Monday, January 30, 2012

Express Gratitude 1

You may have noticed that I am thinking on 12 Things Happy People Do Differently by Jacob Sokol this year, twelve things for twelve months conveniently enough, which is something that I can keep up with, because if you ask me, 1 Thing People Who Write Self-Help Lists Do is write lists with too damn many things, seriously, a list of a thirty or sixty ways to be fitter or happier or more productive does not help me help myself. So actually probably a thing that you could do to be happier is to be happier with fewer things that could make you happier.

Or to be less subjunctive, a thing that you can do to be happy is to be happy with things that make you happy. Which intrinsically means things that you have.

When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. Kinda cool right? So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness. And that’s without having to go out and buy anything. It makes sense. We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.

You don't have to stop there, but you do have to start there. Or as I standardly say, you don't have to do anything. Do what you want! I'm just saying and because I'm me, I'm saying it in chart form:

make you happydon't make you happy
have1. be grateful for this3. get rid of that
don't have4. then, get this2. be grateful for this

Do you want to know how you get things that make you happy that you don't have?

Pay attention, that's fourth. Don't skip!

1. Be grateful for things that make you happy that you have.

Is there a difference between being grateful and expressing gratitude, though. If you ask me, there's also an order to this:

  1. knowing what you have
  2. being grateful for what you have
  3. expressing that you're grateful for what you have

I'm taking all the fun out of being grateful, aren't I. Look, I'm not saying that I do everything in a totally linear fashion. I forget the word for when you attack something from all angles, but that's mostly what I do: grab at the whip end of a problem, which isn't just a whip but a cat o' nines. Maybe that's your thing, but try the handle sometime why don't you.

Anyway if you ask me, expressing gratitude like everything else comes in talking the talk and walking the walk forms. So expressing gratitude is partly writing in your journal or posting as your facebook status, I am grateful that the sweetie man has taken out the trash since 2008, but even more I think it's practicing every day like you're grateful for what you have, which is to say knowing what you have, which is what all the charts are for, and knowing what you need, and knowing what you want. And what you don't really need and what you don't really want. And not wanting what you don't really want. And not getting what you don't really want, augh to mindless shopping. All I know is, I get a lot more pleasure lately pruning away stuff that's extraneous to my life and appreciating the four really nice blooms that I've left on the branch.

But you know, maybe I'm just old! Maybe there's a time in your life when you're supposed to be greedily piling up clay on your armature and later you're supposed sculpt, uh apparently, your sculpture of a branch with blooms. I mean, that's what I did. Insofar as I am any kind of role model. How do you know which blooms you don't want if you don't try them—