Once you know what to do, and you have slowly begun the journey, you are ready for the third, most vital step.
This would ensure you sustain your good practices and remain in good spirits.
Step -3: A minute of gratitude
If you have done something today that truly represents you, then before you retire at night, just spare a minute. Thank the Lord or the universe for this blessing. Invest your emotions into a genuine ‘Thanks’ for being able to do what you really wanted to do, even if that was an apparently insignificant thing compared to your grand vision.
How would it help? You would soon realize the universe arranges more time and resources for you to pursue those things that you thanked for today. Tomorrow and the day after, and the next week, month and year, you’d see things fall in place; your life would gravitate to your mission.
Gratitude is the greatest wonder of the world; it not only helps us access more of what we thank for, it also plants positive seeds in our consciousness. Gratitude feeds on itself; the more we thank, the more we get the same thing. Far from being discouraged looking at the big vision of your life, a genuine appreciation or thanks for being able to do even a little of it, unleashes tremendous spiritual energy. You would feel happy and excited to do more. Gratefulness is the secret of happiness. And when you are happy, the challenge of leading your life the way you want is exciting.
Still skeptical? Try this experiment and tell me if you don’t feel a difference. For the next fifteen minutes write a heart-felt thanks to whoever or whatever for how they have contributed to your well-being over the last one year. Remember to add at least two sentences to the name or thing you thank. For example, if you thank your brother, it could be something like this:
I thank my brother Shyam for helping me chose a nice holiday spot. I love you Shyam, you are a wonderful soul. Thanks, thanks and sincere thanks…..(You could go on to thank him more if you wish or add another person to the list)
Still feeling uninspired? Maybe you really are starved of love. You could do with a little of self-love. Write for ten minutes something wonderful about yourself. Appreciate yourself. See the difference.
Recently I tried this experiment with a group of young couples. I told them to write a ten minute thank you journal during the middle of my class. As the participants dutifully wrote down, one skeptic casually looked out of the window. When I urged him to write, he said matter of factly that these things don’t work. I reasoned for a few minutes, but then left him alone and focused on the others in the room.
Ten days later I received a call from the same cynical friend. He profusely thanked me, and was emphatic, “It works!!” I asked him to share more of his realizations. He explained how it was a drag writing down the good things others had done for him, but he tried nevertheless. Initially his mind protested because he felt he had done so much for others and they hadn’t reciprocated with his kindness. It took him a great deal of courage to break the self-obsession trap and really think how others are nice people. Slowly, he recalled one person’s kindness and wrote a few sentences thanking him. Then another, and slowly in ten minutes, he felt hooked to the exercise. He wrote on for another forty five minutes, and ended up thanking even the sun, rain and the trees for what they give him abundantly daily. He said he never realized in his twenty eight years of life that he owed a thank you to sun and the trees.
As the exercise ended he got emotional; he even began to see those who did wrong to him as his benefactors. It was overwhelming, he confessed, to thank those who really harmed him. But he could see he belonged to the universe, and in the larger scheme of things, we are all connected, and forgiveness helped him feel divine.
To conclude, the three steps to help us develop a strong sense of self-worth are triple A
This would help us discover ourselves and find true meaning to our existence. Then connection to others, and contribution to their well-being also becomes natural. And as a by-product of this exercise, you receive abundant appreciation from those whose lives you touch. By then, you are happy in giving, and grateful in receiving.
You are worthy, and you know it regardless of the world’s approval.