In his famous book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie shares an interesting story of a businessman trying to recover from a painful business failure that had left him in deep debts and on the brink of hopelessness.
One day something happened that radically transformed his life. As he walked down the street to borrow sustenance money he sought alternative means of earning a livelihood. Feeling dejected and weary, he saw a physically challenged man approaching him. He did not have both legs and was sitting on a wheel chair. He propelled himself with a block of wood in each hand.
As he tilted to lift himself over the carb on the sidewalk, their eyes met and the cripple greeted him with a beaming smile and a visibly high spirit, “Good morning sir, it is a fine morning, isn’t it?” This snap encounter transformed him instantly. He felt ashamed of himself. He realized how rich but ungrateful he was.
He had legs and could walk yet he was wallowing in pain, shame and feelings of worthlessness. Here was a man without legs who was happy and could afford a smile! He instantly realized how blessed and rich he was even though his business had failed and he had no money. He was amazed at his potential to turn things around.
The human mind often tends to create a mountain out of a mole hill. Even in the midst of the greatest challenges in life, you can find things to be truly grateful about. Your situation is hardly as bad as your mind makes you believe.
If you take a moment and reflect, or pick a piece of paper and write down your blessings this year, you will be amazed by the number of things you take for granted. End of the year is always a great time. It is a time of reflection, a time to take stock of events in the year. It is also a time to celebrate with others, especially those who have touched your life in one way or another. It is a great time to show appreciation to your loved ones, your customers, co-workers, employees, and even strangers. It is time to be grateful and appreciate yourself.
An attitude of gratitude is a double-edged sword. It benefits both the giver and the recipient.
Research suggests that by developing an attitude of gratitude you reap a full basket of goodies. You become warmer, friendlier, creative and productive. It boosts your self-esteem and worth. You attract good people and things in your life and achieve more.
You may not have achieved the annual target, or perhaps your business is on the verge of collapse unless a miracle happens. You may not be sure whether you will report to your job, or any other come next year. You may not have school fees for your children. You may not even have money to cerebrate this festive season….
This notwithstanding, you can still have several things to be grateful about.