The Power Of Gratitude

With the holidays approaching, and the season of gift-giving and indulgence descending upon us, I want you to take some time out to think about what this time of year is all about.

No matter your faith or culture, there are times when we all start to think about the things we want – whether it’s a religious holiday like Christmas, our birthdays, or the start of a new year – and somehow we forget about the things we already have.

It’s estimated that 17% of the world’s population lives on less than around 80p a day. These people struggle to afford food, to clothe their children, put roofs over their heads. These are probably all things you have already but take for granted. These are probably things you wouldn’t dream of putting on your wish list.

When you see a commercial for a new gadget or video game that you ‘really need’, think carefully about what that means. Do you actually need this thing to make you happy? My guess is probably not.

When you pester your parents and relatives for expensive new clothes or the latest technology, you’re putting pressure on them to spend more and more money to make you happy. This time of year can leave many families struggling financially, as they try to put smiles on their kids’ faces. These debts can cause stress and worry for the year to come.

This December I’m taking a leaf out of Oprah Winfrey’s book, and I’d like you to do the same. She is a self-made billionaire who overcame incredible hardships, including racism, abuse and health problems in order to get to where she is today.

Oprah is one of my role models. She is a big supporter thanks for the wonderful things we already of giving have in our lives – she keeps a gratitude journal and writes down five things at the end of each day that she’s grateful for. Oprah says it’s the most important thing she’s ever done.

Rather than keep a journal, I’m keeping a gratitude Advent calendar. Every December morning, when I open my calendar, I’m going to think of five things from the previous day that I’m grateful for. It’s a great opportunity to focus on the positive things that happen and exist in your life and to set you up for the day ahead.

If you don’t want to use an Advent calendar, why not think of five things while you’re eating your breakfast or brushing your teeth? Make sure you express that gratitude to anyone who’s played a part in it – your dad for cooking you dinner, your friend for sharing her class notes, your teacher for taking some extra time to explain a tricky concept.

Keep the routine up for the whole month and think about how you feel afterwards. Did it make you appreciate the little things more? Did it help you to realise how many great things you already have? Did it improve your relationships with the people who matter most to you?

If the process works, why not keep doing it after the holidays have passed? I guarantee you the more you’re

thankful for the things you already have, the less you’ll notice the things you don’t. And you’ll experience more happiness too 🙂

Have a wonderful end to 2014 and a well-deserved holiday break. That’s it from Unstoppable Teen for this year – we’ll be back in January discussing self-confidence.

Be unstoppable!

Kevin Mincher

Click here to read the article I read from Oprah that inspired me to create this newsletter for you.

This book by Best-selling author, Rhonda Byrne, reveals the magical effect gratitude can have in your life.

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