A couple of years ago I was challenged by a mentor to write a three item Gratitude List every night. Three items, piece of cake, right? Not so much, I ended up listing the same five items over and over again- just in different configurations. Eventually my mentor decided, eyes glazing over, to suspend the challenge. I was clearly missing the point and was simply viewing it as an assignment to get through. Which brings me to the second way I revived my stale gratitude lists- by lengthening them.
“What if” I was asked by a friend “You listed 100 items instead of only 3?” Hmm..Interesting. Having to work with such a large number was overwhelming, but it had three surprising benefits. First-It allowed me to “see” things that I often took for granted. Second-I had to think out of the box and include things that before might have seemed too trivial. And finally, it generated a true feeling of gratitude. My vision had dulled, I had lost sight of my many gifts and a longer Grats List helped to sharpen my view.
I’ve gotten really creative, coming up with specialized 50-100 item Lists for different people, circumstances or institutions in my life. Some lists are easier to put together than others, but the end results are always the same: The process changes me, it redirects my focus and allows me to embrace every part of my life without reservation.
Have you ever been in a “Count Your Blessings/Grats List” rut? What did you do to pull yourself out?