Recently in school, I learned what happy, successful people have in common. They have two qualities which make their lives more successful. In fact, they’ve learned to do two things that the 12 Step programs encourage us to do regularly.
The first is to focus on Gratitude. My first sponsor when mentoring me about how to live a life that I can be proud of, or at least satisfied with, required me to write a Gratitude List – every day. She required me to list 25 things each day for which I was grateful. Now this was in direct conflict with the philosophy of daily living with which I was raised. While almost painful to do back then, it has been a part of my daily ritual ever since. Thank God! Really – it changed my life to focus on good things and how blessed I am in my life.
The second quality is to practice Forgiveness. What forgiveness has come to mean to me is freedom. Yes – freedom from resentment, excuses, blaming, boring conversation, anger, and wasting time. Since I’m only human and still learning – who am I to be judgemental and intolerant and impatient and harsh. What forgiveness has given me is compassion, interesting conversation, engaging relationships, fun, and adventure. I just realized while writing this that I am describing myself as a happy person! Oh my gosh! What a blessing! I never used to be capable of thinking of myself as happy!?! I’m ecstatic just realizing it! Isn’t that great!?! See this is what gratitude has done for me – and it feels wooooooonderful!
I just noticed that I tend to exclaim frequently – with exclamation points. A sign of life energy. Something that I never used to have much of in my days. Anyway, as mentioned above it was comforting to learn that what the 12 Step programs encourage us to do, and what I keep learning to do – practicing gratitude and forgiveness – are rated the two most important strengths that lead to happiness and success. Hope they work for you too. If you are still considering whether to use them or not, just give it a shot and keep an open mind. Do the list for two weeks and see what happens. You deserve it.
Affirmation for the Day – ” I am grateful for today.”
Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.
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