You never have been.
You never will be, either.
And neither will I.
I spent an entire year practicing daily gratitude. From May 2012 to May 2013, I wrote out a list of gratitudes to an accountability buddy every. Single. Day. (Thanks Ken, wherever you are, for putting up with my particular brand of weirdness).
Ken heard a lot of crazy stuff from me.
Some gratitudes were coherent and heart-felt, others were desperate and lonely grasps and setting myself back on course. Some were ethereal and spiritual and heady, others probably sounded completely pathetic and empty.
But every day, or every night, largely without fail, I would send them. I would churn out a random list of whatever popped into my head that I was grateful for.
And it had a profound effect on my life.
When I would struggle with something, have a bad day, feel anxiety, and experience anything uncomfortable or unnerving in life, I would reach for my phone and start listing out gratitudes.
While most of America was busy reaching for a bottle or a pill or food to cope with difficulties and anxiety, I had found a healthier outlet.
And like a workout that builds muscles, my strength in gratitude grew and developed.
I’d already considered myself a fairly optimistic, silver-lining type before I started this practice, but I became so good at it, that I think at times I made my friends want to puke.
I learned the hard way, that timing is everything when you’re telling someone something that they don’t want to hear – like why they should be grateful and what the potential unseen benefit of xyz terrible event might be.
But even with some bumps along the way,
Practicing daily gratitudes profoundly changed my outlook on life.
By the time a year went by, the Personal Transformation class I was a part of that started me on this habit, had been over for nearly 10 months (which by the way, if you want to profoundly change your life, spend some time in a personal transformation session with this amazing lady).
At that point, Ken politely told me to quit texting him my gratitudes (ok, not in so many words – I swear, he was super nice about it, and really, it was a miracle he was willing to put up with hearing my lists for that long at all).
But it was a crucial moment. I had a choice to make.
Should I find another outlet for continuing my daily gratitude practice?
Or did I believe that I had this gratitude thing down?
I felt uncomfortable for a while, and unsure what to do.
In large part I decided to wing it, and just continue to be more grateful in my daily life, without a formal practice.
I’d go through phases where I’d work again to incorporate an intentional practice back into my life, this time directing my lists to journals or text messages to myself.
But by and large, I grappled with the question, and the self-inflicted pressure of wanting to continue with a daily practice. “I have enough responsibilities in my life,” I would rationalize, “enough daily practices.”
Eat right, work out, meditate, ride my horses, get work done, write, have a social life.
Did this really need to be on the list, too?
It took me another entire year to realize that it does.
Because no matter how much gratitude you practice, you can never practice gratitude enough.
There’s no such thing as too much. And that in turn means that there’s not a single person on the planet that is doing it enough.
Albert Einstein, genius that he is, once said:
I think you know which camp I fall into. And I think you probably fall into that camp, too.
So do it with me, won’t you?
Practice daily gratitudes?
Because with all these miracles around, I’m certainly not grateful enough. And quite frankly, neither are you,