With the holiday season upon us it’s the perfect time to reflect on all of the things in our lives that we’re grateful for. So often we only focus on the obvious without stopping to recognize all of the little moments in life that we take for granted yet are very much worth appreciating. I recently came across this article by life coach Michael Hyatt which talks about how a simple shift in your choice of vocabulary can change our whole mindset around gratitude and make us happier, more productive people. Even when we’re fortunate to have incredible opportunities, out of habit, we often speak of our opportunities as though they’re burdens. For example, I was complaining today that because family is coming to New York last minute for Thanksgiving I now have to cook when I wasn’t planning on it. But the reality is I get to cook for my family! It’s a privilege and a blessing to have my family who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like come to visit! Or I was telling a friend how I have to spend my holiday weekend working on a revised book outline for a book publisher. But that’s a privilege too – I have a publisher who wants to publish a book of mine – what an honor! It’s a small shift that makes a big difference. Hyatt recommends three simple strategies to help make these vocabulary and mindset shifts. First, be more aware of your vocabulary and make an effort to use more positive sounding phrases in regard to your daily obligations. Next, abandon the phrase I have to… The simple language shift of saying I get to instead of I have to helps us better recognize all of our gifts and good fortune. Finally, notice the change in your attitude as a result. The more grattitude we express, the better we feel and the more productive we are. And with that – I’m so grateful that I get to write this blog! After nearly 9 years you’re still here reading and I appreciate it beyond words!
Photo: Oko Okoku