My Gratitude List

By Noah Graff

I am like many people in this world, despite having so many things I should feel grateful for—living in a country with so many opportunities, being born into a well-off family with parents and siblings who love me, having a good career, etc… I still find myself plagued by negative self-talk and being annoyed by what I label as “First World problems.”

After getting a recommendation from many self-help books and podcasts I started making a gratitude list almost every morning since July of this year. Most of the time I write down 7-10 things into my iPhone. Often the lists repeat themselves with things like, “I’m grateful for my wife Stephanie, I’m grateful for my family, I’m grateful I woke up in a warm home, I’m grateful I am healthy enough to get out of bed, and I’m grateful I get to create blogs and podcasts and broadcast them to thousands of people.” I have found that when I make these lists I genuinely feel better throughout the day than if I had not done so.

Noah’s Gratitude list on his iPhone

Right now I’m listening to a book by A.J. Jacobs, a favorite author of mine, called Thanks a Thousand. The book follows Jacobs in his quest to thank 1,000 people who contribute to his morning cup of coffee. He personally thanked the barista, the coffee farmers, the people from the water company, the people who build the skids to haul the coffee, the people who cut down the lumber that makes the paper for the coffee cups—you get the gist.

Jacobs discovered that when he told people he was grateful for what they did he felt happier.

In a podcast Jacobs quoted a Benedictine monk who said, “Happiness doesn’t lead to gratitude, gratitude leads to happiness.” It sounds paradoxical but studies by psychologists have shown this to be true. Studies have also shown that people who are the most grateful are those who help others the most.

Maybe you feel crappy today. Maybe things are just not going well in your life right now. Consider making a gratitude list or just telling someone that you are grateful for them. You may be surprised how you feel afterward.

Question: What three things are you most grateful for right now? (I would appreciate it if we refrained from politics.)

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9 thoughts on “My Gratitude List

  1. John Griner

    I am grateful for the air that I breath, the shoes on my feet, and the roof over my head. When I am in a funk, I give thanks for these 3 simple things. It tends to lift my depression and I can get out of bed, and go about my day without the negative mental chatter.

     
  2. Victor

    Thanks, Noah.

    Right now I’m grateful that I don’t have any pain, that I can usually feel peace inside myself whenever I slow down enough to take note of it, and that I like to help others.

     
  3. carol kelley

    I’m grateful for my family & friends, I’m grateful we have chosen to share what we have, I’m grateful for forgiveness given and received.

     
  4. r in nyc

    No politics? That limits my listings. 😉
    I will Say we are still blessed with some Freedoms and Liberty.
    Including the ability to express our thoughts, opinions and Blessings here.

    Thank you Noah!

    So Thanksgiving is coming…
    A Thanksgiving thought to ponder:
    If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep … you are richer than 75% of this world.

    If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace … you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

    If you woke up this morning with more health than illness … you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

    If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation… you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

    If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death … you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

    If your parents are still alive and still married …
    you are very rare, even in the United States.

    If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful … you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

    If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder … you are blessed because you can offer healing touch.

    If you can read this , you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

    Have a good day, count your blessings, and pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

     
  5. Lloyd GraffLloyd Graff

    Noah, I am so grateful that I get to work with you. When the son teaches the father, and both can listen to one another and agree and disagree without rancor it is a blessing.

    I am grateful to belly laugh playing Scattagories with my family and getting skunked by my 13 year old Granddaughter.

    I am thankful to be alive and holding hands and hugging my wife often every day. What a gift.

     
  6. Bruce Renwick

    I’m thankful for the hug and kiss from my wife this morning.
    I’m thankful for 4 wheel drive that got me through 7 inches of snow this morning.
    I’m thankful for a God given healthy body.

     

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