How a year of being thankful led to big changes in a woman’s life.
When editor and producer Kaplan (A Job to Kill For, 2008, etc.) made a New Year’s resolution to take a full year and show more appreciation in life, she didn’t realize what a difference that pledge would make. Since she had participated in a survey funded by the John Templeton Foundation on the idea of gratitude, she knew that “less than half the people surveyed said they expressed gratitude on any regular basis.” Determined to conduct her own experiment, she began by focusing on being more grateful to her husband, and she discovered little comments made a huge difference not only in her own attitude toward him, but life in general. She then extended her expressions of gratefulness to include her children, income, career, and health. Each week, she made a point of writing down the things, events, or people she was most appreciative of at that moment. Kaplan’s plan to be more grateful is approachable for anyone. Her conversational tone is encouraging, like talking to a good friend who’s having a great day and wants to share it with you. These days, instead of grumbling about the weather or other things that used to bother her, the author finds the humor and bright side of each moment. Having a positive attitude has been proven to change the neural pathways in the brain and rewire a person’s automatic responses. By practicing the art of gratitude, a person can make a subtle change in life, and the ripples can have far-reaching effects. “If we put good into the world,” writes the author, “maybe, just maybe, it starts to be returned.” There’s no harm in trying, especially when one reads how successfully it turned out for Kaplan.
Simple, effective procedures that can be easily incorporated into even the busiest lifestyle.