Maintaining Gratitude

by Adam Martin - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 799 Share This!

I recently wrote an article about the importance of incorporating affirmations into your routine - positive statements about your life that you repeat out loud every single day. When approached with freedom, you can make these statements whatever you want them to be. Where do you want to be in terms of your career? What would you like to achieve financially? What do you want out of your relationships? Put those "wants" into a present tense declaration as though they are true right at this moment and voila! You have a powerful affirmation that utilized correctly will help you to manifest your desires.

Perhaps you struggle with this concept, because these affirmations feel like lies. The skeptics among us find it challenging to believe that repeating something over and over can help to make it so. My feeling is this: do it anyway. As you start to feel the effects in your life, your confidence and levels of belief will increase. But I also want to talk about a supplemental tool from which we can all benefit enormously. That tool is Gratitude.

It is critical that you cultivate a sense of gratitude for everything good that exists in your life NOW. Where affirmations speak into the future you plan to create, gratitude is about being thankful for what is currently so. In her wonderful book, Zero to Zillionaire, Chellie Campbell suggests, "Thank whatever Higher Power you believe in for all that you have. Gratitude is the only thing that studies have proven increases happiness."

Let's face it. We live in a society that is all about focusing on what we don't have. Commercials, magazines, movies all remind us that we can be thinner, wealthier, smarter and have more STUFF. Here's the thing. I don't believe that it is bad to strive for more. Goals keep us moving forward - they give us a sense of purpose and direction. I've said before that when it comes to finances, we should all strive to create wealth, not just because of what it will mean in our own lives, but because of the difference it will allow us to create in the lives of others. However, consider how much more powerful it is to strive for more from a place of happiness with what you have already created, than to constantly struggle to improve, while depressed by a perception of all the ways in which you have failed.

We get more of what we focus on. If you start consciously paying attention to your thoughts, it may surprise and frighten you to realize how much time you spend thinking about everything that is wrong in your life and beating yourself up for everything you should have done differently. What I'm suggesting is that you take time every day to start focusing on what is good, what you have done right, what you love about who you are and what you have. Personal growth expert, Anthony Robbins, suggests starting everyday with a gratitude exercise. This may not come easily at first. You can focus the exercise by "working from the inside out", either speaking out loud or silently to yourself as follows. First, state all of the things you are grateful for, focusing only on yourself. "I am thankful for my health." "I am grateful for my commitment to regular exercise." "I am grateful for my beautiful singing voice." (Or your ability to paint, or your work ethic, or your intellect - whatever you feel are positive traits you have.) Really take the time to think of everything you can. Perhaps you are a brilliant mediator. Do you consistently strive for and achieve high levels of integrity and honesty. Are you kind, a loving mother, a good friend?

Now you are going to expand your circle of gratitude. Move outwards to your family and close friends. Perhaps you are grateful for all your parents did to raise you, or the health and happiness of your brothers and sisters. Do you have friends that are always there for you - who love you - and make you laugh? Continue the exercise, just growing the circle wider and wider to encompass everything for which you give thanks in the sphere of your co-workers, then your community, followed by society and even the world.

The fact is, if you do this exercise genuinely, not making things up, but sincerely looking at all that is good, it is literally impossible to come away without feeling happy, positive and truly energized. Imagine what would be different if you truly made the commitment to start your day, every day, this way.

We can all find things to be grateful for. Once you get started, the floodgates will open and you'll discover that having an "attitude of gratitude" can actually become a natural state. And from that state - absolutely anything is possible!

Related Tags: money, finances, planning, business, career, artist, financial, creative, art, actress, actor, acting, artistic

Adam Martin is an active Assistant Director (most recently on "Transformers", to be released summer 07), Producer and Director based in Hollywood. He also started Abundance Bound, Inc, ( - Financial Education and Planning for Actors and Artists") and his mission is to develop a community of artists able to pursue their creative goals free from the crushing weight of financial stress. Adam and his wife, Miata, are coached by Loral Langmeier, author of the best-seller "The Millionaire Maker", and apply what they learn with her to their clients within the artistic community.

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