Inspired gratefulness. Where does it come from?

Roughly thirty-five years ago today, I experienced a day that in most instances might be one of the happiest days of a person’s life. However, within twelve hours, what perceivably to others looked like a delightful situation turned out to be the most nightmarish year of my life. Yes, I’m going to leave you wondering what happened. Spoiler alert, there is a much better ending than anyone would have thought there would be.

My point is that today is a day for me to be reflective.  Instead of dwelling on a particular day and year of my life, and that I would have at times rather erased from my memory, I can now look back on it with perspective that time has granted me. In fact, I can tell you that as I think about that day, I can now be inspired from the experience. I’m also confident that some of you reading this article might have had a similar feeling about one of your experiences. I hope you do.

When I hear the words inspired and gratefulness, I think of them as being great word partners. The word inspired can be interpreted quite differently by individuals, and so can being grateful. Both are often influenced by circumstances, some of which are in your control. While perhaps others might not be.

Gaining perspective based on the influences of other people, time, places or your attitude can all contribute to whether you feel inspired each day. Being grateful can also be impacted by your perspective, mood or potentially circumstances you may not realize you have more control over than you give yourself credit.

An example of what I am referring to is based on a true-life story of a 7-year old boy and his Mom who are both homeless and living in southern California. Their circumstances were documented by a west coast reporter. As I read through the story, there were so many instances for the Mom to re-write the narrative of how she and her son’s life were playing out that year. However, the challenge was that she was not willing to accept advice or help that could have changed their short and long term circumstances.

Although the Mom and her son were homeless, it didn’t mean that they were not grateful. They were grateful for people attempting to help them, but the Mom was not inspired to be able to move beyond her circumstances to improve her and her son’s life at that time.

Do I think the Mom could have been inspired or have found inspiration to change her circumstances? Potentially, but since untreated mental illness was identified as part of the reason the Mom could not, or chose not to change her situation, they both suffered from her lack of her ability from her circumstances to make good decisions.

Circling back to the earlier part of my story, I have learned over the years to find inspiration from places I never imagined. My personal history of the anniversary of today’s date is one of those places. Having deep perspective on my experience, and the year following that day, I know I wouldn’t have achieved all of the milestones in my life had I not endured, and come out the other side of where I was thirty-five years ago. For level setting, my situation did not personally involve a mental health challenge, chemical or physical abuse challenge. That’s all I’ll share with you.

However, from my experience, I am able to provide you with some inspirational suggestions based on a particular year in my life, as well as the cumulative years following it. I hope that some of them will inspire you.

  • We know time does not stand still, so always use the benefit of looking towards the future to envision how your circumstances can and will be different if you allow them to be.
  • Ever since I was young, I have had at least one domestic animal. Sometimes it was simply a small frog I captured outside and placed into a shoebox for thirty minutes to observe and admire it. Pets can provide unlimited inspiration, as well as motivation for you on a daily basis.
  • Depending on where you live, you will have different access to being out in nature. However, even if you live in a city, most of them have at least one park you can enjoy. The point is to get outside every day for a minimum of 5-20 minutes to experience the numerous benefits of being in fresh air.
  • When you are outside, take time to notice and admire the amazing beauty of nature. It will also serve to remind you of how your inside surroundings are typically far less interesting than what you can observe when you are outside.
  • Seek out people who make you smile, laugh or remind you not to take yourself too seriously. These people and their gift to help you do this, are like medicine for your soul.
  • Everyone knows we need to take good and sometimes better care of ourselves. When we ignore the signs of us not doing this, the effects can be negative and cumulative. However, it is possible to reverse most of the things we might be doing which don’t contribute to increasing our personal health (e.g., diet, exercise, sleep).
  • Helping someone else serves multiple purposes to inspire and motivate us. One of the things it does is to take our mind off of ourselves. When we help someone else, it also makes us feel better. When we care for others, this generally contributes to doing so. 

My list of suggestions could go on and on, but the intent of providing you with some ideas is to kick start your mind to thinking about other things you can do to help you to be more inspired and grateful on a regular basis. Enjoy the daily journey of making this happen for yourself, and indirectly others.

Tags: #Advice #Inspiration #Motivation #Business #Grateful #Howtobegrateful #Howtogaininspiration #Beinggrateful

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