This is Day 5 of the 15-Day Affirmation Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world gather to practice positive affirmations for 15 days in July 2014. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Affirmation Challenge tasks and posts.
Dear everyone, welcome to Day 5 of our 15-Day Affirmation Challenge! 😀
Here is the overview of all the posts for the challenge so far:
- Affirmation Challenge announcement and signup details: 15-Day Affirmation Challenge | 430 Participants!
- Affirmation Challenge Day 1 [New Beginning] | 62 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 2 [Self-Love] | 63 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 3 [Ability] | 42 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 4 [Setbacks] | 21 Comments
For those of you already in the challenge, remember to share your results via the comments section for each day! We are having some amazing sharing and exchanges by participants Vivian, Jun Xiang, Samuel, ASLO, Alia, Lina, Calae, Chloe, VickiB, Jaleen, and many other participants, and I look forward to read more in the next two weeks. 😀
Now, let’s move to today’s task, which is on…
Day 5: [Gratitude]
Today’s affirmation: “I’m grateful for everything in my life.”
Consider these statements we hear when things don’t go our way:
The weather sucks. I planned to go cycling but I can’t now because of the rain.
The bus/train is taking so long to arrive… why is the public transport here so bad??
I wish my partner is more organized/sensitive/understanding/caring/responsive/capable/<insert adjective here>.
My co-workers are such a pain in the behind. I’m so sick and tired of their bad attitudes.
So much work. Sigh. I wish I can have less work.
My housemate is so inconsiderate. She’s always leaving her dishes in the sink, without cleaning them. Why can’t I have a better housemate??
Recognize them? Have you said any of the above before, perhaps in your own way?
Well, I have. I sometimes crib about the weather, especially when it gets too hot in Singapore or when there are sudden downpours that make going out a hassle. I often grumble (to myself) about the public transport being late, even though I’ve traveled widely and I know that the public transport system in Singapore is easily one of the best in the world. I have grumbled before to Ken about him not being X or Y even though he is being the perfect man for me and I’m simply reacting from my issues (well, sometimes!).
Known as “complaints”, these statements are the expressions of our frustrations when things don’t go our way. Say we have an expectation of A, but the situation/thing/person we’re dealing with falls short in real life and gives us B instead. Depending on how big the gap is, we then respond with a level of angst that matches the size of that gap. The bigger the shortfall, the more frustrated and annoyed we become, and the more frequent and intense our complaint becomes.
Complaining is the opposite of gratitude, which is a feeling of appreciation of something. When you’re grateful, you see the goodness of everything — be it good or bad– and give thanks for them. If something is good, you recognize its goodness, relish in it, and celebrate it. If something is bad, you see the silver lining behind the dark cloud, recognize its goodness (where others can’t), relish in it, and celebrate it still. You recognize that life isn’t about having everything your way or only being happy when things are 100% in line with your vision, because these aren’t what life is about. You recognize that life is a journey where you celebrate all that you have now, feel perfectly happy about what you have and don’t have, all while working hard to achieve your grandest goals and dreams.
Last year August, I conducted a 14-day gratitude challenge which was a terrific success with over 200 people participating from all around the world. (In fact, many participants in our current affirmation challenge are alumni of the gratitude challenge!) During the gratitude challenge, we performed 14 tasks of gratitude over 14 days, just like how we are practising 15 affirmation tasks over 15 days right now.
Whether you did the gratitude challenge or not, gratitude isn’t something that you just practise for one day, 14 days, two months, or even two years and call it quits. Gratitude is something that you practise EVERY DAY, in every moment of your life. Because to forget about gratitude is to take your life and everything that you have today for granted, when all these things are GIFTS that you have been bestowed upon. Yes, your life today is a gift, whether you recognize it or not. (Many people have the belief that their life is an entitlement when so many have had their lives prematurely ended before their time.) Everything (and everyone) that’s in your life today is a gift. (Yes, including your current problems, because you could have far worse problems but you aren’t — or not now at least.)
Today your task is to embrace gratitude. Now, let’s get started!
Your Task Today
- Identify three things that you tend to take for granted. These can be anything, from planet Earth, to your parents, to your healthy body, to your home, to your life. (For ideas, read Gratitude Challenge Day 11: List 3 Things You Tend to Take For Granted (and What You Plan to Do About Them).)
- Identify 10 things that you are grateful for in your life. Anything goes here — from people, to objects, to events, to life itself! If you think 10 is a lot, you’ll probably think otherwise by the time you identify your 10th item! (For ideas, read Gratitude Challenge Day 1: Write 10 Things You are Grateful For in Your Life.)
- Identify ONE thing you can do TODAY to express gratitude to any one item on your list. For example:
- If you’re grateful for having food to eat and not living in a famine-stricken country, you can give thanks for your food.
- If you’re grateful for a loved one, you can write a gratitude note to him/her.
- If you’re grateful for the good service you get at a restaurant, you can give a bigger gratuity tip than usual.
- If you’re grateful for everything in general, you can do a gratitude meditation.
- Say today’s affirmation. Pause for a second. Think about everything you have in your life now, and don’t have yet. Appreciate them. Know that they are gifts in your life and there are people who want to have these things (yes, including your “problems,” simply because their problems are far worse), but can’t/don’t. With a heart full of gratitude, say today’s affirmation:
“I’m grateful for everything in my life.”
(If you think it’s silly to say this out loud, you can say it silently in your heart.)
I encourage you to write down today’s affirmation so that you can always see it and commit it to heart. Repeat them every day to yourself, for as many times and as long as needed, until they become part of your default thinking.
Affirmation Wallpaper: [Gratitude]
Today’s affirmation wallpaper, for download:
- For more on gratitude, check out the gratitude challenge and all its 14 tasks of gratitude: Gratitude Challenge Overview
- Complaining often comes hand in hand with impatience. Here’s my one-and-only guide on how to be patient: How to Be Patient: The Only Guide I’ll Ever Write on Becoming Patient
- Last but not least, for those of you with Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, be sure to review Day 28: A Complaint Free Day, where you practise a day of no complaints.
Share Your Results!
Share your results, check out other participants’ responses, and interact with each other in the comments section! Remember, this challenge is a community effort: by openly engaging in the discussion, not only will you help others, you’ll also help yourself.
If you think today’s affirmation has benefited you, do share it with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, G+, or email.
Once you’re done, proceed to Day 6 here: Affirmation Challenge, Day 6 [Self-Worth]