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Personal Best Karate

Ways to Practice The Art Of Being Thankful

Posted: May 17, 2019

By Master Christopher Rappold

Most people have heard the expression “The Attitude of Gratitude,” but beyond knowing the saying how do you ensure it is a part of your consciousness? I see gratitude as a key ingredient to being and feeling our best and it doesn’t have to just be once a year during Thanksgiving. In fact, practicing the daily dose of gratitude may be the best antidote for dealing with the struggles and pressures that face us all. Thanksgiving merely provides a scheduled opportunity to help refocus our perspective rejuvenate our desire to get in touch with this perhaps the very best version of ourselves.

I know for myself that when I come from a place of being grateful everything and everyone else around me seems to improve. Does it really improve? Naturally in many cases things don’t magically change, but what does change is my perspective and most of the time this is all that is necessary.

In planning for one of the busiest months of my calendar I offer quick list of six random items to remind us of how much we all have to be grateful for.

1. Your health: Ask anyone who has poor health, without health, many dreams and goals are compromised, be thankful that in most cases this is within our reach and in our control. Yes this is a big item to be thankful for!

2. Your country: If you’ve had the chance to travel to another country, you will become keenly aware of how fortunate we all are to live in the United States. I find that most people that criticize our country have never had the opportunity to travel outside and see that most of the things we complain about are trivial by comparison.

3. Your thoughts: Maybe the greatest freedom in the world! In the book written by Victor Frankel called, “Man’s search for Meaning” which is an accounting of his time in the Nazi concentration camps he makes a realization that despite the tremendous physical abuse he withstood, he had no control over the physical torture and abuse of his physical body, but no matter what they did to him they couldn’t take his thoughts. With great pride and an empowered feeling of control he protected his most valuable asset that no one controlled but him. Be sure not to take this for granted. Like the saying, “the person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read” so too is the person who takes his mind for granted and doesn’t use it for maximum good and monitor it health and use.

4. The place in your life where you find yourself: Some say the place in life you find yourself is exactly where you are supposed to be. Accepting this as true keeps you from feeling cursed due to an unpleasant situation and keeps you asking yourself, “what am I supposed to learn from this?” By asking this question your focus shifts to growing as much as you can from your present circumstance regardless of whether it is where you want to be. And if you find yourself in great place in life then take it as a sign that you are on the right track.

5. Life’s challenges: Also sent to you, most of the time as an unwanted gift but necessary for you to grow. Negative people, events, and situations provide you incredible learning opportunities to be better yourself, without them you would not grow. Remember the say, “Good timber does not grow with ease, the stronger the wind the stronger the trees.”

6. The choice of creating your daily disciplines: 
You have the freedom to choose how you spend your time:
Watching TV or reading a book. 
Rushing to get dressed or getting up early for an unhurried start to your day. 
Exercising daily for a recharge or not making it a priority 
Drinking water or soda to quench your thirst 
Counting your blessing or thinking of what you don’t have

Where you are, is largely the result of your daily disciplines and you have the freedom to choose… choose carefully. 
Your daily disciplines lead to your destiny.

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