In her wonderful book, The Wealthy Spirit, Chellie Campbell describes how, when she was a girl, her mother taught her to play “The Glad Game.” On days when Chellie came home from school complaining about something — a bully on the playground, a harsh teacher, a skinned knee, or difficult homework — Chellie’s mom would hug her, kiss away her tears, and then suggest, “Okay, enough complaining. Let’s play ‘The Glad Game.’”
“The Glad Game” is another name for a Gratitude List. “The Glad Game” helps you focus on what’s right in your world today, instead of what’s wrong. Chellie’s mom was a very wise woman, teaching her that no matter what your troubles, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for: a sunny day, good food to eat, a loving family, a house to live in, a family pet to love, a handful of friends to enjoy, and much, much more.
Chellie would follow her mother’s suggestion:
“I’m glad I have you as my mom.
“I’m glad the weekend is almost here.
“I’m glad I have some nice clothes to wear to school.
“I’m glad I don’t have to share my room with my sister anymore.
“I’m glad I get to watch TV when I finish my homework.
“I’m glad we have pie for dessert.”
Playing “The Glad Game” is a terrific way to change your attitude in a hurry.
We all slip into self-pity once in a while — after all, we’re only human. The important thing is to cut short the pity party and shift into gratitude. An attitude of gratitude gets us much farther in life than complaining and self-pity.
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t
learn a lot today, at least we learned a little;
and if we didn’t learn a little,
at least we didn’t get sick;
and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die;
so, let us all be thankful.
~ The Buddha
“Thank you” are two of the most powerful words in the English language, but they may very well be the most under-utilized.
We are quick to complain, but slow to compliment. We don’t hesitate to point out what’s wrong, but completely neglect to point out what’s right. We’re eager to find fault, but reluctant to praise. We lament our woes, but overlook our blessings.
Esther and Jerry Hicks, in their book, Ask and It Is Given, write:
A desire to appreciate is a very good first step; and then as you find more things that you would like to feel appreciation for, it quickly gains momentum. And as you want to feel appreciation, you attract something to appreciate. And as you appreciate it, then you attract something else to appreciate, until, in time, you are experiencing a Rampage of Appreciation.
Don’t you just love that image? . . . a Rampage of Appreciation! Expressing our gratitude brings us more things to be grateful for.
No matter what’s going on around you, look for things to appreciate, and then express your appreciation. Express it to other people and express it to God.
If you want more to be grateful for, start by being more grateful.
When it comes to life, the critical thing is
whether you take things for granted
or take them with gratitude.
~ G.K. Chesterton, English-born Gabonese
novelist, essayist, and poet
Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted — a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. ~ Harold S. Kushner, author
A thankful spirit is a healthy spirit. As the twists and turns of life lead to feelings of being out of control, sometimes our attitude is all that we have control over. The following reflection may help you develop a thankful attitude. Sometimes life is all about how we look at it!
I am thankful for . . .
* the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
* the taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.
* a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
* my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.
* the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.
* all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.
* my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.
* the alarm that goes off early in the morning hours because it means that I am alive.
* the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.
* weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.
* the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.
The above reflection (A Thankful Spirit) was written by Nancie J. Carmody
and first appeared in the newsletter of First Presbyterian Church in
Lyons, New York. It was reprinted in Family Circle magazine in 1999.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it
is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~ William A. Ward, pastor, author, and teacher
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.
~ Johannes A. Gaertner, German-born poet,
theologian, professor of art history
©2011 by BJ Gallagher.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hampton Roads Publishing. www.redwheelweiser.com
If God Is Your Co-Pilot, Switch Seats: Miracles Happen When You Let Go!
by BJ Gallagher.
BJ Gallagher is an inspirational author, speaker, and seminar leader. She is the author of Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Other Women, and A Peacock in the Land of Penguins. BJ conducts seminars and delivers keynotes at conferences and professional meetings across the country. She is also a blogger for the huffingtonpost.com and appears regularly on radio and television. Visit her website at www.bjgallagher.com