Perspective Trumps Again

August 3, 2012

“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.”
– C. S. Lewis “The Magicians Nephew”

I started off my day tired and grumpy. I decided to write a list of about 20 things I was grateful for.

I do this often, but I was reminded once again why it is so helpful. It completely changed the course of my day.

photo by twiga269

I found myself declaring that breakfast was extra delicious! And, I was sure the birds were chirping with more vigor than usual!

Jude skipped his nap and yet I found myself still thankful.

I didn’t let the napless day phase me. Not like I normally would. And the funny thing was, he wasn’t phased by it either, which I found interesting. Was it my attitude of gratefulness that affected him so positively?

I’ve heard that changing your perspective can change your life. I just never believed it would work for me.

Over the past 9 months, however, I have become a believer.

What perspective does

When I change my perspective and I focus on what I am thankful for, I feel happy. I feel blessed. I view the world differently. I view people differently.

I smile more and laugh easily. I talk to people readily. I become overwhelmingly thankful for things like toothbrushes, and raspberries, and the freedom to write on this blog.

I don’t worry like I used to. Worry, is a waste of time and I want to relish all the time I have.

What I’m grateful for

I tear up at the opportunity Michael and I have had to start our own business. And that our business is doing great! We did it! We are self employed. How cool is that!?

I can have as many children as I want, I wash my clothes in a washer and dryer! Oh, and we don’t live in a mud hut! I live in a house with wood floors and stairs.

I also see things I never noticed before. I see opportunities now. I have had more opportunities than I ever have!

Andy Andrews, in his book The Noticer, explains it this way.

Opportunities and encouragement come from other people. When we are happy and enthusiastic, other people enjoy being around us. We then get more opportunities and encouragement because other people want to be and like being around us.

A life filled with opportunities and encouragement finds more opportunities and encouragement and success becomes inevitable.

If we are negative, complaining, and disagreeable, other people stay away and we receive fewer opportunities and encouragement because no one wants to be around us.

I think, that right there, is reason enough to become a thankful person. What say you?

Question: Have you ever written a list of things you are grateful for on a consistent basis? Try it. But watch out, it might just change your life!

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  • Reply Ann Musico August 3, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Claudia there is no doubt about it – I wish you lived closer – I would love to spend time with you and Jude and Michael!  You are a ray of sunshine and I love your posts.  Perspective is everything!  It doesn’t really matter what is actually going on – what really matters is how we see it.  I remember when we had to sell our business and my husband was going on interviews with school districts up here to get back into teaching and had a particularly disappointing interview.  I don’t even remember what I said to him – but he just stopped and looked at me and said something like – leave it to you to see something good in this.  I agree – when you change your perspective and come from a place of gratitude it affects everyone around you – in a good way!

    • Reply Claudia Good August 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      That would be absolutely wonderful! I think we would have lots of great conversations and amazing food as well! 😉 hee-he.

      You are right – perspective is everything! 

      That is a cool story! I know I say this a lot… but I really, really enjoy hearing your stories of your family and kidos. I think it really frames everything you say so nicely. Did that make sense? 

      • Reply Ann Musico August 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm

         You always make sense Claudia!

        • Reply Claudia Good August 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm

          phew, well, that’s good to know! 😉

  • Reply Joe Lalonde August 3, 2012 at 6:39 am

    It is amazing, huh?  It’s been over a year since I started it but I took time daily to reflect on things I was thankful for about my wife. Little things she did or didn’t do. I wrote them down in a journal. That helped me to realize there were lots of stuff she did and that made me more grateful for her.

    • Reply Claudia Good August 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      It is Joe!! Truly amazing. I remember you said that you did a thanksgiving journal about your wife… and that it really made a big difference!

      Will you give it to her as a present? 😉

      • Reply Joe Lalonde August 4, 2012 at 9:17 pm

         I’ve already given it to her. It was my anniversary present for our last anniversary.

  • Reply AnnetteDarityGarber August 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I often play the “perspective game” when something goes wrong and it works almost every time!

    If my children get sick and must stay home from school and “ruin” my plans for the day, I try and put it in perspective….. I HAVE children! Healthy ones! We are not dealing with terminal illness or all-encompassing needs of children with disabilities. Be grateful, Annette!

    If I burn dinner or realize I failed again to get everything I needed from the grocery store, I try and tell myself…. Look! You actually have food to cook! And more in the pantry! And a car to run to the store! Be grateful, Annette!

    I certainly could do this more often, but the more I practice it, the more my attitude bends toward a grateful state. I was challenged to begin a “Gratitude Journal” from a woman whose son had a very serious illness; their story was featured on Extreme HomeMakeover. Joy and gratitude oozed from her pores, yet she had much to wail about! When you actually take the time to sit down and write a list of what you are thankful for, as you do, Caudia, you find yourself aware of so much you take for granted…. a warm cup of coffee, a kiss, a breeze, taste buds, ears, eyes, the sense of touch, etc…

    Just asC.S. Lewis said, “what you see and hear depends a whole lot on where you are standing”. How true!!!

    • Reply Claudia Good August 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      I know you do dear friend 😉 And you are great at it!!!

      I did a “gratitude journal” (as you mentioned) for/ about Jude this first year and it has really impacted my relationship with him… I know. The hard days aren’t so hard, the conflicts, not so conflicting because I end on a note of thanksgiving and it reframes my heart and my day to be ready for the next.

      It is also a great keepsake for him later in life 😉

      • Reply AnnetteDarityGarber August 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm

        What a great gift for Jude! I love your idea!!

  • Reply Rob Clinton August 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Absolutely! Writing down what your grateful is an amazing exercise that can change everything, and it does for me. I’ve done it, but I’ve mostly said it than I have written, I’ve still done both. One of the things I challenge my clients to do, is to think of what your grateful, ask why you’re grateful for it, and then write down what you can do to increase, serve, or help make what your grateful for better than it was.

    • Reply Claudia Good August 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      oooooohhhhhh great idea Rob! 

      I did think of how you said you went for a walk or run daily to reflect on what you are grateful for and how it has impacted your life. 

      It definitely has mine in a powerful way!

      • Reply Rob Clinton August 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

        Amen, that morning gratitude walk I believe has been HUGE in my life and development 🙂

  • Reply Michael Wright August 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I go through a verbal “thanks” most mornings in my prayers.  Sometimes the thought of how much I’ve been given, truly given, can produce tears.  C.S. Lewis said somewhere that most people are content outside making mudpies while the King has a prepared feast waiting on them on the inside.  It’s all how you look at it.  Reality is made by our thoughts and words for sure.  Let’s keep ’em Grateful!

    • Reply Claudia Good August 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Totally Michael! Thanks for this 😉

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