This is a quick post detailing one of the neatest self-improvement tricks I have stumbled upon in the last year.
It sounds ridiculously simple and I think most people are inclined to feel dismissive about it at first, but it is to simply take a minute at various times of the day and silently name five things you are grateful for.
When I first heard it I thought it was sort of common sense, and far from mind-blowing, but I have been overwhelmed by just significant it has become in my life.
I think the power of it arises in part from just how externally focused we are in modern life. Sure we might hear all sorts of psychotherapy inspired nonsense, and there is an overwhelming obsession with the nebulous concept of ‘happiness’, but for the most part we are far less inwardly focused than in prior times.
Many people go through the day almost never being in silence. They have music or the radio on in the car, television on at home, and a cell phone connecting them with work through all hours of the day. Taking a few seconds to communes with oneself, or one’s God, is thus quite revolutionary.
In times of anxiousness or worry I almost begin doing it compulsively, as if by focusing on those things I am grateful for, I will make it less likely for the universe to throw me a curveball, and knock me down from heights of arrogance.
The other powerful component of it is that it seems to have a real metaphysical, almost-spiritual component. When I started doing I was basically just talking to myself, but that soon changed to where I now do it in part to ‘God’, in part to the Universe, and also to my ancestors. Ancestor-Worship is something I want to start focusing on more and more on this site, as it seems to be, as Jack Donovan has said, a potential bridge between modern man and spirituality. In a modern age in which science has “killed” religion, as Nietzsche predicted, ancestor worship may be a more natural inclination among our tribe of Western men. It also seems very normal and natural, as it was practiced by our Nordic ancestors, and was (in various guises) a strong component of The Lord of the Rings.
Finally, I will end with the following quote from the Trad Youth Network, making a similar point regarding thankfulness and one’s practice of it: (thanks to Lynda for the link!)
Everything given to us in our lives is a gift from God, and the Legionnaire understands that we should give thanks for every blessing bestowed upon us. Saint Basil the Great told his flock that “When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.” Prayer is instrumental in helping us appreciate everything that God gives us and working to make us free from the siren song of materialism and greed.