How Gratitude Controls the Universe

Some people, when they hear about ‘gratitude’ just roll their eyes and assume it’s all wo-woo.

How Gratitude Controls the Universe

How can an interior attitude have any effect on the world around them, much less on themselves? They might begrudgingly admit that gratitude might affect their mood and mental attitude to the point of having some benefit on their outlook, but that’s as far as they’ll go. And yet many times these same people will also go out and spend their money on lottery tickets or other gambles, placing faith in something much less effective and much less powerful than gratitude: Simple luck (and ‘luck’ that is usually heavily weighted against them).

The Secret

You may have heard of a best-selling book called ‘The Secret.’ In simplistic terms, this book teaches that a positive attitude will bring good fortune your way because the Law of Attraction that governs the universe means that ‘like attracts like.’ In other words, if you are positive, positive things will come to you.

Many people regard this as spurious, and argue that maintaining a positive attitude and good things happening to you are simple coincidence. However, those who have embarked on a journey of gratitude – like those who use our Appreciation Station, taking a moment every day to contemplate what they are grateful for with a note – know better. The simple fact is, gratitude inspires a positive attitude, and a positive attitude does attract positive things. Here’s how. Read more

Gratitude and Training: Do Sweat the Small Stuff

For runners, the marathon is always the goal.

Whether you’ve done zero marathons or fifty in your life, there’s always another marathon: Worse weather, higher elevations, more hills. And every year, you’re older, and your legs are more beat up and your knees are stiffer, and the training seems to get harder and harder.

You’re waking up super early to avoid the sun or the heat or because it’s the only time you get each day to train, and sometimes nagging injuries and spiking run times make you feel like it’s all a waste, and no one appreciates it anyway – your friends and family who don’t run, or don’t run like you do, don’t understand what the big deal is. They don’t get how the challenge and the solitary achievement define you.

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50 Things I Appreciate

50 Things I Appreciate (In no particular order)

Sometimes, it can be hard to get started with gratitude, so I thought I would share 50 things I appreciate – I am sure many of these will apply to you too.

As the habit is developed, you will become grateful for things you might not have previously noticed throughout your day…

“All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We think being unhappy leads people to complain, but complaining leads to people becoming unhappy.”  {Dennis Prager}

  1. Today. Each morning when I wake up, I say thank you for being given a new day to live
  2. Sunshine. I must be solar powered… I get my energy from the sun
  3. Access to fresh, clean water
  4. My family of entrepreneurs
  5. Legs that allow me to run
  6. Making my friends laugh
  7. Finding a new cafe that sells almond milk lattes
  8. Nature. It gives me perspective and a sense of calm
  9. Recycling, ‘cos it feels good
  10. My education and the ability to read Read more

How mindfulness can make running relaxing and easy

Running can be relaxing and easy.
But it comes from the mind not the legs.

StrongHealthyRunI absolutely love running. I love the freedom, me time, fitness, sense of calm and achievement it brings.

I do find it interesting that I can run the same course twice, a few days apart, and one day feels enjoyable, easy and fun, whilst the other day feels tough and I can’t wait for it to be over. Have you ever experienced this with running or another exercise?

So what’s the difference? The hills haven’t grown and your fitness hasn’t really changed in the few days…. which means the cause is your mindset.

Have you ever been in a group training session thinking “this is it, I need a rest, I am at my limit” then the trainer says “come on, 5 more reps or 30 more seconds” and somehow you find it in you to see it through? Yep, mindset again.

Here are a few tips to transform your mindset when running, and make it a more enjoyable experience. Read more

2015 is the Year of Love

I have one goal this year.GoodNotShould
To love myself more.

Nurturing myself to peak performance, rather than pushing myself to peak performance.

In 2014, I pushed myself way too hard and by the end of the year I was totally burnt out, physically and mentally. One day, I cried for a whole yoga class. Just because I was so damned tired.

I spent a lot of time and money with health practitioners trying to put Humpty Gracey back together again. But money won’t fix the problem unless you deal with the source. And the source of the problem was that I pushed myself too hard in my pursuit of perfection. I worked too much on things that weren’t aligned to my passions and purpose and wasted time chasing perfect.

Just to be clear, I am not saying 2014 was a shit year. Far from it. It was amazing! I launched a new business, raised over $15,000 in crowdfunding, ran three half marathons, started a new job, organised several large events, learnt how to meditate, travelled, experienced birthdays, engagements, babies and weddings.

And those are just the ‘noteable’ events. My practice of gratitude meant I appreciated so much more in my daily life than ever before, and I think ultimately this mindset is what kept me going. Even on the hardest of days I was grateful for something, if only the lessons I learnt.

But 2014 was really freaking hard because I made it hard. I said mean things to myself when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, then pushed myself even harder to achieve more. Read more

How to overcome another ‘overrated’ New Years Eve

New Years Reflections

On New Years Eve, we spend time reflecting on the past year.

Our minds usually wander to our new years resolutions, which we typically use to gauge how successful the year has been.

For a brief moment we get excited about how awesome the year was going to be with everything we wrote on the list, before we remember we achieved less than half our resolutions, meaning that we feel like a failure. Possibly the reason many of us get so drunk!

In years gone by, this was certainly the case for me. My resolutions list was as long as my arm with vague wishes – a sure-fire way to guarantee disappointment.

This is probably why a lot of people feel New Years Eve is overrated – despite getting dressed up, drinking champagne and watching fireworks, there is a distinct feeling of disappointment in the air which kills the good vibes.

So how do we combat this? The secret is not to become more efficient, multitask or master new ‘life hacks’. It is actually really simple and much more fun…

We need to train our brains to focus on the positive and remember everything we have achieved, loved and been proud of, rather than the things we failed to achieve. Positivity breeds positivity just like negativity breeds negativity.

You can decide 2014 was really disappointing or really AMAZING and either would be true because your thoughts are your truth.

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The Difference Between Gratitude and Giving Up

The Difference Between Gratitude and Giving Up

 

Happy with moreLiving a life of gratitude has many benefits – proven medical and emotional benefits. But many people continue to be doubtful, either because they have never made a conscious effort to truly embrace gratitude as more than just a vague concept but as a lifestyle and core philosophy, or because they have made an unfortunately common mistake of conflating the idea of gratitude with a hopeless resignation and acceptance of their situation.

In other words, some people find themselves in bad life situations, and they hear about gratitude and so they say to themselves: I should be grateful, because it should be worse, and then follow that up with a feeling that being grateful for what they do have means not striving for anything better.

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Have You Been to the Gratitude Gym Lately?

Working the Gratitude Muscle

Buddha

When you speak of gratitude as a constant, not a variable, people usually ‘yes’ you quite a bit, nodding and agreeing ‘absolutely’ with what you’re saying. But in practice it can be very difficult to keep a sense of gratitude foremost in your thoughts as you go through your life, even after learning about how gratitude positively affects every aspect of your life.

There are a few main challenges that can challenge anyone’s sense of gratitude:

• Separating things to be grateful for from life’s disappointments and conflicts isn’t easy – many people find it hard to be grateful for some things when other aspects of life aren’t going so great.
• That healing sense of gratitude often fades under the routine of life – work, emotional conflicts, finances, raising children, etc.

The real problem isn’t with your sense of gratitude or ability to keep it fresh in your mind: It’s in assuming you can go from zero to sixty on the gratitude scale without any work. The real secret is to treat gratitude as a muscle, and work it.

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Gratitude: The Fountain of Youth

Gratitude: The Fountain of Youth

KennedyLiveWhen you read something about how gratitude can slow the ageing process and turn back the clock, you might be tempted to dismiss it.

But before you do, try a little experiment: Think of a time when you had some trouble in your life. It doesn’t matter what it was, just a time when you needed help, were desperate and unhappy – and someone came to your rescue. Maybe it was financial. Or emotional. Maybe someone gave you some advice, or just did something nice for you when you really needed it. We all have those stories in our lives.

Now, think about that moment when you realised you were saved. The flood of relief and, yes, gratitude, that filled you. Remember how good it felt? How energised and excited you suddenly were, when just moments before you were overcome by stress and anxiety? Remember how that stress and anxiety caused physical symptoms – headaches, muscle aches, sleeplessness, nausea?
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Developing a Habit of Happiness

Happiness Training

Anyone who’s ever run a marathon, or known someone who’s run a marathon, knows that you don’t just wake up one day after spending the previous decade eating snacks and watching TV, leap out of bed, toss on your beat-up old runners and run the course. It takes months and months of training leading up to the big race, even if you’re a fairly accomplished runner already. You have to have a plan – a training schedule, a diet, and intestinal fortitude.

It might surprise people to know that the same can be said for happiness. People sometimes seem to think they can simply will themselves to be happy – that they can just leap out of bed after spending the previous decade depressed and dissatisfied, shake off the doldrums and start tossing genuine smiles around. But you need to train yourself to be happy just like anything else – and the training should be centred on gratitude. Read more