“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I recently came across an excellent method to help you get out of a negative frame of mind.
Are you a prisoner of your thoughts?
A book I just finished reading was “Prisoners Of Our Thoughts” by Alex Pattokos Ph.D. Dr. Pattakos was a student of Viktor Frankl. The well-known author of “Man’s Search For Meaning” as well as the founder of the Logotherapy School of Psychology. If you have not read “Man’s Search For Meaning” I would strongly suggest you do so. It is a book which had a tremendous impact on me. It opened my eyes to possibility. Dr. Pattokos wrote, “Prisoners Of Our Thoughts” with the intention of using the methods of Logotherapy in the workplace. To help us find meaning in our lives and work. Life and work without purpose is a difficult aimless path. I should know I did it for many years. In retrospect, it was a necessary journey or a “hero’s journey” where I had to wander lost for some time to find myself. I am grateful for the experiences.
Dr. Pattakos prescribed a simple method for changing your perspective from a negative unappreciative state to seeing the glass half full. When faced with a difficult or stressful situation grab a pen and paper or type it on your phone the ten things that you're grateful for by being in that situation. A great example in the book is where he demonstrates this method with a group who were in prison. When he would ask them to list ten things that they were grateful for because they were in prison, the typical initial responses would be stares. After a short time, the ideas began coming to them. Some of the replies were rather surprising. Here are a few examples. “I now know what I don’t want to do with the rest of my life.” “I can be a role model for others, so they don’t do what I did.” “I’m no longer homeless.” “I get to work out a lot.” And my favorite, “I've been reborn, and value life and freedom like never before.”
If people who are incarcerated can find ten things to be grateful for given their situation, what is your excuse? Train your mind to shape your life.