until you've got it in your neuronal pathways. You may wish to also (or substitute) do some writing in a journal of gratitude (see The Journals).
Write out all things you are grateful for and keep in a Reminders Notebook.
The gratitude letter (write and send a letter of gratitude)
The gratitude visit (write a letter and also deliver it in person and say it directly)
THE GRATITUDE PRACTICES
Giving thanks: For a meal, before it. (One of the great religious practices!)
Simply starting the day with: I am grateful for this day! (Create your own version, such as "Wow! I'm given anothe 24 hours! I am so grateful for this and having so much in my life!")