Tag Archives: how to stay young. think young

Developing and Nurturing an Attitude of Gratitude

Earlier this week I touched on the subject of gratitude.  I am so grateful for all that I have and all the experiences I have had in my life.  I am one of the lucky ones who married early and found the one person with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, ill-health took my husband and left me to manage and navigate the rest of my life on my own.  But I am profoundly grateful that I found that one man.

I am grateful for my two adult children and their four strong sons; I am grateful for the support offered by my wonderful family and friends.  I could continue in this vein for pages but that would bore you.

So what I am now suggesting you do is get a piece of paper and write down all the things for which you are grateful.  Don’t forget to add the small things; we all have so many reasons to be grateful.

Here, to get you started is the beginning of a list

  • The warm and dry house that protects me from the elements
  • Wonderful friends
  • My caring and supportive family
  • Fresh water to drink
  • Ability to walk
  • Food to put on the table
  • The money in the bank
  • Living in a free country

Now you get the idea start compiling your own list.  Don’t be surprised if this runs to around a hundred things to be grateful for.

I also tell my family and my clients that you have a gratitude muscle that needs to be exercised just as the other muscles in your body.  Each day take a look at your list and add anything you remember to it. Then at the end of each day write a list of the five things for which you are most grateful.

And even if you have had a bad day, just persevere and you will find some things to be grateful for.

Giving Thanks Each Day

Since I wrote about Mavis Lindgren the 90 year old marathon runner, I have been told of many instances of older folks competing in marathons and one woman Ernestine Shepherd who is a 74 year old body builder.  I am completely ‘blown away’ at what these women do with the ‘best years of their lives’.  And it’s not only women.

Tatsuo Okawara was the oldest finisher from Japan in the December 9th,
2007 Honolulu Marathon.  At 90 years old, he completed the 42.19 kilometers
(26.2 mile) course in 8 hours, 11 minutes.  And Buster Martin at age 101 while still working as a plumber in London, trained for the London Marathon in 2008.  He also planned to walk the Appalachian Trail.  See details of that journey here.

What amazing people and they certainly show us that if you keep using your body and mind through exercise then just about anything is possible.

I often talk to my clients about creating an Attitude of Gratitude.  My children have been brought up knowing that we have to give thanks for what we have and I trust that they are passing that on to their children.

And even if we lose everything, we still have plenty for which to be grateful.  We are fortunate to live in New Zealand surely one of the best and safest  places in the world; although we have had a major earthquake recently that has set us all back a little, but on the whole we live without major disaster looming over us.

So can I suggest that we all look to these ‘older’ examples of how to live our lives and always remember to say thanks for what we have.