What is the first thing that you think about when you wake up in the morning?
Maybe you’re like most people and you just want to go back to bed. How do you think you would feel if instead of thinking about how much you are dreading the start of the day, you instead started your day off with thoughts of the things in your life that you have to be grateful for? Like the fact that you are alive and that you get to spend another day on this beautiful planet that we live on? That’s an easy one. We wake up every single day with literally hundreds of things to be grateful for. Things like the ability to see, to taste, to touch, to smell, to hear, to walk, water, food, shelter, I could go on and on. The first thought that comes into your head when you wake up can have a dramatic impact on how the rest of your day is going to go. In a study done by the Mayo clinic they found that positive thinking can have the following benefits:
Increased life span
Lower rates of depression
Lower levels of distress
Greater resistance to diseases such as the common cold
Better physiological and physical well-being
Reduced risk of death due to cardiovascular disease
Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
When you become grateful and aware of all the blessing that you have in your life, you realize that there is far too much in this world to be thankful for to waste a minute focused on the negatives in life. When I was a kid growing up in San Diego I remember several times when we did not have water to take showers, electricity for the lights and fridge, and many times that we had to go to bed hungry. These are not situations that I look back on in sadness. It's the complete opposite actually. I am instead
eternally thankful for those experiences because they gave me a much greater appreciation for the blessings I currently have in my life. Taking a moment each day to assess the reality of our lives can change your outlook in a very positive way. In the words of Gandhi "your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny." If you wish to achieve greatness and live a happy and productive life, start first with the thoughts you allow to fill your mind. By cultivating an attitude of gratitude you will find that your life is filled with countless blessings and that your days can be as bright as you wish them to be.