By Julie Oshins, “Play It Forward”
“Trade your expectation for appreciation and your life changes instantly.”
I get daily emails from “ The Universe” and inspirational quotes. This Tony Robbins quote came on World Gratitude Day, and it has me thinking about Gratitude.
You might ask what does gratitude have to do with being a DJ? Well, if you are on this site for professional DJs, you DJ for a living! You get paid to play music, to entertain at milestone events, people are usually happy, and 99% of the time there is CAKE! You are one of a small percentage of people that get paid to do what they LOVE! Congrats!
And chances are you’ve got your daily struggles, bills are due, you need an equipment upgrade, you’ve got to deal with that belligerent drunken guest, or maybe your event calendar is sporadic . . . which can make you forget how good we got it. We’ve all had times when we’ve struggled and encountered obstacles. Gratitude can dissolve the resistance that occurs in our life.
Like an easily distracted toddler, your brain has limited capacity to focus. It cannot concentrate simultaneously on negative and positive stimulus, which makes it impossible to be grateful and ungrateful at the same time. When you begin distinguishing things to be grateful for, your mind will start to scan for more things to be grateful for because your brain looks for things that prove what it already believes to be true. It loves confirmation! And dopamine reinforces that as well. (* see benefits of gratitude chart below)
So you see, the practice of gratitude engages your brain in an intentional cycle that powers new cells and nerve patterns, which help to reshape your neural pathways. It’s much more than an attitude or a mood- it is positive input into our mind-body system that leads to amplified physical and mental well-being.
To make the effects permanent, you need to establish gratitude as a habit so it becomes your default way of relating to your life.It’s a way of Living. It’s a choice. You mind is always choosing anyway, at any given moment, might as well choose that the Universe is for you, instead of against you.
Here’s some simple practices you can incorporate, to develop an attitude of gratitude:
- Keep a gratitude journal or calendar. Everyday write 5 things you are grateful for. Bonus points, try not to repeat.
- Bless your food. Express gratitude that you have good food and clean water easily accessible!
- Become involved in a cause that is important to you. Donate money, time or talent.
- Write a handwritten letter to someone who has impacted you that you’ve never properly thanked. Send by mail or hand-deliver; don’t email. Thank the vendors you like working with or the industry leaders who have mentored you.
- Turn everything into a gift. Think of that daily latte as the gift of coffee. The gift of a smile. The gift of a working car. The gift of laughter.
- Acknowledge how awesome you are! Instead of getting caught up in how you were wronged, take a moment to think about what the challenges have taught you. What do you now know about yourself? How have the hardships served you? Be thankful for the blessing in the lesson.
According to Oprah Winfrey,” The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have”. Think of this as an experiment that just may result in an increase in business and overall life satisfaction.