Gratitude

I once worked at a window factory. My job was to weigh and load windows into a truck. I had never paid attention to the windows in buildings prior to working there. After a year of working at the job, I found that my mind would casually notice the windows in buildings as I drove down the street. I began to automatically estimate the weight of the windows as I passed by. After a year of focusing on windows at my job, I had trained my mind to notice windows.

This phenomenon repeated itself after I worked at a job cutting down trees. My job was to find straight trees that were 8 to 10 inches in diameter. I noticed that after a year of working at the job, whenever I hiked through the woods, my mind would instantly focus in on trees that fit the description.

Whatever we train our mind to focus on, our mind will look for those things. This doesn’t happen instantly. It happens through constant repetition and training. There are many Apps and journals that exist to help a person focus on gratitude. The key to all of them is that they train the mind to pay attention to what there is to be grateful for. They do this by requiring you to write down, document, and take notice of the things that matter most.

When we focus on what we are grateful for, we notice more of the things that matter to us. The negatives of the world still exist, but our mind shifts away from them and focuses instead on the positives. Except for extreme situations, there is always more positives that exist then negatives. In general, we focus on the negatives because that is what we have trained our minds to do. We can retrain our minds to focus on what we are grateful for. This brings a feeling of peace.