One of the things I’m grateful for is the opportunity to travel a bit and meet up with like-minded souls. This year I’ve been to two terrific conferences already, and the third one — World Domination Summit – in now underway. Here’s what I learned at last year’s WDS about gratitude.
Are your first world issues getting you down? Try the 3 A’s of Awesome.
How do you create an authentic attitude of gratitude?
Hi there Magpies. Thanks for stopping by. Welcome to WDS Crib Sheet #2 – Neil Pasricha and The Three A’s of Awesome Living. When Neil Pasricha’s life came to a series of difficult turns, he struggled to master the blues and create a positive outlook for himself. He began a practice of writing a list of 1,000 Awesome Things. From making the right amount of pasta, to picking up a “q” and a “u” at the same time in Scrabble, Pasricha would pick one small delight each day and say; “Wow. That was awesome.”
1,000 Awesome Things is now an industry unto itself, which indicates how much our culture is longing to step away from the trend of being endlessly pessimistic about our “first world issues.” But how does one nurture genuine gratitude in oneself without becoming the equivalent of a Hallmark card?
Here are Neil’s Three A’s for Genuine Awesome Living:
1. Attitude. A negative attitude does not draw your attention to the small-and-awesome moments in your life. When times strike hard, Neil suggests that you grieve, and use your grief to see the future “with newly sober eyes.” These sober eyes don’t need to draw your attention to all that is wrong with the world. Rather this kind of sobriety can help you see what is truly awe-inspiring – a child who smiles at you in the grocery check-out line; the way your tea smells as it brews; the stranger who tells you your coat strap is hanging out your car door. Each of these things is awesome in that they inspire awe in us about joy, pleasure, and kindness.
2. Authenticity. I think this is what hangs us up the most about gratitude practices. No one wants to be Suzie Sunshine if, in fact, the rain is falling down. Neil suggests that being authentic about your small joys will help you connect to your truest self. Yes, there are hardships in your life. But this is not all of you. There is beauty there too – even if sometimes it is small and hard to see. Authentically acknowledging the beautiful moments in your day to day will help you feel more fulfilled, even in trying times
3. Awareness. Neil and I are both having a love-fest with awareness. In our busy culture, there is little time to just notice. We eat without tasting. We finish projects and rush to the next one without taking time to celebrate our accomplishments. We look up and the hour has passed, or the day, or the month. Neil suggest that you “embrace your inner 3-year-old” and learn to see the world for the first time – where every thing is wonder. Where much is miracle.
What about you, Magpie? How do you cultivate the awesome in your life? How do you live authentically into both the hard bits and the small joys? We’d love to hear from you.
P.s. When Neil mentioned seeing the world for the first time, this song by Seattle locals The Head and The Heart immediately popped into my head. So here it is my darlings. May you sing alleluia for the first time. (H and H, play us out…)