It’s easy to be grateful for things that are good and are obviously a blessing. Family. Great friends. A stable job (if you have one). A job you love (if you have one). Your dog. Your cat. Sunrises. Netflix and microwave (in my case).
Serial entrepreneur and best-selling author James Altucher once talked about a difficult gratitude practice, a habit that forces him to be grateful for the things that are difficult.
He doesn’t ignore the pebble in his shoe; he is grateful because of it.
For example: say you have a job you hate, you might think this: “Well, I may have a job I hate, but at least I have a job, and I’m grateful for that.”
Or this: “My job sucks but at least I’m healthy and I’m grateful for my health.”
Whereas Altucher would say this instead: “My job is a pain and I’m grateful for it because…”
And he works hard—sometimes very hard—in finding the thing about his difficult situation for which he is sincerely grateful.
I’ve decided to adopt this practice myself. I know already this would be a challenge, but that’s what makes it interesting, isn’t it?
My work isn’t political and I don’t comment on political matters on Second Breaks. But I do want to be transparent with you, as it is part of who I am.
Friends of mine know that I’m a registered Democrat here in the US. You can imagine, it has been a difficult few days.
As we enter Thanksgiving week here in America, I thought it was the perfect time to apply my new “difficult gratitude” practice.
Here’s what I came up with:
I am grateful for this challenging time because it is pushing me to define—clearer than ever—who I want to be and what I’d like my work to stand for.
There you go.
More news later as to how exactly I’m applying these things that I’m grateful for (so you know these aren’t empty platitudes). I’ve already started working on it and I’m so excited to share it with you.
What’s on Your Mind?
What do you think about this difficult gratitude practice? Have you heard about this before?
Do you do something similar?