Start 2019 with gratitude. You’ll see it changes everything!
Just close your eyes a moment and think of something you simply cannot do without. It could be anything, even as basic as your morning cup of coffee. Now send a silent thanks to whomever it was who made it possible.
A.J. Jacobs author of Thanks a thousand does just that on his gratitude journey from bean to cup, as he goes knocking on some of the most unexpected doors round the world.
Follow a gratitude trail of your own. We do
Science has it that the human brain is wired to focus on the negative. But what a terrible way to go through life! All it gives rise to is anxiety and depression. Gratitude on the other hand changes us in inexplicable ways.
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, possible because of the hard work of farmers, who tackle one of the toughest, often thankless jobs in world, under some pretty tough conditions. Jacobs gives us a few tips on how to go about it:
- 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 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.
After reading Thanks a thousand you’ll savour that cup of coffee a whole lot more.
You see, gratitude changes everything!