No matter how stressful the day might be with six children running around, my mother's always exhibited an optimistic outlook on life. Her spirit lives in me. Her attitude of gratitude is also ingrained within her namesake, my oldest daughter, Sara Malka, who taught me a valuable tool for living an inspired life.
One day, as I was driving in Stamford, I called my home and Sara Malka answered the phone. She explained that she couldn't speak at the moment since she was on hold on the nationally syndicated Dennis Prager Show. Within minutes I heard the broadcaster on the radio in my car say, "Welcome, Sara from Connecticut." He asked callers to share the source of happiness in their lives.
The Gratitude Journal
When asked about her secret to maintaining gratitude, my daughter shared that every night she recorded an expression of gratitude in a journal. I had no idea about her holy habit. To her credit, she doesn't say at the end of every day, "Thank god, I am alive," and the next day, "Thank God, I am alive," and so on, but she finds a new source of joy to share every day.
At the time of the call, she had accumulated 770 entries. Wow! Most important, she reviews fifty of them every night to foster her sense of gratitude.
What Are You Waiting For?
Leading an inspired life requires a disciplined approach to cultivating an appreciation for God's gifts. All we need to do is stop, reflect, and write.
What are you waiting for? Start today.
Start a gratitude journal today.
Write in it every day. Don't repeat the same thing over and over. Review your list every day. Count your blessings.
Participate in the fifteen-minute exercise, "Mental Subtraction of Positive Events"
Consider the ways in which positive events in your life might never had taken place and reflect on what life would be like without them. (Watch the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, for inspiration.)
Write a letter of gratitude to a friend or relative who has always supported and inspired you.
You could email it to them, but consider actually mailing it to them through the post office. What a pleasant surprise for them to receive a handwritten letter rather than another bill or advertisement.
Describe an out-of-the-ordinary event in your life.
What led to it? What about it made you grateful?
Describe an experience when initial disappointment was transformed by hindsight and gratitude.
How did your understanding of the event change? Why?
Identify three significant events in your life and trace the path to their fruition.
Were the events by chance or design?
Identify three people who've made a difference in your life. How did you meet them? By chance or design?
Most of us don't pause to appreciate the little things in life -- chance meetings and encounters and other seemingly random events. We move from one day to the next, one meeting to another, without exploring the connections between them. How did this person come into my life? how would my life be different if I'd been born in a different place? We're stuck in traffic and come late to an event or even miss it. How do we respond? All of these situations and encounters can be written about and explored in a gratitude journal. Try it. You may find yourself f grateful for more than you thought!
Book by this Author
What Will They Say About You When You're Gone?: Creating a Life of Legacy
by Rabbi Daniel Cohen.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen will help you rise above the distractions to tap into the best version of yourself. Through a unique blend of storytelling, practical exercises, and profound wisdom, he will teach you seven transformative principles to reverse engineer your life so that you are living with purpose and passion, so that the person you are today more closely aligns with the person you aspire to be.
Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book and/or download the Kindle edition.
About the Author
Popular motivator, mentor, and inspirational speaker, Rabbi Daniel Cohen’s unique blend of authenticity, humor, wisdom, and insight helps anyone better navigate contemporary society and lead a life of legacy. Rabbi Cohen has served in the rabbinate for over twenty years. He is also co-host with Reverend Greg Doll of the nationally syndicated radio show "The Rabbi and the Reverend" Sunday at 11:00 AM and evenings at 9 PM. For more information, visit www.rabbidanielcohen.com
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