The Gratefulness Experiment
September 14, 2016

How often do you get to glimpse into someone else’s mind?  Well today, my mind is all yours…

I’ll be running an experiment similar to that of my earlier blog post, Hungover: The Stream of Consciousness Experiment, where I blogged while incredibly hungover for five straight minutes and divulged my deepest (and darkest) thoughts.  Although it was completely raw and barely edited, its authenticity has made it one of my most popular posts.

So today I will do the same thing but with two key differences: (1) I’m not hungover this time (sorry everyone) and (2) I will center the content of the post around a particular theme.

The theme I’ve chosen is gratefulness.  Why? Well, as I’ve recently started to reflect back on my blog’s content I’ve realized that I dwell too often on the angst and insecurities of my quarter life crisis and neglect all the positive things I have in my life.  Today I want to focus on these things and remind myself of all I have to be grateful for.  Let’s see if I can think positively for five straight minutes…no promises!

Ready. Set. Go!

What am I grateful for?  Where do I start?  OK, I got it:

I’m incredibly grateful for all the people in my life that have supported me during this challenging transitional period.

I’m grateful for my best friends that know the old version of me and are coping with the new. I’m grateful that they have stuck by my side and pulled me back to earth despite my attempts to drift off into space.

I’m grateful for my parents for supporting me in this moment of uncertainty and letting me move home for the first time in five years.  I’m grateful for my dad retweeting my blog posts and my mom tolerating this spurt of insanity.  I’m grateful for my sister’s creative encouragement and candid feedback.

I’m grateful for all the perfect strangers who have emerged into my life over the last year and encouraged me on this new path.  I’m grateful for their support of this blog, their career connections, and sage advice.

I’m grateful for Boston; the city I’ve been tempted to escape from but have actually come to love. I’m grateful for my sunset meditations on the Charles River.  I’m grateful for the South End, Jamaica Plain, Somerville and Cambride; the neighborhoods where I can be myself.

I’m grateful for my bike that makes the whole city accessible, provides endless adventure and catches every sunset with me.  WAIT… Am I dating a bike?  Anyways…

I’m grateful for all the newfound sources of inspiration in my life.  I’m grateful for hip hop music, podcasts and audio books.  I’m grateful for Chance the Rapper, John Lee Dumas, and Tim Ferriss. I’m grateful for these new voices in my head that have turned my ideas into action and spurred my motivation.

I’m grateful for my job.  I’m grateful for the skills I’ve developed from it and the man I’ve become in the process.  I’m grateful for all the mentors I’ve had there and for the roads they’ve paved for me.  I’m grateful for the financial security it’s provided me and the vacations that it’s funded.

I’m grateful for my trips to Peru, Munich, Paris, London, Toronto and San Francisco.  I’m grateful that I have been able to spread my wings more in the last 3 years than I did in the previous 24.  And I’m grateful for the people who are still there for me every time I come home.

I’m grateful for the people who comment on my blog and give me my few “Likes.”  I’m grateful for all the people who text me or email me to keep it up.  I’m grateful that people can relate to my feelings or at least laugh while reading about them.  I’m grateful for the blog connecting me to people I never would have met otherwise.

I’m grateful for my time alone and my ability to escape.  I’m grateful for all the baristas who know me from the coffee shops and all the lattes that have fueled this blog.

I’m grateful for the couples that like the value I add as a third wheel!  I’m grateful for everyone’s patience as I appear seemingly indifferent to dating.  I’m grateful that my parents haven’t lost their minds as I haven’t brought a girl to meet them in two years. (Oops)

I’m grateful that I’ve discovered meditation and the calmness it’s instilled in me.  I’m grateful for having the ability to fight everyday towards this life I want.  I’m grateful to still have chips in the game.  I’m grateful that I’m growing and changing.  I’m grateful for my resilience.

Most of all though, I’m grateful for all the people in my life that have accepted (or at least tolerated) this new version of me.  I’m grateful for my buddies that still text me to come out on the weekends, my best friends that entertain my crazy thoughts, and my parents who have taken me back with open arms.  I’m grateful for all of my new connections across the world.  And of course, I’m grateful for you.

I’m grateful because I know this is only the beginning of my journey and that I’ll have you all of you along for the ride. I’m grateful to be straddling this damn line.

OK.  Five minutes is up!  What did you think?  A little more upbeat than my average post, right?  Too upbeat… Haha?  Hopefully you have similar aspects of your life to be grateful for and that this was a good reminder for you.  But now the question becomes, how do you make gratefulness a conscious part of your life?  I’ve got an idea.

Actionable Idea:

I’ve recently made gratefulness a consistent part of my life by doing a three minute journal entry every day.  Within it I write down two short lists: (1) a list of all the things that are bothering me and (2) a list of all the things I’m grateful for.  In doing this I am able to flush out all the nagging problems in my head and focus on the bigger picture. It will help you keep everything in perspective and improve your overall day-to-day mood.  I’m serious! TRY IT!

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