Gratitude + Attitude = Happy Life

I met a retired man who grew up in a rural farm area in the country. He told me of his days and many years as a dairy farmer. He then told me that he was able to leave dairy farming when he got a job with the postal service delivering mail. He said that one days pay at the post office was equal to a whole weeks pay as a dairy farmer. He said, “I felt like I was stealing candy from a baby!”.  Yet, he also said that many people at the post office would complain about their job and that they weren’t getting paid enough! They wanted more! To him, the hours, the pay, and the ease of the work compared to what he was doing, was a blessing! So as this once dairy farmer shows, his happiness and satisfaction is truly a matter of perspective and attitude.

Another story, that I recently heard on Oprah radio, was about a man that had studied wealthy populations, and he concluded that no matter how rich, the people that he interviewed always wanted more. He said the majority would say, that if they made double what they were currently making, THEN they would be satisfied. To clarify, these are people that make more than 1 million dollars per year. The funny thing, is that if and when that day comes where they double their earnings, it was reported that none of them seemed to be happy or satisfied. I thought it was also interesting to note, that the person who was the closest to being happy and satisfied, was one who decided to create meaning behind what he was doing and donated his money to a charity that he started.

No matter where we are right now, no matter what our stories, we MUST do whatever it takes to be grateful for what we have NOW and make each day enjoyable because if not today, then when??  In the book, “The Profit” it says that if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is best for you to leave your work and observe others who do work with joy, until you can learn to work with joy yourself.  Essentially, whatever you do, even it’s it not your “ideal scenario”, in that moment, it’s important that you find a way to do it with joy and make that best out of it. You can of course be working toward a greater goal or vision, at the same time, but in the meantime, you must find a way to find joy where you are now. Yes, I know it can be difficult, but it is possible and I know you can do it!
“If you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger. If you grudge the crushing of grapes, your grudge distils poison in the wine. If you sing and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of day and night.”

I noticed the importance of this in my own life. I noticed if I work on items for my business when I’m cranky, tired and not having a good attitude, then that is reflected in the energy behind my work. My work doesn’t flow as easily and my end result is affected aka clients that come to me, new opportunities, etc. It’s better for me to do no work at all then to work from such a place. But sometimes, I may be in a funky mood and work needs to be done and I have to find within myself, ways to do my work from a place of love and joy. For me, to stay in a state of joy and love, I do things like make sure I’m in balance with self-care, exercise and spending time outside in nature daily. If I need an instant mood shift, I may play music, light a candle, do a mini meditation, or some quick journaling to let go of what’s bothering me and give myself a quick pep talk. I sometimes dance to an upbeat song or do whatever else I need to (you can ask yourself what you need in that moment), to get in a state of joy and love. Then, from that state of love and joy, work flows, clients flow, and everyone is happy.

So how can we be grateful for our work, or lack of work, relationships, where we live, and our lives, even if they may not look as we’d imagine or think we want them to be?  The answer: Live your life and do your work, no matter what it is, with the intention of love!  Shift your perspective and attitude until you can come from love and joy. How are you being of service? Service to yourself, your purpose, the people around you and the world.
“Weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. Build a house with affection, as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. Sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. Charge all things with a breath of your own spirit!” –from “The Profit”