It might seem a bit cliche to talk about gratitude during the holiday season. You might even be weary of what is often just flippant “happy talk.”
But today I want to take the conversation about gratitude to a whole new level. No, actually it’s not just the conversation that matters, I want to challenge you to take your practice of gratitude to a whole new level.
Gratitude changes your outlook on life. The practice of reflective gratitude unleashes joy. It can transform your life. John Milton wrote, “Gratitude changes the way we experience the world.”
Look, I know. So much of the time, exercises in gratitude flounder among simplistic platitudes. I am not talking about that kind of experience.
This past year God has been pressing me deeper into my understanding and practices of gratitude. I've been experimenting and in the process of my experiments discovered a practice that is truly life-giving.
That practice entails slowing down enough to identify one thing I am truly grateful for and then taking the time to go deeper with it. I take that thing I identified and ask myself, “Why am I grateful for that?” three times. Each time I ask the question it takes me down another level below the surface, below the obvious, and toward the discovery of profound meaning and significance.
My experience has been so profound, I want to invite you to consider joining me by experimenting with your own practice of gratitude. To get you started I have coalesced my experience into an easy to follow guide. I am calling it, The Gratitude Challenge.
At the core, my invitation is to start with a seven day commitment. Every day for seven days in a row, block some time to identify one thing you are grateful for and then go deep below the surface to reflect on all the ways it touches you.
How to participate in The Gratitude Challenge
1.) Download your copy of “The Gratitude Challenge.” This guide includes an intro and overview to the challenge, the four steps of daily best practice, what to do after the seven days, and twenty “Gratitude Prompts” to expand your horizon of topics to consider.
2.) Share your stories of how it goes. Email me with stories of your experience. I am building a special page in aboutLEADING dedicated to the Gratitude Challenge and would love to populate it with stories like yours.
3.) Invite others to take the Challenge. Send people the link to this page on aboutLEADING where they can download a free copy of the Gratitude Challenge instructions. I’ll be honest, I would love to see a hundreds and thousands of people whose lives are transformed by the disciplines of gratitude.
While pundits and comedians are working to out-clever one another with pithy ways to describe the year that wasn’t, I invite you to stand in a different posture. Rather than focusing on the hardships around us, I dare you to take the Gratitude Challenge.
What could be a better way to finish the year—and start a new one—than experimenting with a daily commitment to gratitude.
Download The Gratitude Challenge and get started today.