Gratitude might sound like some New Age, insipid nonsense.
Or a great way to cripple your ambition. After all, if you appreciate what you have, why aspire towards anything greater?
The science is in: neither view is true. Gratitude strengthens your mind, both from a mental health perspective and a raw brainpower one.
It trains your mind to focus on ways you’re already succeeding. Even if you’re a million kilometres from your dream life, you’re still doing something right. Pay attention to that and you’ll get more and more of it.
Before long, you’re living the life of your dreams.
So, yes, gratitude is powerful.
And so is its opposite.
By “opposite”, I don’t mean ingratitude. That’ll derail your personal growth faster than almost anything.
I mean opposite in a different sense.
Think about it this way: gratitude is appreciating what you already have. One opposite of this is appreciating what you don’t have yet.
You could call that anticipation – and it’s darn powerful too.
A handy exercise to train your gratitude is, before going to bed at the end of the day, reflect on what went well. What did you do right and how did you succeed today?
The mirror of the exercise, which you can do as well, is to begin the day with anticipation.
What do you think you’ll do well today?
What are you looking forward to?
Is there anything you hope to achieve or accomplish?
It’s an insanely powerful way to begin each day.
By focusing on what you want, you prime your mind to achieve it. You start to look for ways to reach it – both consciously and unconsciously.
In a way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You see yourself doing something amazing, which makes you more likely to do it.
It’s quick to do – you could do this in no more than a minute.
And you don’t need any special equipment. Your imagination will suffice.
Don’t let this get in your way. It might be quick, simple and easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t life changing.
It’s not an impressive, cutting edge, expensive, difficult or awkward technique.
Which means it takes discipline to do. The smallest things are the easiest to drop.
Add it as an appointment in your calendar. Stick with it until it becomes a habit.
And commit to anticipating fantastic things every day.
You might notice the benefits on the first day. If not, it won’t take you long to approach your life with renewed vigour.
So that’s one way to enhance your life.
But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?
Like, say, 60 of them?
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