Introducing My Gratitude Jar

I came across this image on Social Media (see top right) while attending FinCon16 in SanDiego this past September. I mentioned it to my roommate and long-time friend Michelle and we had a good discussion at that time about the power of having a Gratitude (aka "Happiness") Jar, including her sharing with me her personal experience with the daily exercise.

That discussion stayed with me and, upon my return to Winnipeg, I went on the hunt for my very own Gratitude Jar (see bottom right). Unfortunately, my interest quickly faded and I did not maintain the activity past the first few weeks.

It was a talk I gave at a Christmas party in mid-December that reawakened my interest in it. 

The topic? Jim Stovall’s book The Ultimate Gift (I first wrote about it two years ago). 

Within this work of fiction are twelve important lessons (gifts) we can all benefit from hearing on a regular basis. These lessons, when used concurrently, can help any of us receive the ultimate gift: the gift of a life well lived.

Here are the twelve gifts, listed in the order in which the main character, Jason, discovers them:

  1. The gift of work
  2. The gift of money
  3. The gift of friends
  4. The gift of learning
  5. The gift of problems
  6. The gift of family
  7. The gift of laughter
  8. The gift of dreams
  9. The gift of giving
  10. The gift of gratitude 
  11. The gift of a day
  12. The gift of love

It goes without saying that number 10 is the one that reawakened my interest in the Gratitude Jar, especially the powerful quote from the book that I most associate with this lesson:

I have always found it ironic that the people in this world who have the most to be thankful for are often the least thankful, and somehow the people who have virtually nothing, many times live lives full of gratitude.
— Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Gift

Thanks to this trigger, I have started to use my Gratitude Jar this year. I have committed to writing one thing I am thankful for daily throughout 2017 and plan to read its contents on New Year’s day 2018. 

I can’t think of a better day to go through it all. I can already picture myself doing so in my PJs, sitting on the couch in front of a beautiful fire, coffee in hand. I get goose bumps just imagining the joy I’ll feel as I review all the notes of gratitude it will contain by then.

That ultimate payoff may be a long way off, but I also get to enjoy the gratitude jar on a daily basis now by filling it with my short gratitude statements du jour. And let’s not forget the fact that I have many things to be grateful for that help me fill it!

I look forward to sharing some of the highlights it will contain…next year!

What about you? Do you perform a regular ritual, something to remind yourself of all the great things you can be thankful for in your life? If so, what is it? Journalling? Meditation? Contemplation? Giving thanks in some way?

I’d love to hear about it.

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