Gratitude Challenge Day 4: Reflect on ‘Gratitude’ and its Place in Your Life

This is Day 4 of the 14-Day Gratitude Challenge held in Aug 2013, where we practice gratitude for 14 days. The challenge is now over but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all the challenge tasks.

Gratitude challenge

 Hey everyone, welcome to Day 4 of our 14-day gratitude challenge! :D Let’s get started, shall we?

My Experience with Day 3’s Task: Write a Gratitude Note to Someone

So I did yesterday’s gratitude task on writing a gratitude note. The person I selected was my fiance, Ken. :) Below is the thank-you letter I sent him via email:

My Thank You Letter to Ken Soh

My thank-you letter to my fiance Ken

* Quick legend:

  • 猫猫 is kitty cat (in Chinese), which is my nickname he refers to me by.
  • 狗狗 is dog, my nickname for him.
  • 手牵手 (in the last sentence), means “holding hands”, which is a central theme of our relationship. Ken holds my hands every day and tells me daily that he will always be there to hold my hands till the end of time.
  • *ding* is a sound effect I make when I’m making a heart-shaped symbol to him using my fingers or my hands. It’s one of those recurring things in our relationship. :)

It was quite a challenge writing the note, not in terms of getting my message out into words, but because I wanted to surprise him with it. It was hard to do that with him by my side the whole time and having visibility of my laptop screen!

Nonetheless, I finally completed the  note by the end of the day and emailed him. He saw the mail 10 minutes later and was really excited to read it, but then I became shy and did everything I could to prevent him from reading, including deleting the mail from his inbox (which he promptly undid), (trying to) close his browser and (trying to) shut down his computer. LOL!

He eventually got up early next morning to read it while I was still half-asleep and was very happy to read what I had written. :) All is good! I’m personally very happy to have written the note because as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we can always be saying “thank you’s” to our loved ones and we may think that they know how we feel about them, but it’s a whole new dimension when they physically receive a heartfelt letter which you personally wrote for them.

Here’s to more gratitude goodness in the 11 days ahead!! :)

Day 4: Gratitude

Thank you

Thank you. Gracias (Spanish). 谢谢你 (Chinese; Xie Xie Ni)。 ありがとうございました (Japanese; Arigatou Gozaimashite)。 ขอขอบคุณคุณ (Thai: Kob Khun Ka). Danke (German). Terima Kasih (Malay). Merci (French). நன்றி (Tamil; naṉṟi). Dank u (Dutch). Dankie (Afrikaan). Salamat (Filipino). Cám ơn (Vietnamese; kárm ern). 多謝 (Cantonese; dòjeh). 감사합니다 (Gamsahabnida). धन्यवाद (Hindi; dhan’yavāda).

All these mean “thank you” in different languages. Each of these phrases, we use often in our daily lives (if you have some measure of personal etiquette).

Despite the fact that we often hang the phrase “thank you” at our lips, do we actually mean the “thank you’s” we say sometimes? Or has saying “thank you” become more of a way of life, a natural order of things, a convenient phrase we utter because “it is the right thing to say/do at that time”? 

Really… what does “gratitude” mean to you?

In today’s task, I would like you to reflect what “gratitude” means to you and its place in your life.

Your Task: Reflect on “Gratitude” and its Place in Your Life

Think about the three gratitude tasks you have done in the past three days: Day 1: Write 10 Things You are Grateful For in Your LifeDay 2: Give Thanks for Your Food, and Day 3: Write a Gratitude Note to Someone.

You have already been actively practicing gratitude in the past few days, and probably for some periods before this challenge. Hence, you probably know the act of giving gratitude and how it feels like to receive gratitude. The notion of gratitude isn’t new to you.

For today, reflect on the following two questions:

  1. What does the word “gratitude” mean to you?
  2. Why is it important to practice gratitude in your life? (i.e. Why practice gratitude? Why not just go “lalala” and live life as it is, taking without giving, receiving without appreciating, and simply just work on your goals without regard for others, things, and the world?)

Think about both questions, then write down your answers for each in your gratitude journal. Your answers can be short or long; there is no guideline on what to do here. Let your inner voice sing.

Daily Journaling: Write 3 Things You Are Grateful for Today

On top of today’s task, identify 3 things you are grateful for today. These 3 things can be events that occurred today, mishaps which could have happened but didn’t happen, or simply things which have always been in your life but which you suddenly came to feel grateful for today.

3 things I’m grateful for today:

  1. The Edinburgh PE Readers Meetup was a great success! Originally I thought it was just going to be a private meetup between me and another reader (Alice), but then we had a few RSVPs in the last few hours which led to a turnout of seven people in the end! It was great fun chatting and hanging out with everyone (as with all past PE reader meetups) and I was so happy to connect with everyone in person. :D Attached is a picture:Edinburgh PE Readers Meetup - Group Shot
  2. Ken and I got to Edinburgh safely! There can always be all kinds of hiccups when it comes to traveling, but we arrived in Edinburgh fine and also found our accommodation with no problems. It’s a cosy apartment @ Montrose Terrace which will serve great for our four-day stay here.
  3. I’m grateful to be in Edinburgh, which is an absolutely stunning city. I can’t wait till our second (engagement) shoot tomorrow, where we will be doing three different scenes: city/urban, garden, and beach. It’s going to be fun! (I just need to remind myself to stop stressing out about the shoot, given that it’s just something you do once in a lifetime and all!)

Share Your Results!

What is the meaning of gratitude to you?

Why is it important to practice gratitude in your life?

(Share pictures / screenshots of what you have written in your journal if possible!)

What are 3 things you are grateful for today?

Sound off in the comments section! :)

Once you’re done, proceed to Gratitude Challenge Day 5: Identify 3 Things to Appreciate about Your Adversary.

(Images: GratitudeThank You)