June 9, 2015

6 Examples of Being Grateful for Minor Victories

“You can be pitiful, or you can be powerful; but, you can’t be both,” says world-renown Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer. It has taken years for me to grasp her meaning: Self-pity is self-defeating. Concentrating on our own sorrows is draining. Conversely, gratitude (praise) may infuse us with a divine power. I have seen proof of this in my life.

Some of us habitually see the metaphorical glass as half empty rather than half full. It’s difficult to be happy with such an outlook because so many things will always be beyond our control. That’s just a fact of life.

Each of us has the opportunity to choose our attitude daily, no matter what our circumstances may be. We can decide to see a ray of hope despite continual struggles. Major victories may be elusive. However, minor victories often happen on the way to life-changing future victories. I discuss the subject further in my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds:

My purpose in mentioning the life stories of particular celebrities, including their struggles, is to demonstrate to all of us how victories are often gained in baby steps. Colonel Saunders did not go from bankruptcy to selling a 14.8 million dollar business overnight. Helen Keller didn’t go from an angry, uncommunicative young girl to a prolific author, lecturer, and college graduate overnight. Jackie Robinson had to fight rampant racism over a period of years in order to finally win his place in history. Teddy Roosevelt didn’t transform his sickly body into that of an athlete overnight. Alexander Graham Bell had to wait patiently for his invention, the telephone, to become appreciated. Wilma Rudolph did not overcome childhood polio in just a few years.

Please pause now to consider what small blessings you have received lately. Has someone shown you unexpected kindness, or gratitude? Did your kids thank you, for once? Did your boss thank you, for once? Have you slept better than you normally do this past week? Did you narrowly avoid an automobile crash?

I challenge all of us to constantly keep track of, and be thankful for, even the smallest improvements we see in our own lives. Focusing on what’s right in our lives is the surest way to cultivate joy. Joy can be defined as stability, or contentment, regardless of circumstances. Focusing solely on what’s wrong with our lives is the quickest route to depression. A negative concentration can be disastrous to our health.

In closing, I will paraphrase a quote I learned from a friend: When you can’t decide if your glass is half full, or half empty, throw the **** glass away. Just start over. Every day is the opportunity for a fresh start.

What are you thankful for today?

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