Gratitude lists have been the self-development tool of choice over the last few years.
If you do them right they can be incredibly powerful but if you get gratitude wrong it can leave you out in the cold.
Here’s what I mean…
I once followed a business/life coach who would write a list of 100 things she was grateful for.
At first, this looked like a nice healthy thing to do.
That is until she shared the kind of thing she wrote.
She often referred to things like the flowers in the garden, the birds in the trees, the sun shining, the waves lapping at the beach.
All good stuff right?
Yes, I agree it’s all good stuff but what if one day it rained. The birds took cover and there was no bird song coming from the tree – a typical grey working day for example.
You end up missing your daily dose of gratitude and feel flat.
So you have to search for more things… maybe the school run went well or was invited to join a group of school mums for a coffee.
Again it’s all good stuff.
But what if the school run leaves you frazzled or the mum group didn’t see you and so forgot to ask you?
You need to search harder and potentially miss out on your daily dose of gratitude.
Because this is all external stuff.
This particular coach was being grateful for things she had no control or influence over so it was all based on fate, luck or chance.
It far, far, far better for you to stop with this external gratitude and look internally.
It can be tricky, to begin with.
Maybe even uncomfortable.
But once you’ve cracked it, it’s life-changing.
Change up your gratitude for the things you can control and influence like …
I am grateful for the home I have made. The garden I keep. The money I earn for the food I eat. The exercise I take to keep me strong and healthy. The family I have created.
Internal gratitude over external gratitude is the healthier option every time.
What are you grateful for today?