I sometimes get discouraged in this publishing business. Like any other business, it has its ups and downs, and sometimes my emotions go up and down with it. My wife, Klassy Evans, gave me a very simple suggestion awhile back that really helps. She said, "Whenever you feel discouraged, think of something you're grateful for."
I've done it many times now, and every time it is surprisingly easy to think of something I'm grateful for, and it makes me feel better every time.
read the studies on gratitude, but I've always thought of it as a
project. It seems like work. I feel like I "should" sit down and write
in a journal for a specified length of time, or try to write down a
specified number of things I feel grateful for. That's how they do it in
the experiments, but of course that's because it's an experiment. They have to test quantifiable, measurable tasks in an experiment. That doesn't mean I have to.
as I found out, generating a little gratitude works well on the fly and
in my head just as well as it does writing it down in a journal. It's
not a chore at all — just a simple question to ask myself. It only takes
a few moments (just long enough to think of something). And as soon as I
think of something, I feel noticeably better.
I've found that if the first thing I think of doesn't raise my mood enough, I can easily ask myself what else I'm grateful for.
and I naturally have our attention on our goals and what we'd like to
attain in the future, and the mind naturally compares our goals to what
we have now. It compares what we have with what we want to have. That's motivating sometimes, but it can also make you feel demoralized or frustrated.
It is equally legitimate — and ought to get equal billing — to think about what you have (compared to others or compared to your past), or what you have gained, or what you are just plain glad about.
it the next time you feel discouraged or frustrated. Ask yourself,
"What one thing am I grateful for?" And see what happens. It's a simple,
all-purpose moodraiser you can keep in your back pocket and use the
hell out of.
When you do, you'll be happier.
Adam Khan is the author of Self-Reliance, Translated and Principles For Personal Growth. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.