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Gratitude – A lesson From the Wizard of Oz

October 5th, 2010 1 comment

In 1939, Hollywood filmed a picture called the “Wizard of Oz”. It became a legend and has been shown thousands of times around the globe. One of the most unique things, which set it apart from the other films in that year, was the use of black and white in the beginning of the movie. The black and white landscape of Dorothy’s Kansas symbolizes the lack of “something” in her life.  I believe that “something” is gratitude.

Without gratitude, it feel like all the color has been sucked out of our lives.  Everything is shades of gray.  Depression seeps in and we are plodding through our lives with little joy.  Our lives can feel as though it is a painful task that must be completed.  Living in a world without gratitude is as drab as the scenery in Dorothy’s Kansas.

Gratitude is the paint brush in our lives.  When I am truly grateful for something it makes my world feel brighter. I notice the green of the trees. The color of the flowers. It is the emotion of feeling fully awake and alive.

Every day we are given opportunities to be grateful. They may come cloaked as events we couldn’t possible feel gratitude. we could have career difficulties, or finances aren’t good. There are many things in our every day happenings we could choose sadness, depression and fear.  Or, we can choose to feel grateful. It is all a matter of perception and choices.  It is possible to find something good in even the most horrendous situations.  Napoleon Hill said,   “Every adversity, every failure, and every unpleasant experience carries with it the seed of an equivalent benefit which may prove to be a blessing in disguise.”

Even when our lives feel filled with heavy thunderstorms. Full of lightning, loud thunder, heavy rain and damaging winds. We can chose our perception of these events.  We can realize our lives are like nature.   The sun will come out and the earth has been nourished with life giving rain.  The clouds will move on, leaving us a beautiful, colorful rainbow.  It takes a storm to make a rainbow.

The business man, J. C. Penney said it best, “I am grateful for all of my problems. After each one was overcome, I became stronger and more able to meet those that were still to come. I grew in all my difficulties.”

Gratitude is an emotion which needs to be practiced. We can practice it as we write in our journal.  We practice when we tell our families what we enjoy about them.  We can look for the best in situations even as the storm is raging.  That is when it isn’t easy to remember the rainbow yet to come. But, if we are diligent, and practice gratitude every day, our perceptions will change and we will be rewarded with even more things to be grateful for. I like to think of gratitude as our direct link with the Divine.

Dorothy had to work so hard to get home.  She had many lessons to learn in Oz.  She finally clicked her ruby slippers together while repeating over and over, “there is no place like home”.  what was her attitude when she finally made it back to Auntie Em and her family? It was gratitude. Let gratitude bring the change from black and white to color in your life.

Gratitude works best when it it expressed.  What are you grateful for? Leave me a comment and share with all of us.

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Napoleon Hill – Success Principal #7 – Positive Mental Attitude

November 25th, 2009 2 comments

We are closing in on one of the greatest holidays of the year.  A day that is dedicated to giving thanks.  It is a day of getting together with friends and family, dining on a feast and remembering all the things that we are grateful  for. Thanks-giving should be an every day thing.  Gratitude is important to our positive mental attitude.

The 7 minute video for today from Napoleon Hill is about our positive mental attitude.  It is, not only, imperative to our success in life, but to our mental health as well.  He gives us a game plan for practicing our positive mental attitude every day.

Enjoy the video and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

5 Tips to Happiness

August 12th, 2009 No comments

happy peopleWhat is happiness?  This seems to be a question that people have been contemplating for generations.  The framers of our constitution believed it was so important, they put pursuit happiness as one of our rights in that well thought out document.

Happiness is different for different people.  We humans pursue it with gusto.  Many industries have sprung up in that pursuit.  If you eat this food you will be happy, or spray on this cologne, meet this person, have this car…the list goes on.  The elements of pursuit is as different as there are different people.  Is it just a feeling?

Even though the knowledge of happiness can be elusive, there seems to be some common denominators.  Here are a list of 5 of the more common ones.

1.  The happiest people have comforting and close personal relationships.  They tend to spend the least amount of time alone.  They pursue personal growth and relationships and judge themselves by their own set of rules and not by what others have set for them.

2.  Happy people have their own “flow”.  Meaning that, they have activities that when they are involved in them they lose track of time and stop worrying.  Their activities give them a feeling of worth.  Do you remember when you have done an activity that while doing it you were completely lost to everything but what you were doing?  When you were done, do you remember that happy feeling of pride as you looked at your accomplishment?  That is flow.

3.  Happy people are in touch with what they feel grateful for.  That is one of the biggest areas that can enhance one’s happiness.  Counting our blessings is not just a hokey thing your mom might have told you to do.  It is a verifiable fact that an honest sense of gratitude is responsible for that warm happy feeling that has the potential to light up your life.  Gratitude amplifies your sense of happiness.  They have an attitude of gratitude.

4.  Happy people forgive easily.  There is nothing that can trap a person in unhappiness longer than not forgiving.  Whether it is yourself or another person, forgiveness is meant more for the person who is forgiving than the person being forgiven.

5.  Happy people give more.  They give more of themselves and their belongings.  Once again, just like forgiveness, the person who is giving is more blessed than than the one who is receiving.

Happy people have unhappy moments just like anyone else.  They lose people to death, they lose money, bad things happen to them just like other people.  Happy people seem to have a reset mechanism that in spite of their unhappy moments they can reset to being happy.  Happy people don’t seem to hold on to their unhappy moments. They natural gravitate to the remembrance of a happier moment.

I don’t believe that happiness is hereditary.  I believe it is a learned response to life.  You can choose to look at the good things or the bad.  You can choose to dwell on your happy moments or the dark and twisted ones.  That is your choice.  But, your pursuit of happiness will be protected by the constitution, so I say…pursue it with happiness in your heart!

Leave me a comment about why you are happy!