For those of you who enjoy working out, you have several reasons to do so. I would bet one of those reasons is simply because you want to feel better. If you enjoy lifting weights, you probably do it because you want to build muscle. Not that I want to be the next bodybuilder, but I wouldn’t mind sporting some buff biceps.
Maintaining gratitude works the same way. If we want to lose 30 lbs., we eat right and work the treadmill every day. If we want to build muscle, we lift the appropriate weights to do so.
If we want to keep gratitude at the forefront of our lives, we have to work at it.
I was on a kettlebell training roll when I got sick and was no longer able to do strenuous workouts. Due to the lack of consistency, I lost the muscles I had built up. No more buffness for me. The same goes for gratitude. If we don’t remain consistent in our workouts, we’ll lose what we’ve built up.
Maintaining gratitude is something we have to work toward. We don’t just wake up with it.
Tim Sanders writes in Today We are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence, “Gratitude is a muscle, not a feeling. If it was a feeling, you’d feel it all the time, now wouldn’t you?”
Here are six ways to build your gratitude muscle, from principle three of Today We Are Rich :
Tune In – Sanders recommends being still so you can focus on the objects of gratitude that are so easily tucked away in the busyness of life. Ask God to help you notice things more clearly.
Dig Deeper – Think about what others would think about your situation. Would they see you being grateful, or would they see that you’ve lost it? Don’t just focus on the basic things to be thankful for.
Start Your Day With Gratitude – Wake up daily making gratitude your first thought. “Your waking moments set the tone for the entire day. An amazing resource that’s been life-changing for me in making gratitude part of my first thoughts is The 4:8 Principle from Tommy Newberry.
Express Your Gratitude – Don’t assume people know you’re thankful. I can do a lot of assuming if I’m not careful. People don’t just “know” that you’re thankful. Sanders says, “Keep gratitude locked up, and you’ll convince yourself that either you are just lucky or you didn’t deserve the help you received.”
Take Your Gratitude Public – Tell the world how thankful you are. Don’t keep it locked inside. Shout it from the rooftops! OK, I seriously dare you to shout it from the rooftops. I’ll bring the bailout money if people think you’re crazy and call the authorities.
Turn Your Have-To’s Into Want-To’s – We all have to do things we don’t enjoy. We don’t enjoy standing in line at the DMV. Thank God that you have a vehicle to get registered. We don’t enjoy paying almost $4 per gallon at the pump. Be grateful for the paycheck that allowed you to fill up to drive to the job you are blessed to have.
Boy am I preaching this to myself, especially number 3. Sometimes I go through these phases where sleep is something I long for. It’s easy for me to wake up and grumble about the fact that I didn’t sleep again and have to get ready to work. Just this morning, in fact, I woke up from a restless night, but instead of pounding the pavement with complaints about how tired I was, I said out loud, “I choose joy.” Then I sat and had coffee with Jesus and told him there’s no way I could make it through this day without His strength.
It’s time to get our gratitude workout on, my friend. I’m in it with you!
Join the conversation. Out of the six listed above, what are you doing great at? What do you need to work on?