VIA Blog - Stories to inspire and resources to motivate.

I’ve made a living and a life from being grateful

November 26, 2014 by ·

Everything in my life is a direct result of my VIA strength of gratitude. Going way back to the beginning of my “success” path, I was incredibly grateful to go to college. I had worked hard, earned a scholarship and was delighted at my “luck.” I loved my professors and I loved reading and writing (geek alert!), and when I applied for a fellowship grant to study in England, I was over the moon grateful and awed to be accepted.

That entire time in the UK, my first time out of the country, I was wearing a grin and a “pinch me” attitude. From landing tickets to the first Live Aid concert to waving at Princess Di to walking the moors like a character in a Bronte novel, I was awash in sheer gratitude for the whole experience.

Onward to marriage and babies, and I was grateful for a good man, a good home, good family and friends. I took nothing for granted. And when my firstborn was still a tiny baby and had no idea what Mommy was singsonging him, I constantly thanked him for being such a good baby. And he was. When my second son was born, I was again overwhelmed with gratitude for a healthy little lovebug. Every outing my boys were thanked for their good behavior and they most always truly were.

From all my jobs and bosses (even at the IRS), I was grateful for the co-worker camaraderie and the pay and the benefits and the flexibility and the learning and the…….Even when I chose to leave a job, I was grateful for the experience on many levels.

Now in my all-encompassing joy/writing work, I have learned about the science of gratitude and that gratitude is the #1 happiness booster. I teach courses on gratitude and how it can change your life, and I am grateful for every private client and every member of a group program. I learn from all.

I get asked to speak to all kinds of groups on all kinds of joy and writing topics, and I am deeply appreciative of every invitation whether I can fulfill it or not. It has been joy to write this newspaper column since 2001 and I am grateful and will do it as long there are newspapers because this column is what started my writing career.

My divorce was one of the most peaceful on the planet because I remained grateful and certainly my appreciation for life is what landed me my Prince Charming. I thank him every day for sharing his precious heart with me.

The trajectory of my life is in direct proportion to the gratitude I emit. I never saw it as a strength  (or a character trait, I recently wrote about that) and yet now I see how everything in my life has happened or been better because I am thankful. My bank account, my clients, my relationships. It all is intertwined.

So as you eat a big meal and do some shopping this Thanksgiving weekend, take a pause and commit to feeling thankful every day. Watch how your life gets better.

I’ve said it many times and it’s true. This column is my joy and I only get to write it because you read it. Thank you. A thousand times thank you. Enjoy today. Find a nugget to be grateful for and do that every day. A year from now you will be amazed at what you reap.

Kelly Epperson Simmons does a daily gratitude practice in her journal and it really makes a difference. Drop Kelly your gratitudes at Hire Kelly

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