30 days of gratitude challenge

Being a huge fan of self-imposed challenges for the betterment of my mind, body, and soul, I’m on a constant quest for creating them.  Recently, I had been feeling less than stellar with both my external and internal worlds which was the impetus for me to devise a 30 days of gratitude challenge to not only keep myself in a constant state of gratefulness, but to enhance it every day.  This particular one is a bit different from keeping a gratitude journal for one month.  Here’s why:

Day one starts with writing down ten things that you’re grateful for and increasing the list by an extra three per day (i.e., Day 1=10, Day 2=13, Day 3=16, Day 4=19, and so on).  By day 30, there should be 100 things that you’re grateful for.  If for any reason you miss a day, it is best to start over from day one so that your energy is fresh and optimistic.

I did in fact miss a few days due to the passing of my father because I felt it was too difficult for me to find gratitude when I was going through such a trying time.  However, when I shifted my perspective, I realized that adversity is actually the perfect time to see all of the abundance in my life so I attempted it for the second time with success.

When I first took on this challenge, I was a bit apprehensive that I wouldn’t be able to get past day 15.  Sure, it would be easy to write down a list of 30 things per day that I’m grateful for in my life, but to get all the way to 100 seemed ambitiously unattainable. These fleeting thoughts did make reappearances throughout the challenge but it only made me want to prove myself wrong.  Needless to say, I made it all the way to 100 things I’m grateful for with flying colors.

In fact, it got easier everyday to find gratitude for the blessings that I have in my life.  It made me find joy in the mundane tasks- from waking up in such a jovial mood because I’m alive to being able to shower with hot water.  The basic necessities that I don’t even put second thought into are the luxuries that others only dream about.

The water I brush my teeth with on a daily basis doesn’t even cross my mind because it’s clean.  That makes me much luckier than the 800 million people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water.  Having the ability to read makes me more educated than the 700 million people who don’t know how to read.  The fact that I’m breathing makes me better off than the 150,000 people who won’t make it through the day. Having money in the bank makes me richer than 75% of the world’s population.  Eating at least three meals a day makes me more nourished than the 800 million people who can’t afford food.

Even if you already keep a gratitude journal, I highly encourage you to accept this challenge as a reminder to remain humble, to be gentle with yourself and others, and to be at peace with where you are in your life no matter what your situation is because someone always has it worse.  Stay grateful…until next time.

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