I have created a word that helps me see a clear picture of what it means to live richly:
Greatfull is my vision of a life full of greatness, achieved through learning the power of gratitude.
Read that again – using gratitude to accomplish greatness.
Can we learn how to harness gratitude as the primary fuel to live the life we choose; to live a great life?
I learned this lesson over a cup of coffee.
Normally, before going to bed every night, I set the coffee timer. It not only saves me time, it also allows me to wake up to a warm cup of coffee as I begin reading and writing. Last night, I didn’t bother – straight to bed.
Two weeks of 4:45am had caught up to me and I was worn out. Even before Liz put MJ down, I was gone. I beat my 3-year-old to bed.
This morning, as I stumbled into the kitchen still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I smelled a fresh pot of coffee waiting for me.
As the slow realization made its way into my cloudy, early morning conscious, I realized:
She embraced my routine.
This may sound simple, but its impact sent shockwaves through my soul. It’s so much more than just coffee; it showed me my wife’s heart. Before she went to bed, she took the time to consider me. It was an act of gratitude.
“Gratitude: the act of being grateful; thankful”
“Grateful: warmly or deeply appreciative”
- Gratitude is a Choice:
Liz’s actions started with choosing to value me. If she wasn’t grateful for me or my craziness, she wouldn’t have cared to start the coffee. I saw below the surface.
Her choosing to be grateful AND act upon it showed belief and support. That’s what gratitude does; it ignites belief and hope. When hope catches fire, watch out. Nothing ignites the soul of a man like belief in and support from his wife.
- Gratitude is the Currency of a Rich Life:
Liz had to step out of her world and make a choice to engage in mine. She was wiped out too, but chose to act differently.
Once you start to understand the concept of gratitude, your eyes focus and grateful acts become routine.
- Gratitude Leads to Joy:
Not only did Liz’s action bring me joy, but I know that reading this post will bring her joy too. Joy comes from gratitude and fuels a cycle that feeds on itself.
Joy is found in the process of learning to be grateful. I learned this through the challenges of raising three kids born 15 months apart. Once I stopped wishing away the tedious parts of raising them and being grateful for the opportunity to be their dad, I started to find joy.
How are you choosing gratitude in your life?
What are your stories of being grateful?
In my series, Monday Matters, we share YOUR stories and answer YOUR questions. My goal is to share these and as I do, I need your feedback. Share them with me on Facebook or Twitter and connect with me @MattHamSr or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate you joining with us on this journey of living richly! Matt