Gratitude and the Power of Positive Thanking

From Lessons From My Brother Zig By Mary Johnson

I've been thinking a lot about GRATITUDE lately.  Maybe it’s that time of year – as we approach the holidays.  These are the times when we are called to express thankfulness for our blessings.  Or maybe it’s because I just re-read the book that Floyd and I wrote, Lessons From My Brother Zig.

Entitled “The Power of Positive Thanking,” chapter six offers an insightful lesson about living with a grateful heart.   It was a lesson that Zig Ziglar taught to Floyd Wickman early on in their relationship when he shared, “Gratitude is the greatest gift God ever gave us.”  It’s a way of shaping our lives and keeping perspective; it’s a way of finding peace.

Over the years, Floyd found ways of living the message he’d gotten from Zig.  Here are three quick tips that will help you live in gratitude.

1.  Say “Thank You” a lot.  It’s not a popular phrase right now in our world.  In fact, anyone who has been through a grocery checkout line recently probably heard, “Here you go!” or “Have a nice day!” or perhaps nothing at all.  Expressing our gratitude for service makes you AND them feel better.  It’s polite - in a society that often forgets its manners.  And most important:  it brings a smile to those who hear it and say it.  And smiles are a powerful force of good in the world.

2.  Give the gift of attention.  Our lives are so full and busy that it can be hard to be “in the present”.  We multi-task and rush from one appointment to another.  It slows us down to hold still, look into someone’s eyes and really listen to what they are saying.  Yet that kind of attention allows us to engage in their lives, to deepen our relationships with those around us.  Practice developing the habit of giving undivided attention to the people you care about.  Or even practice this talent on those you don’t yet know!

3.  Forgive.  Carrying around anger and hurt stifles creativity and joy.  It prevents us from living life to the fullest.  Harboring negative feelings hurts ourselves most of all.  Forgiving – even those who don’t deserve it, or haven’t asked for it – cleanses us and opens the gateway to gratitude.  It is a gift we give to ourselves.

When we are aware of all the blessings we have been given, we are better able to keep our perspective in the face of adversity.  Living a grateful life is a choice, a habit to be formed.  It means we stop taking so much for granted.

Count your blessings.  How high can you get the number?  Choose to live in gratitude today.

Learn more about the extraordinary lessons Zig Ziglar taught us and how they can change your life as well!

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