Close your eyes for a moment and think of something you simply cannot do without. Anything, even as basic as your morning cup of coffee. Now send a silent thanks to whoever made that cup possible.
Science has it that the human brain is wired to focus on the negative. What a terrible way to go through life! All that it does is gives rise to anxiety and depression. Gratitude on the other hand changes you in inexplicable ways. As A.J. Jacobs author of Thanks a thousand discovers when he attempts to find out whom he needs to thank for his morning cup of coffee. In this story of his journey from bean to cup, he knocks on the most unexpected doors round the world, and ends up meeting and thanking over 1000 people. And he is still counting!
Follow a gratitude trail of your own. We do
Newton echoed the words of thinkers as far back as the 12th century when he said: “If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. We see more, and farther, than they, not because our sight is superior, but because they raise us higher.
As A.J. Jacobs journeys to discover who is responsible for his morning cup of coffee, he ends up meeting and thanking over 1000 people. And he’s still counting!
Thanks a thousand is more than just a book on coffee, it enjoins us to be grateful for everything around us, starting with the food on our plate. It explores in greater detail the ideas expressed in the Ted talks of the same name, in which Jacobs gives us tips on how to go about the business of gratitude:
- Interact with your barista: make eye contact and really ‘look’ at the people you interact with in your daily life. Grateful living is possible only when you realise that other people are doing things for us that we cannot do ourselves. Come on, do it! It takes just a few seconds of your time. Surely you can spare that!
- Slurrrppp your coffee: savour whatever you are doing, in that moment. Gratitude is closely related to mindfulness. It shifts our perception of time and[smart-product id=”null”][smart-product id=”null”] slows it down, melting away life’s pretty annoyances.
- Find the masterpiece: Marvel at the ingenuity of whatever you have at hand. Notice that every object you encounter in your daily life requires or has required the effort of a million human beings, immeasurable effort and often, centuries of evolution
- Fake it till you feel it: when your lips say ‘thank you’ maybe you don’t really mean it. Do it anyway. You’ll see, it changes everything!
- Practice six degrees of gratitude: They say that your thoughts can change your behavior. Try it the other way round. Express gratitude through your actions, and you’ll be amazed at the change that brings in your life.
The book itself is a bit of a letdown after the Ted talk. The main ideas are repeated, and after genuinely thanking the first few people, you get the feeling that the author has got caught up in the numbers game. And things get a bit mechanical as he determinedly goes about thanking 1000 people, intent on justifying the name on his book. In fact, towards the end, he seems to expect a return thank you, from the very people he seeks out to thank, which quite defeats the purpose.
Ignore that though, and thank the author for bringing your attention to the power of gratitude, and you’ll savour your cup of coffee a whole lot more. You see, gratitude does change everything!
At Pristine, we recognize the immense contribution of the thousands of people involved in our products. From our farmers, who do some of the toughest, often most thankless jobs in world, to our ancestors, who discovered our indigenous nuts, seeds and grains, veritable storehouses of energy. We owe them all, for the very food on our plates. And we send them our silent thanks, every day!