“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things. ” -Henry Miller
Tom comes from a family of highly successful business-people who taught him to climb the ladder of success by criticizing him whenever he did something wrong. He learned early that life is “hard work”, that it’s a “dog-eat-dog world”,and that to get ahead he had to never make a mistake.While he did succeed,including getting an MBA from a top business school,he was never happy. To him,work seemed only drudgery; he spent much of his time noticing what he did wrong. Most of the time he felt lifeless and depressed.
Finally Tom went to a therapist to ask for a prescription from Prozac. But at the therapist’s suggestion, he agreed to first try something else for one month.Before he started work in the morning,he was to ask himself, “What do I feel grateful for in my life?” In this way he reminded himself of his resources, strengths and talents. Then at the end of the day, he was to finish work by asking, “What did I do today that I feel good about?”
Do you know what he discovered? The answer is Gratitude.He says “Gratitude is a natural upper.It works so well that now,whenever I feel my energy going down during the day I ask myself,what do i feel grateful for in this moment?” By concentrating on what he’s doing right and what he appreciates about himself, Tom overcame depression and has begun to look forward to work.
Gratitude makes us feel good because it helps us widen our frame of vision. Under depression or stress,we can develop tunnel vision,seeing only the problems that come our way. We can get overtaken by a heavy,dark feeling of despair.But when we experience a sense of gratitude,we give ourselves a dose of mental sunshine.Suddenly the world seems brighter and we have more options.
And the greatest thing is that as we experience the mental sunshine of gratitude,we begin to glow with sunshine ourselves.Suddenly not only is the world brighter, we are too.Soon we notice that our lives are full of people who want to be around us because we emit peacefulness,happiness and joy.
Author-M J Ryan
Book-Attitudes of gratitude