One of the things that I’ve come to know as a coach is that there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is what you know, wisdom is what you practice or what you live. If you’re an adult, you know the power of gratitude, you have knowledge of gratitude, and ultimately the purpose that it can serve in your life. And yet, I find time and time again, that there are very few people who intentionally practice gratitude in their lives.
“The key to having it all is realizing or knowing that you already do”
Over the years, one of the things that I’ve shared with people is that if you have blessings, you have things to be grateful for, and yet, if you don’t have a practice, or have a system to regularly count those blessings, it’s as if they don’t exist. It’s kind of like if you know how to read, but you don’t read, then you’re no different than somebody who can’t read. What I want to share are three really fun, exciting, and I think, amazing ways to practice gratitude in your day to day lives.
THE AWESOME JAR
The first one, which I ripped this off from Tim Ferriss, and I’ve been doing it now for about four or five years, is the The Awesome Jar. The awesome jar sits on our kitchen counter, and it’s just this big mason jar. My goal is every day to write down one thing that was awesome. And what’s so cool about this is I’ve done this for so long, and as Tim Ferriss says, that they’re like small fortune cookies. There’s so many things that happen, small little things that happen throughout my day, or with my wife, or my kids that had I not written them down, I would have never remembered them. Anytime I find myself in a slump, or maybe I’m not really feeling the Mojo or feeling like I’m in the zone, I like to open that jar and just start reading through them. Or we as a family will sit down and read through those notes. We’ve done it for so long that some of them are from when the girls were really little. So the awesome jar is a really easy, fun way to practice gratitude each and every day.
THE REVERSE BUCKET LIST
Another one is an exercise called The Reverse Bucket List. Now you’ve probably heard of what a bucket list is. It’s all the things you want to do, places you want to go, or people you want to meet before you kick the bucket, right? Typically, when people create this it’s built out into the future. It’s what they want to do, but they haven’t done yet. The reverse bucket list is really just a memory of all the things that you’ve already done. Maybe it’s your favorite or your best memories. But what we want to ultimately look to the reverse bucket list for is rather than it being an accounting of what we want to have happen in the future, it’s all the magnificent, that’s already happened in the past. So that’s the reverse bucket list. Write it. Review it. Add to it. And if you notice the reverse bucket list and the awesome jar can kind of fit hand in hand.
THE 365 JOURNAL
Lastly is a 365 journal. During the pandemic I wanted to remember each day, and it’s still my goal to remember every single day. So the 365 Journal is a very simple, basic journal. It has 365 days in it, and my goal every day, is to simply write down the rose, the thorn and the bud. The rose is the best thing that happened today. The thorn is what was the most challenging thing that happened today, and the bud is what I’m excited about. I’ve been doing this now for about 46 days today, actually, it’s day 46, and it’s amazing the things that I’ve dialogued and how, since I started doing this, I can literally remember a glimpse of every single day. It’s pretty magical when you’re recording your life this way.
These are very inexpensive, easy to do and easy not to do. I want you to remember that if you have blessings, but you don’t practice counting them or you don’t have a system for counting them, it’s as if they don’t exist.
Take what you read here today, and whether it’s one of these three or creating your own, and create a daily practice for gratitude. Convert that from knowledge to wisdom. It’ll change your life.