We were sitting at the dinner table talking to our son about how news can be skewed based on what people want you to believe or hear. Not fully understanding how, he explained that in his American History class, they watch the morning news on CNN and have to take notes about the facts. Not opinions but facts.
“They are just facts, so I don’t understand how the facts can be skewed,” he pleaded with us.
Let me explain using dad as an example.
Dad has qualities that are beyond amazing. They light me up when I see these parts of who he is, and they make me wish more people in the world could be like him. They are facts about his personality.
Dad also has qualities that drive me absolutely insane. Insane to the point that in a second of seeing them, my blood starts to boil and my mood completely changes. These are also facts about his personality.
And to be honest, I know he feels the same way about some of my qualities. The only difference is that he’s much better at keeping the ones that drive him crazy to himself.
“Here’s the thing,’ I told him. “I could share just the facts with you, and which facts I choose to share are powerful enough to make you believe he is the most charming, amazing husband a girl could ever ask for or a complete douche that you can’t believe I’ve stayed with for this long.”
We all have the ability to bend the facts based on what we chose to focus on. And what’s even more pertinent is the fact that what we tend to focus on shows up in our life more often. This is the basic rule of the law of attraction.
So you’re probably wondering, how in the world do the facts on CNN morning news relate to gratitude? Here’s how.
Gratitude is one of the most simple but transformational things you can implement into your life to improve it’s quality. And just like the example above about the multifaceted qualities of a person, life is no exclusion to the rule.
The lens through which we chose to view life becomes our reality. That means that when we actively seek out things to be grateful for, we train our brains to notice more of the good when they come along.
The fact of life is this; we can see shit in almost any situation. It’s true. We are so good at finding things to complain and be miserable about. It’s so much easier to just wallow in our misery, especially when it’s been our go-to solution to coping for most of our lives.
But the other fact of life is this; we can shift our minds to see the blessings in almost any situation too. Many of the same events that we find ourselves complaining about can be turned into something to be grateful for or a lesson that we can grow from.
As we go through life, there are many circumstances that seem dire, unfair, or just flat out miserable, but we need to be actively looking for the blessings in every event rather than being consumed by the negatives. The world is a very negative place and can completely devour you if you aren’t on top of your gratitude-game. True story. I know because I’ve been there. Let’s be honest, I think we’ve all been there.
Below are 2 things that I have applied in my life to make gratitude the lens through which I chose to view life.
- Replace any complaint with “I choose to…”
If you’ve never practiced gratitude before, start by changing your tone around complaining. Every time you catch yourself complaining about something, turn the complaint into something you can be grateful for by changing your choice of language.
For instance, every time I go to my meaningless serving job, my initial instinct is to bitch and complain about how much I hate it. And it’s true, I do hate it. That’s the fact. BUT…when I change my tone around that same job, it sounds like this. “I choose to go to work today. I don’t have to go. Nobody is forcing me. It is my choice. My kids learn self-sufficiency by my going, and I get to make a few extra dollars for play money. There are many people who can’t find jobs right now or who can’t work because of health problems. I am blessed to have this job because I am able to get time off when I want it, and I don’t have to work full-time. Do you see how everything changed when I began my statement with “I choose to…”? When we take responsibility for the life we are living by acknowledging that we chose to do certain things, we are naturally more grateful because it forces us to ask why we are doing something.
- Be specific
A. There is a huge difference between saying “I am grateful for the food on our table” and “I am grateful for this hamburger you made tonight. It’s cooked perfectly. It has the crunchiest lettuce, the most flavorful cheese, the onion isn’t overpowering. Everything about it is perfect.” The more specific you are about what you are grateful for, the more you begin to really appreciate what you have. Get detailed. It also helps you to figure out the things you really enjoy. Clarity is accomplished when we are specific. The more specific we are, the more clear we become. (And that applies to most things in life…not just gratitude).
So the next time you’re watching the morning news, think about gratitude. Think about how what we focus on can change our reality. Change your mindset around the things that aren’t serving you. When you find that you something is bogging you down, take a better look at it and change your mindset around it. Stop approaching life as if it is happening to you. Notice that your life is all a choice and part of that choice is choosing to be miserable by complaining or choosing to be grateful for what life has given you. And another thing…when we are grateful and happy, life gives us more things to be grateful for. It’s the law of attraction