Author: John Kralik
I’m a huge supporter of Gratitude Lists, so this book was right up my alley. At the end of every day, I write down ten things that happened that I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s kind of a big deal, like getting an unexpected check in the mail. Sometimes it’s something small, like I had a really flavorful strawberry. (Seriously, the strawberries I had yesterday were so good.)
Doing this was exceptionally helpful to me when I was unemployed a few years ago. My contract was up, so I got let go. Purely business. Even though I wasn’t going to an office every day, life was good if a little financially unstable. So, writing a Gratitude List helped me handle the stresses of job hunting, and from succumbing to depression, thus giving up and only watching TV all day. Writing Gratitude Lists helped me keep doing stuff. I saw friends. I learned new career skills, and ended up with a new job after about two months.
There are definitely other times when having a Gratitude List has helped me keep my energy up. Getting discouraged from life is pretty easy. Gratitude Lists are a great way to keep focus on moving foward so you don’t get stuck only thinking about the bad, and then maybe giving up.
John Kralik found himself very close to giving up. Everything in his life was falling apart. Then, one day, he received a thank you card for a Christmas gift. He decided to react to the card by doing the same. He then resolved to write one thank you card every day for a year. It turned into a project of writing 365 thank you cards over 15 months. Projects like this sometimes have to be done in ‘spiritual’ days instead of consecutive days, but the point is that he kept doing it. His life then opened up. He stopped feeling so down at the end of the day. Focusing on the little positives helped him to focus on where there would be an opportunity to make his life a little better; a little more stable. Over the course of the year, Kralik managed to pull himself out of the dumps, and build a life for himself that he could be truly grateful for.
Some self help books tend to promise that their method will make your life better in a magical way. For me, Gratitude Lists were that magical method. I couldn’t figure out what it was about them that made my life better, and I guess I should write a thank you note to Kralik for helping me figure out why. It’s a tool to help me focus on opportunities to make my life something truly wonderful. If you can find a little thing to be grateful for, then you can see how that thing maybe will turn into an opportunity to make your life better. If a life journey goes nowhere, and you can figure out what lesson to be grateful for from that journey, then you can let it go and move on to other beneficial opportunities. ::coughforgivenesscough::
Kralik’s writing is lovely, and it’s a fast read. I’m grateful I read this book.